Wednesday, August 7, 2013
I found out about the Graphic Design Internship at Puma International through my Graphic Design 1 and Design Coalition professor, Ryan Clifford. Ryan is friends with Jason Woz, one of the art directors at Puma International. Puma is the leading international sports lifestyle brand. They make athletic apparel and sponsor several athletes and teams around the world. Their most famous sponsor is Usain Bolt, a track and field runner from Jamaica. I sent my cover letter, resume and portfolio to Anthony Hightower, the production manager at Puma International in December 2011. On February 17th I flew to Boston for the day to interview with Anthony and Sara Kaja, the Senior Designer at the time. A week later I found out that I got the internship and accepted the offer immediately!
Anthony Hightower, the production manager at Puma International was my direct supervisor. His responsibilities include working with the marketing department and the International Creative Agency (ICA) within Puma to make sure campaigns and collateral get designed in a smooth and timely fashion. I found out in my final meeting with him that Sara Kaja, was supposed to be my supervisor, however, she left her job before I had arrived at my internship. It made me question how my experience would have been different if I had Sara as a supervisor. Nonetheless, the internship was worthwhile and I learned a lot along the way.
At Puma I did a lot of production work such as setting up files for print, retouching photos, and making web layouts for Puma.com. I am most proud of my work on the Puma Kid’s AW 12 “Back to School” campaign where I created lettering for in store displays. My biggest takeaway from this experience is that I now have a greater understanding of how an in-house design team works and the role they play in the overall productivity of the company. It has helped me clarify my career goals in that I now know that I would be interested in working in-house again but am also open to working in a small studio or ad agency. I feel that while I gained great experience at Puma, I would prefer to have a more active role in thinking of concepts for work. At Puma, the marketing department decides on most of the concepts and the creative agency executes their ideas. Overall, my experience at Puma was successful and I am grateful for having had the opportunity to participate in this internship.