Submitted by students, these are previous internship experiences told first-hand.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Feats, Inc.

My name is Katie Mazikins and Feats, Inc. was the first company I approached at the career fair last March – the firstcompany I’d ever approached about any design internship, in fact. I was intrigued byFeats because they were so different from most of the design companies that were there. Feats is an event-planning agency; companies, universities and very, very rich people hire them to make their events and parties especially “special”. The design team at Feats is responsible for everything that goes in to an event – environmental design, interior design, lighting, graphics, video, publications – the list goes on and on. I thought that an internship with Feats would be far more challenging and
rewarding than a typical design firm – and I was exactly right.

I interned with Feats this summer from July to the end of August, 9-5 Monday through Thursday (although I did come in on a few Fridays to meet some deadlines). I worked with Creative Director, Danielle Nekimken and Designer, Todd Brizzi (both graduates of MICA) on a variety of projects – I created large-scale graphics to be used at events, designed invitations, created (and painstakingly put together) pitchbooks to show clients, made mockups and mood boards – I got to work on a bit of everything.

Working at Feats was a great experience – it confirmed for me, without a doubt, that
design is what I want to do.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Kelly Wearstler

My name is Lily Clark and this summer I heard about an internship at Kelly Wearstler through the chair of the Graphic Design department, Brockett Horne. I am currently a junior Graphic Design major and transfer student. This summer I worked as a social media intern for Kelly Wearster, an interior designer based in West Hollywood, CA. With Brockett’s recommendation, I was quickly hired to work five days a week on the company’s online presence. With her clout as an interior designer, Kelly has expanded to design and sell fine jewelry, ready-to-wear clothing, and vintage pieces online and at her boutique store on Melrose Ave.

My duties as an intern included updating the company’s tumblr, pinterest, twitter, instagram, and polyvore. Each week, Kelly would announce her “vibe” for all social media posts: themes ranging anywhere from Italian Futurism to repetition to the color yellow. It was my job, then, to collect imagery anywhere online that fit within that week’s theme and present it to Kelly for her approval. Additionally, I branched out from my position as a social media intern to help realize home accessories through hand illustrations. This part of the internship proved to be my favorite aspect and I was able to work off- screen, utilizing my love of drawing. Often, I would be given a loose description of an object or accessory such as a mirror or picture frame and it was my task to draw this object from multiple vantage points as realistically as possible.

As my internship came to an end, I was asked if I would be interested in working at the boutique store for pay. I transitioned from 8 hours a day sitting in front of a computer to 8 hours standing and running around helping customers and processing orders. This opportunity allowed me to clarify my interest in working off-screen, through hand drawn illustration work, hand lettering, etc. I now know that I can get somewhat frustrated working on the computer for hours at a time, and that I want a career that melds my two passions.

Schwartz & Wade

My name is Sarah Jacoby and I am majoring in Illustration and Printmaking. Random House Children’s Books is the world’s largest English language children’s trade book publisher. Schwartz & Wade is a smaller children’s book imprint at Random House. I was not familiar with Schwartz & Wade until Rachael Cole, Art Director, came to speak to the Illustration Practice Program in the fall of 2012. As an illustrator who is interested in creating picture books, I was just becoming familiar with imprints that I respected at that time. Schwartz & Wade was very high on my list. I made an effort to introduce myself to Rachael the day she spoke at MICA and applied for an internship that winter. After an in person interview at their home office in New York, I was hired.

During the summer I worked closely with Stephanie Pitts, the editorial assistant at Schwartz &
Wade. My general duties were the following:
• Read and report on submissions
• Read unsolicited manuscripts
• Scan and package original art from illustrators
• Attend all relevant department/division meetings
• Maintain our social media presence on Facebook and Flickr
• Administrative, editorial, and design duties as assigned

I particularly enjoyed being in direct contact with authors and illustrators like Sophie Blackall, Stephanie Graegin, Chris Raschka, Red Nose Studio and many others. I was able to contact them, handle their art and give general feedback. This experience truly gave me the sense of what it’s like to create a book with a major publishing industry from the very beginning. It also enabled me to understand the nature of art direction at a children’s book imprint. This experience not only helped me to understand how this industry works, but the nature of working and living in New York itself. I recommend this internship to anyone who is interested in both art direction and the publishing industry.

Sargent House

My name is Sara Sowell and I am a senior Video and Film Arts Major. I spent summer 2013 interning for Sargent House in Los Angeles, California. Knowing I had to complete an internship to graduate as a Video major, I spent my entire spring semester researching to find the best opportunity to grow as an
editor. I applied at multiple post-houses in Los Angeles; most of them were those who handled music videos.

I applied for more than 10 positions before I decided to email Sean Stout. Sean Stout is the founder of TerrorEyes TV, an online platform to watch really sick music videos and extremely talented bands play live sessions. Sean, amongst a few others, shoots and edits these videos. Most of his live sessions and music videos are of bands under the independent record label, Sargent House. I thought to myself, how amazing would it be if I could work under him? So I shot him an email telling him how much I admired his work and asked if he wanted an assistant in Los Angeles, for free. He replied the next day, “Hey! Sorry for the late reply, I almost completely spaced this... I actually live in NY now and am no longer working out of the Sargent house office in LA. They do still have video people if you wanted to email and tell em I sent you I'm sure they would love totake on a video intern as I am pretty sure there aren't any right now..."

Cathy emailed me back within a few days. After a phone interview and sharing with her my work, I was hired immediately. Sargent House is an independent record and management label with an amazing curation of bands, including Tera Melos, Omar Rodriguez Lopez & Bosnian Rainbows, Russian Circles, Chelsea Wolfe, and so many others. In each artist represented I find an unbeatable sense of originality and sense of innovation in the independent music industry. Iʼve been obsessed with this record label since high school, so you could only imagine my excitement.

There are a total of 4 employees and two management interns at Sargent House (excluding myself). My editing suite was a MAC desktop on the first floor of Cathyʼs house on Sargent Place in Echo Park, Los Angeles. Caitlyn worked in the same office as me while Cathy worked upstairs in her office. My direct supervisor was Caitlyn, the day-to-day manager, although I would go to Cathy to receive information on projects she wanted me to work on. In addition to the videos I would edit for Cathy, Caitlyn would give me very small design assignments every day, like making download cards for albums in vinyl, and touching up t-shirt designs. If I had any questions, I would tend to ask Caitlyn for her advice before Cathy.

My responsibilities in terms of video production were solely editing. There are other videographers who work under Sargent House, but they were all aways shooting things over the summer or touring with bands. This left me with all the footage an editor could dream of. I mostly worked on videos that ideally would have been created months prior to my arrival. I synched up a few live sessions with studio recordings and cut between cameras and edited teasers for tours. My two biggest projects were to start the beginnings of a Tera Melos tour documentary and edit a music video for Chelsea Wolfe shot in the Californian desert. These two projects were huge accomplishments as a growing editor and what Iʼm most proud of. While editing the Tera Melos documentary, I had the opportunity to pull selects with John, the drummer, which allowed me to gain insight working directly with a client. It was pretty cool to say the least.

My biggest take-away from this experience was to never settle for something Iʼm
not passionate about, and to use my age and will to work for free (for now) to
work with the artists I admire.


My name is Sin Yi (Cherry) Lau and I run the MICA Ingredient Club, and I found this internship opportunity through a fellow MICA club leader, Daphne Taranto, who runs the WTB (Why The Beef?) Club here. WTB is a club that syncs RISD and MICA through a collaboratively published zine. I catered the launch party for their fourth issue. Daphne and I got to know each other better and she mentioned that her brother, Nick Taranto, cofounded Plated and they are currently looking for interns for the Summer in NYC. Seeing this as the perfect opportunity, I asked her and she gladly contacted the company to see if there was any slots open for me. Three weeks later I was on the phone with Nimmi, the chief marketing director, who would become my supervisor for this summer.

Plated delivers all the ingredients, in exact measurement, to create a chef-crafted and tested meal that you get to choose online. The menu is updated every week and delivers once a week. So for example, there could be a cookbook published chef who would do a recipe from their book and we would feature it on a certain week. The customer would pick how many plates of the dish they'd like to make and Plated will send out all the produce, spices and meats to make it happen. My responsibilities throughout the entire internship involved mainly on social media. I set up  Plated's Tumblr, Flickr and StumbleUpon as means to pull traffic to the main blog, which is connected to our website. Because Plated is such a tech based company (as many start-ups are today), taking care to utilizing as many of these online outlets are possible are a very underestimated responsibility. My favorite part about this job was getting to cook with the boxes and meals I chose and experience what the customer will experience. I love cooking, and so even though it doesn't really relate with what I did at the office, trying it out at home encouraged me to explore further in my own cooking.

I feel like my biggest take-away and thing that I learned was that I really don't want to be stuck
at an office all day. I was really into the food and the photography aspects of the company, and wished I could have been doing that instead. However I lacked the experience and nothing was really open for
me to do that at the time. They already had a photographer and the test-kitchen seemed like a whole
different thing from the office work. As grateful as I am that I finally got myself involved in a food related internship, I really wanted to be on the hands-on end. I've in this way learned that for my next
internship I will definitely strive for that. Overall, working for Plated made me realize how big of a market food has in the world, how relatable, timeless and profitable it is. Working here gave me bigger confidence in seeing myself working in a career that will be food-centric in the future.

Peter Lucas

My name is Will Schorre and I am Junior Interdisciplinary Sculpture Major with a Sound concentration. Over the summer of 2013, I was an intern for Houston based Film and Video Artist and independent curator, Peter Lucas. I assisted Peter with many Curatorial projects as well as his own art projects. I was introduced to Peter a few years ago when he was working at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. I helped him with some sound work for an installation at the Lawndale Arts Center last summer so I contacted him about having me as an intern this summer and he agreed.

            Working for Peter, I helped with his curatorial projects, I researched films for Jazz on Film, a month long series of screenings at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. I helped Peter search for films to screen at ByDesign, a series in conjunction with the Northwest Film Forum which inspects the intersection of design and video. I helped Peter organize content for a portfolio website and helped with Foley sound work and Creating a soundtrack for “Unearthlings” an 8mm film Peter is creating.


 While assisting with Peters projects we also talked a lot about the history of cinema and the topics of the films he was screening or planning to screen. I value the knowledge I gained from talking to Peter about film and video and what it means to put together a cohesive set of films for a series.

Metropolis Magazine

My name is Nicolas Kubail Kalousdian and I am a Graphic Design major. During the entirety of spring semester I was researching potential studios and organizations I could complete an internship at. I wanted to keep this internship focused in publication, since my last was focused in advertising: this narrowed my options down quite a bit. I have always been a fan of architecture, so I decided to combine my interests and sent out an email to the art director of Metropolis Magazine. Metropolis Magazine is a monthly publication focused on the “convergence of architecture, design and culture”.

As soon as I arrived I was integrated into the design process of the next month’s issue. I had two supervisors, DJ the art director, and Ho-Mui the assistant art director, that came to trust me within a few days, and treated me like any of the other employees not long after that. I was put in charge of designing the spreads for one of the features, Meet The Mayors – Six nimble decision makers, as well as helping out with tasks such as cleaning up existing templates, checking proofs for colour corrections, and stylizing smaller parts of the upcoming issue (table of contents, contributors page, etc).

I am certainly most proud of having my name printed in an internationally known publication, and having thousands of people looking at my design. On the other hand, the most important learning experience I had came from the production crew: they walked me through the whole process from design to sending the files to the printer to be mass produced. Unfortunately, this rewarding experience ends in a sad note: I no longer wish to be a designer for an existing magazine. I found that the creative possibilities are too constricting and responsibilities almost negligible. This fall semester I will be interning for Abbott Miller at his Pentagram office in Baltimore. Pentagram is a studio that has broader endeavors and encompasses more fields of design, and I hope to find my calling there.

Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM)

My name is Samantha Grassi, I’m a Junior Painting Major. However, after taking Intro to
Curatorial Practice, I realized that a career within a museum environment would be a fulfilling
and, in my eyes, very practical use of my painting degree. This summer, I was the Exhibits Intern at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM). Originally, I was interested in an internship at the Hirshhorn, so I began that application process. To apply for any fellowships or internships with any Smithsonian institution, you must apply through SOLAA (the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System). This is where I found out about the SAAM internship, as they have a page dedicated to Smithsonian internship opportunities. The SAAM Summer Internship Program is designed for students interested in working in a museum who have not yet built up a resume in the field. I decided to apply at the last minute, despite that I had never been to the museum before. And I am so glad that I did! Even though I found out about the position late, I worked hard on my application, and submitted all of the required materials (a statement, resume, letters of recommendation, and I included a business card to give them the opportunity to view my portfolio). Months later, I received a phone call by the Internship Coordinator, Judith Houston Hollomon, offering me a position as the Exhibits intern! I originally applied for a position in the Curatorial department, because after taking Intro to Curatorial Practice, I thought that would be the “right” department for me. But after viewing my portfolio, Judith sent my application the Exhibits department's way because she knew that I would be a much better fit for that department. Thankfully, the department felt the same. I am so grateful Judith knew enough to put me in Exhibits!

At SAAM, I worked predominately with Sara Gray, the Exhibition Assistant. But everyone within the department- even within the museum- works so closely together, that to say I only worked with one person is a dramatic understatement of my experience. I was lucky enough to work directly side by side with David Gleeson, the Senior Exhibition Designer; Claire Larkin, the Chief of Exhibits; Grace Lopez, the Graphic Designer; and even with members of the Curatorial department (like the Chief Curator and her curatorial assistants). I was immediately taught how to use TMS (The Museum System) and AutoCAD- two programs avidly used by the exhibition designers. My experience within Exhibits was extremely hands-on and visually oriented, which was something I truly appreciate being a painting major. I was responsible for making maquettes, elevations, and layouts on AutoCAD, checklists on Excel, and object packages on TMS. I also made labels as well as weeded and prepared vinyl lettering, which I then installed in the galleries for both the Democracy of Images and Landscapes in Passing shows. By far my favorite part of the internship was being able to “critique” the layouts with the designers, as well as the art works themselves. One of the steps within the development of an exhibition is viewing the works in person one by one with a checklist, and making notes on its condition, dimensions, color, etc. It was so amazing to be able to help make “compositional” decisions of the space- what goes well with what, what doesn’t, etc. We were able to talk about the pieces as elements of an even larger work- the exhibition. And the biggest plus was being able to see the works outside of the context of the museum, on their own, without any visitors around.

Interning at SAAM was such a priceless experience. I loved everything I did there, and it made me feel so much better about being able to get a job with my BFA. (Claire, the Chief of Exhibits, is a MICA alumna and over coffee we chatted about how to advance my career as an exhibition designer.) This internship was not only a resume builder, it was a giant learning experience. I learned so much about exhibition design, curatorial practice, museum studies, art history, the list goes on. I made great professional contacts, some who have also become good friends. And the best part is, Claire asked me to stay on for the following year (fall ’13 to spring’14) to take on the designing of a three-gallery wide exhibition. What more could I ask for!

Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET)

My name is Robert Soto and I am an Illustration major. At the start of the spring semester of 2013 I was hunting for an internship with a scientific institution. I was determined to get experience working withscientists of any kind to produce illustrations that would tell me if I had what ittakes to make Paleo reconstructions for a living. After a few weeks of emailingvarious parks and institutions with no luck I spoke to a professor of mine who hadtold us that he started out doing nature illustrations for a Marine research lab here in Maryland. I asked if could point me in the right direction for an internship or make an introduction and within a few days I had a meeting with Dr. Al Place at IMET and was given the opportunity to be the first scientific illustration intern they have had. I was hired before I even walked through the door, Al had a lot of respect for my professor work and knew the advantages to having a scientific illustrator on the team.

The Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) is a joint University of Maryland institute that draws form the scientific community in Maryland. The scientists at IMET conduct marine and environmental research to create technologies designed protect and restore coastal marine systems and their watersheds as well as sustainable use of their resources and improvement of human health. The projects I was involved in had to do with assessing the health of a specific ecosystem as well as marine biomedicine.

I was very proud to be able to produce an illustration diagraming the digestive system of an Atlantic Menhaden, which did not exist previously. I was given the chance to go on a sample collection trip with a team out into the Chesapeake Bay to observe how they collect specimens and data. Because the internship was designed by myself, it was up to me to find the projects that could benefit from a professional illustration. I was given opportunities and resources but it was up to me to make something of my time there and benefit from being around working biologists.

This internship with IMET was more beneficial to my career then I ever imagined. I was not only given the chance to produce illustrations that were used in papers and presentations but made contacts in scientific and artistic circles. It was exactly the kind of hands on experience I was looking for. I grew as an artist and developed a discipline for research and the study of specimens living and dead. Being an intern at IMET has confirmed my eagerness to work in the Scientific Illustration industry, tested my resolve and work ethic and rewarded my efforts with the foundation of a real career. This internship gave me confidence and showed
me a successful, professional version of myself.