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! 

Top Shelf Design

My name is Anny Lai and I’m a Senior Graphic Design major at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). I spent my summer (2013) as a graphic design intern at a small company called Top Shelf Design. I found this opportunity through a friend who has interned for them in the past and encouraged me to send in my resume for an intern position. I was thrilled to be contacted by their Internship director, Michellanne for an interview.

Top Shelf was originally located in Washington DC, but later expanded to two other locations in South Carolina and Arlington, Virginia. Their company deals with mostly print and web design, namely collateral packages, infographics, illustrations, and websites. My supervisor was Michellanne, a full time graphic designer at TSD and the director of the internship program. My responsibilities as an intern included initial concept designs that were later discussed with the design team before sending to the client, and carrying out edits and revisions to on-going projects using the Adobe software programs.

This was my first internship working in a graphic design company, so it was an exciting and rewarding experience. I was able to contribute to the team’s design process and understand their weekly routines, such as interview meetings with clients, team brainstorming, edit rounds, and finalizing projects. I think part of this great experience was due to TSD’s designers, who were all very motivated to do their best, which I found inspiring and proud to be a part of. It was also interesting to see the different design aesthetics and styles from different designers and how they collaborated to put their ideas into client projects. My biggest takeaway as an intern is to always take advantage of being part of a team who can support one another through creativity and give constructive feedback. My time at TSD has definitely helped solidify my aspiration to become a full time graphic designer. I was grateful to have the chance to work on so many projects dealing with many different realms; from packaging design to web design—it has motivated me to continue learning and broaden my experiences.

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 www.discareergate.dk . 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. 

Marvel Entertainment

My name is Niki Sauter and I am a Junior Illustration student. Over the summer of 2013 I interned for Marvel Entertainment. I found out about the Digital Comics internship for Marvel through a friend. I secured this internship through two interviews. My first interview was with the Executive Editor of Publishing, Dan Buckley, and my second interview was with my supervisor, Digital Comics Bull Pen Editor, Tim Smith. Both interviews were over the phone because I was at school here in Baltimore.

At Marvel I worked along side, Tim Smith, head of the Digital Comics Bull Pen and his team. With the team I created pdfs of the current books as well as older books that are being reformatted in the Galactus system. These pdfs are prepared books to be read on i-books, Kindle, and Nook. We had to go through each issue and make sure that it read properly and that all speech bubbles and art are contained in the guidelines of the systems. We also digitally composite each panel for the Marvel now app so that they can animate for readers on the screen. The main work that I did was panning and previewing issues to be put on the Marvel Now app. I also did a lot of work in Galactus reformatting The Amazing Spiderman series from 1963 as well as Fantastic Four 1961. I also picked certain images for the Dark tower and Stand series for preview books for July. The most involved projects that I worked on were mock up ads for The Invincible Iron Man and Agents of the S.H.E.I.L.D.

I am most proud of my work on the mock up ads. I went to Marvel not having a lot of experience with in-design and that is what was mainly used for these projects. I was proud that I could mix my Photoshop skills plus knowledge of illustration with in-design work.

My biggest take away from this whole experience is not to be afraid to put your work and yourself out there. Everyone knows how it feels to just be starting out and they are more than happy to give you tips and their own insights but you to ask for it. I gained great skills in communication from this experience as well as technical skills. I feel very lucky to have had this time at Marvel and can’t wait to apply what I’ve learned to my career. 


My name is Alexa Florio and I’m a Senior Graphic Design Major here at MICA. This past summer I was an Intern at Advanstar Fashion Group. Advanstar provides a powerful assortment of resources for the worldwide fashion industry. Advanstar hosts the worlds most comprehensive apparel, footwear, and accessories fashion retail tradeshows, Project New York, Project Las Vegas, and Magic Market Week. My uncle works with Advanstar and connected me with their Creative/Marketing Director Laila Schmutzler. I worked closely with Laila as well as the two in house Graphic Designers Joseph Cerutti and Amanda Rios to produce sales collateral, logos, exhibition collateral, web design and development, e newsletters, as well as brainstorming projects and marketing strategies. 

Most of my work at Advanstar was for Project New York, which I was able to attend in July. I assisted in designing advertisements, e mail blasts and signage surrounding the event, and was then able to attend the event to see all of my hard work in action! As I entered Pier 94 the morning of the opening day I was immediately greeted by the full scale beach scene and enormous “PROJECT” logo which I helped produce. The venue looked beautiful, and I was so proud to be a part of the excitement for the three days that I worked the event. The most important thing I am taking away from the experience is some real world experience working with professional designers as well as working with professionals from numerous other departments within the Advanstar offices. This experience has secured my confidence as a Graphic Designer and excites me to enter the real world as a young professional. I plan to stay in touch with all of the amazing people I met at Advanstar and ask for their input as I continue to narrow down my career path. I would love to work in the fashion Industry and I am excited to see what the future has in store for me! 

Venables Bell & Partners

During the spring semester I had been searching for internships for a while. One day, Brockett, the graphic design department chair and a previous teacher of mine, emailed me asking if I was looking for an internship this summer in San Francisco, because her old friend was looking for interns (I had asked Brockett before if she knew about opportunities in the SF Bay Area, where I’m from). She got me in contact with her friend, David, the recruiter at Venables Bell & Partners. I sent him my portfolio and we emailed back and forth for a little trying to arrange a skype interview. Our schedules kept conflicting, so eventually he just suggested we “interview” over email, and then informally told me that I had gotten the internship. I’m sure this all was possible without an interview only because he knew Brockett and got some sort of recommendation from her.

Venables Bell & Partners is an advertising agency in Downtown San Francisco. They do a wide range of advertisements, from commercials to print ads. They even have an in-house video production studio, as well as a sub-company that focuses on branding and customer experience.

Their design team is surprisingly small, consisting of only three people. My direct supervisor was Cris Logan. He is a design director. I actually didn’t end up working directly with the design team too much, especially during the second half of the internship, when I was getting assignments directly.

As far as responsibilities, I had a variety of things to work on, and thankfully most of it consisted of design-related work. It ranged from doing fluffy design work for the company, searching for stock images, comping advertisements into environments, editing photo-documentation of books, and eventually, taking on small design projects on my own for actual clients. In addition, there were five interns other than me, and throughout our internships we worked on an intern project, which involved coming up with a payment plan for Conoco Phillips that is targeted at Millennials.

I am probably most proud of my work for Health Builders, a non-profit that builds sustainable medical centers in Rwanda. My role was to apply the existing branding to a various business assets. I got to take ownership of this project, and it was more design- focused compared to some of the other projects I had worked on.

My biggest takeaway from this experience was that it’s important to do things that make you uncomfortable. Throughout the internship, I was pushed to do a lot of things that I didn’t know how to do, and work on a lot of designs that were a completely different style from what I would create on my own. As a result, I have learned a lot of skills and have opened up my design sensibilities. I have also learned through this internship that I am not that interested in advertising, mainly because design doesn’t take a big enough role in it. I would rather work in a design agency, where design is the focus. 

Walters Art Museum

Museums have always been a place of excitement and tranquility for me. I became interested in making the museum my workplace when I recognized the abundance of job and internship opportunities at museums and galleries in Baltimore city. I researched internships for the Walters Art Museum by looking on their website, and sent my application in for a position in the education department. In my interview, I talked about my classes in Art Education at MICA, and the experiences I had with teaching through CAP and my Critical Response class. I was thrilled when they hired me as the intern for the School Programs division in the Walters’ Education department.
                  School Programs manages and organizes tours and studio activities for school groups that visit the museum. Everybody in School Programs has their own specific job, but each employee also teaches and guides tours for the programs. There is a variety of themes with the tours and activities, including Ancient Egypt, The Age of Exploration, Animals in Art, Telling Stories, Medieval Manuscripts, and countless others. A couple teachers do “outreaches” to schools, where they make a visit to the classroom, and introduce a theme with an activity. After, the class makes a field trip to the museum, and participates in a tour about that theme. Following the tour, they do an art activity about the theme that they learned about. School Programs offers a great learning experience for students, integrating the classroom, history, art, the museum, and hands-on creativity, giving them a well-rounded lesson about art.
                  My supervisor was Brittany Powell, one of the Senior Education Coordinators in School Programs. She organizes the tours, makes outreach visits, guides tours, teaches the studios, and writes lesson plans. I worked at a desk in the big office, which Brittany and 3 other School Programs employees also worked in.  Brittany assigned me two big projects to complete over the summer. I designed a new tour/studio program for the theme “Elements of Art and Design.” Secondly, I digitized and categorized the curriculum and education resources of the department, so that they are now easily accessed information.

 For the Elements of Art and Design workshop, I made a list of ten objects and wrote a discussion script for the one-hour tour. I also wrote the lesson plan for the one-hour art studio. It took many weeks of editing and reviewing with the coordinators Brittany and Rebecca. Receiving feedback from them was incredibly useful because they had experience with leading the tours and studios. When it was finalized, Brittany added it to the lessons database, and scheduled the workshop to be taught in January. This made me feel very proud and confident of my work, that they believed it was on par with the other workshops, and it would be used in the future.
Rebecca gave me information about the Studio Internship Position opening for the 2013-14 school year. I applied for this position because it would give me experience in teaching and giving tours for School Programs, and I would be able to continue working at the Walters, an environment that I love. I like the idea of bringing students to the museum and showing them a new world of art. Thus, I am very excited to continue working and learning in museum education, and look forward to my career heading in that direction.

Everyman Theatre

My name is Kelsey Schneider and I’m a Senior General Fine arts Major with a Gender Studies Minor. Over the summer of 2013, I was the Marketing Intern at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland. Everyman Theatre is a professional theatre with a resident cast of actors from the Baltimore and D.C. area whose goal is to provide affordable, high quality theatre to all. I first became aware of Everyman because I lived near its old location, and then had it recommended to me by someone who works in the Box Office. I applied online and received a call from the Education Director, Marcus Kyd and set up interviews with the Development Department, the Managing Director, Production and finally with the Marketing Department, who offered me the position then. I worked under the Marketing Director Jon Waller and the Marketing and Press Manager Laura Weiss and kept weekly meeting with Marcus to discuss how the internship was going.

I was involved in many projects, including research about Experiential Tourism, prepared press kits, program inserts and subscriber ticket mailings, attended weekly staff meetings, took pictures at special events, assisted the Box Office with reseating patrons for the 2013-­‐14 season, archived press clippings, designed a program for the High School Summer Acting Intensive’s final performance and researched ways for Everyman to create ties with local colleges and encourage students to attend. I’m most proud of the program, because it encouraged the students of the intensive, and the effort to connect Everyman with MICA and other local schools, because I want to connect more people my age with the performing arts.

This experience has been wonderful and the biggest takeaway for me is the connections I have made with the people at Everyman. One important thing I learned is that involvement and connections within the theatre community are very valuable and that there is no one right path to a career in theatre. This experience has assured me that I definitely want to work in theatre, and that it is possible for me to do so.