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

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Africa Media

My name is Akanksha Patel and I am a Sophomore Photography major. During the Summer of 2013, I was a Wildlife and Adventure Photography intern for Africa Media, a company based in Mossel Bay, South Africa.

I had always wanted to do photograph wildlife in Africa. It was a dream from my childhood when I used to watch wildlife shows on television. This summer I got the time and opportunity to make it happen.

Shortly after my Christmas break when I returned back to college, just out of the blue one day I typed “Wildlife Photography Internships” into the search engine and voila! And that is how it was the beginning of my adventurous summer in South Africa. Quite a few links popped up and after researching thoroughly, the Africa Media program was not only the most interesting but close to what I had been dreaming of.

Taking this instantly as an opportunity to pursue further, I contacted them immediately to give me more information on how I could apply for the summer course. Africa Media sent me an overnight response, asking for my resume, portfolio and an essay describing myself and the reasons of my interest in photography.

After exchanging a few emails back and forth and giving them all the information and paperwork needed, I finally got my letter of acceptance from them. I just could not believe that my dream was going to be a reality.

I was accepted to be an intern for Africa Media at Oceans Campus for a month, I was chosen to be one of the six photography interns.

During the month long internship at Africa Media, our course included lots of adventurous learning. During the daytime we were going on shoots at various different locations and comeback at the end of the day to edit the pictures for clients.

Our shoots included Wildlife game drives, Landscapes, Underwater and Action Photography. All the locations that we visited, we got the opportunity to take pictures of the wildlife in action for our clients or probable clients of the locations. Everyday was a new and exciting experience that I will savor for a long time. While we were taking pictures, editing and designing for Africa media we also built our own portfolio.

The various locations included game drives, aquariums, animal shelters/rescues, bird sanctuary, pool shoots, cage diving with the sharks and walking with the lions, cheetahs and elephants.

I am happy that I visited a new country on my own and was around people who share the same interests as I do. Working with Africa Media gave me an insight to how the photography world works. It’s all about networking and getting your work out into the public. I learnt a lot about the field and how it works. This internship gave me a good jump-start for what I want to do in my field not necessarily wildlife or adventure photography. I am happy that I planned to go before my sophomore year before I startedfocusing on my major. I am now clear as to what my goals are and what I should focus on.I would say, for me, this was the most enjoyable summer experience and a learning one at that, to enhance my photography studies at MICA. 


This summer 2013 I worked at a design firm in Colombia. A friend of my mother mentioned that she knew of a design firm that did very well gave me their website. I got in contact with the director Jorge Zambrano, I sent him my portfolio and resume and I was accepted to intern. It was very important for me that I intern in another country in a different language so that I could apply everything I’ve learned at MICA in a completley different setting. Surreal is a design firm in Bogota that focuses on branding, spacial design, web, and everything in between. At first it was difficult to get used to, as I have never been formally educated in graphic design in Spanish. However just a few days in I started adjusting to the terminologies and client interactions. I worked everyday from 9-6 and during my stay I met several clients, some of which came to the office and others which my director and I went to visit. From day one I definatly felt like part of the team and I was introduced and put to work on many cool projects. Clients ranged from museums needing logos and design for exhibition spaces, Panela (raw sugar) export companies needing identity and packaging, to government social improvment campaigns needing an identity.

Apart from learning a lot about client relationships and professional skills, one of the most memorable experiences I had was to go behind the scenes of a well known museum here in
Colombia to see anchient pre-Colombian artifacts that were carefully being kept and prepared for exhibition. Some of the pieces were so old they probably wont get to see the light of day, I felt so fortunate! From this we were able to get ideas and inspiration for the design direction for the exhibition.

My director pushed me to be as creative as possible. He lent me several books, showed me cool artists, websites and videos daily. I was given a lot of creative liberty to be as imaginative and abstract as I wanted to. Everyone on the team was wonderful and happy to explain any questions I had. I’ll be leaving Colombia with a much better understanding of what it's like to work in a professional environment handling several projects (and clients! ) at a time. This experience truly increased my confidence as a designer and I cannot wait to start my senior year with all this new inspiration! 

Seidenfaden Design Copenhagen

My name is Virginia Yu. I’m a senior environmental design major with a graphic design concentration. During the summer before my senior year, I interned at Seidenfaden Design Copenhagen. It all started when I left in January 2013 to study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. After a month of living in Denmark, I fell in love with the country and I knew I wanted to extend my stay. That’s when the idea of an internship came to mind. The school I studied at was the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. They had a website that specialized in finding internships all around the world, it was called . After a month of searching and scheduling interviews, I was hired by Seidenfaden Design Copenhagen as a graphic design intern. 

I worked under the company’s graphic designer, Wakana Sakihama. Seidenfaden Design Copenhagen is an international design studio that specializes in industrial design and graphic design. They focus mostly on household and lifestyle products as well as packaging and branding. I was surprised at how much freedom and control the company gave me. I thought I wouldn’t have as much involvement as an intern but it turns out they were willing to completely let me be in charge of certain assignments. One project for instance, was Magasin. Magasin is a huge mall chain in Denmark. It can be compared to Printemps or Galeries Lafayette in France. Magasin plans on creating a convenience food line. They plan on selling sandwiches, salads and any other type of quick to go foods. I was in charge of designing the packaging for these types of food. Another project I did was recreating the packaging for “Little Sun” which is a rechargeable sun lamp designed by Olafur Eliasson. These lamps are mostly used in Africa and other various third world countries where light is limited. Aside from packaging, I worked on branding projects as well such as Ishuset Christianshavn, an ice cream shop that recently opened in the summer. I worked with Wakana on the logos, interior signs and the color scheme for the shop. I think out of all the projects, I would say the packaging ones were the ones I was most proud of. Those were the most challenging but at the final outcome I was pleased with what I had come up with. My biggest take-away from this experience was learning about office etiquette, how to present myself and my work, how to interact with clients as well as improving my skills in the adobe suite. I think the most important thing I learned is that there will be times you will screw up or you will have to clean up someone’s mess, but at the end of the day, if you’re pursuing something you love doing, those hours at work won’t seem so long after all. This internship has definitely clarified a lot for me. Aside from wanting to pursue a career in graphic design, I want to relocate to Denmark for a few years after graduation. My internship has inspired me to take more graphic design classes, meeting a concentration’s requirements is merely not enough. 

LDO Photography

My name is Jack Sorokin and I am a junior photography major, from South Orange, New Jersey. Over the summer of 2013 I worked with photographer, Laura DeSantis Olsson at her company,
 LDO Photography. I began my internship in July, 2013 and ended it the same month, by working 5-6 days a week with Laura for 6 – 14 hours at a time. I choose this schedule collaboratively with her to maximize my educational experience.

During my internship I assisted Laura by shooting and being a second hand on shoots with such clients as, Glass Mansion, BroLab Collective at the Bronx Museum, Bangz Hair Salon, Architek Studios, and many others. We also storyboarded, produced, and shot a music video for musician, Lauren Marsh. I really enjoyed the opportunity to shoot along with Laura and assist her on this project, because it not only opened my eyes up to the possibility of freelance work available, but also let me observe Laura as a businesswoman. She is extremely good at networking and opening up opportunities for work out of any situation, and was always more than happy to explain to me why she made the business decisions and conversational choices, she did.

Laura also went out of her way to take me to museum and gallery shows, as well as other artist’s studios. I greatly appreciate her willingness to do this and pay for me to go. We went to MOMA PS1 and the Rain Room show at MOMA. We left at 5am and were in line for four and a half hours so we could get into the exhibition due to high demand and long lines. She was extremely dedicated to my internship being an educational experience. Her energy and passion really shined through in her teaching and love for photography. Out of the two previous internships I have done before, I found this internship to be the most educationally beneficial, inspiring, fun, and exciting internship I have ever done.