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

Friday, June 13, 2014

Baltimore City Paper

My name is Helgi Olgeirsson and I am a Photography major. Being the media addict that I am, I first got wind of the CityPaper when reading and comparing papers shortly after moving here, it was there for no wonder that I jumped at the first opportunity to see a MICA talk by its staff photographers Joe Giordano. After his talk I approached him and asked him about Internship opportunities this coming semester and stated my interested, I must have typed his email in wrong for he never responded to my first email and 2 weeks later Nate, my photo teacher forwards me an email where Joe had been asking to get in touch with me regarding an Internship.

Everything got Ironed out and I started my internship in February, then the paper was operating in the
old building, a cozy townhouse where every corner and closet had been turned into an office or and I
could have sworn that one office still had the bathroom tiles and mirror on the wall.

The City Paper is a small but tight knitted organization and everything is extremely personal, the close working quarters make for interesting employ conversations and email memos were nowhere as
frequently used as one would assume.

It was there for a strange feeling when one morning I walked in to learn that we had been bought out by Tribune, the owners of the Baltimore Sun and we were leaving the building moving to the Sun building within two weeks. But now the entire CityPaper was fitted within one newsroom and people were even closer and working even more efficiently then before and after having it confirmed that the new owners would not try to influence our content this buyout turned out to be a great thing.

My Boss was Joe Giordano, the staff photographer; his unique style is from my perspective as important to the paper as anything else. He also oversees the online media galleries and has taught me that a photographer cannot just be a photographer anymore, we need to be multitasking media machines capable of working audio, video and photo and preferably write and edit as well.

I am proud of my work for the paper and every picture published be it online or in print with my name as a “byline” brings a smile to my face, having had the privilege of working side by side with great writers and editors to create a full page story with a large image by me is even better, there is just something about being allowed to be a part of the entire process.

My time at the CityPaper has been great and it’s only confirmed what I knew already about my future that I want to work as a photojournalist and I believe the connections and the skills I acquired there have and will help me in my future.


           My name is Chris Fortney and I am a Senior Painting Major. I found out about the internship opportunity with GKV through my Dad. He manages at a manufacturing plant in Baltimore, and the guy who used to own the place is friends with the CEO of GKV, Robert Grey. They communicated with each other on my behalf, and then an interview was set with one of the head Creative Directors. I met Roger after the interview, and he offered me the internship with GKV.

GKV is a full-on advertising firm that handles everything for their clients, from the conception of an idea to it’s completion in any media. My direct supervisors were the digital art directors, and I worked closest with Brent Williams. His role is to translate the ad campaigns into digital advertisements for web and smartphone application. I was responsible for a lot of leg work, because much of the digital side of design happens in multiples. There may be a single ad that says the same thing, but it needs to be built five different times at different sizes, resolutions and with slight variations. I was given creative freedom where I could take it, and mostly worked at the computer with Photoshop creating or editing designs.
I’m proud of a lot of the work that I did at GKV! I think I was able to complete my end of the projects quickly enough, and I became close with Brent in the process. I’ve taken a lot away from GKV, and have learned through discussions with Brent a lot of creative strategies to finding a job as a graphic designer. In a way, it really has clarified my goals for a career outside of fine art. 

Nathan’s Forge

My name is Caroline Kable and I am a Senior Environmental Design Major with an emphasis in object design. Over the winter/spring months I worked for Nick Vincent at Nathan’s Forge in Westminster, Maryland blacksmithing. Last year I took a year off and took a community college course where I became interested in metal work. I did some bronze casting and welding which was more of an introduction to metal as a medium than a thorough understanding of it. I decided to further my knowledge in the field and heard about Nick who has a shop near my parents. He was interested in taking an intern so we very quickly got to work.

We worked every day starting at 8am over my winter break until 3 or 4 pm typically. Nick works alone so everything I learned he taught me. Starting off I had to learn the basics. I began by hand forging hooks which turned out to be a lot tougher than it looks. Working with a hammer and hot metal takes a great amount of practice to build up the strength and muscle memory to have consistent strong hits where you want them to be. Learning to use the forge and heat the metal was really interesting. I learned about properties of steel and part of the processes it goes through before we would purchase it. Nick doesn’t do too much of the traditional forging work but put me in touch with some that do at the Farm Museum in Westminster.

It turned out that I quickly got better at welding than Nick, so I did a lot of welding work which I was very excited about. I got to use both a TIG and MIG welder. It worked out well since I am only slightly interested in hand forging and more interested in larger metal fabrication such as furniture and functional objects that don’t really utilize hand forging other than for decoration/ornament. I learned to make parts for a large variety of objects such as lamps to napkin holders to a large variety of hooks and hinges. I learned a great deal about how to manipulate metal and have become very comfortable with it as a medium. Nick has asked me to come back and work for him as an employee this summer.

Overall it was a great experience and I hope to further my skills with metal. I also am excited to be able to have time to create my own work since Nick allows me access to the shop.

Maryland SPCA

My name is Leigh Rogers and I am a Photography major. I saw this internship opportunity on the Maryland SPCA’s website, under their volunteer section. I am an active foster kitten parent with the Maryland SPCA since September 2012, and I started volunteering at the shelter in January. I emailed my resume and cover letter to the Foster and Volunteer Coordinator, Rae Borsetti. Rae is whom I’m in contact with when I have foster kittens; it’s important to tell her what the kittens’ weights are and track their progress and alert any concerns I have about the kittens’ health. I already knew Rae really well, and she knows me. I emailed her my materials and within 30 minutes she responds giving me the position! We already knew each other so well that I didn’t even have an interview for the position! She has seen my photography before so she was even just as excited as me to have me intern there.

The Maryland SPCA is located in the Hampden neighborhood in Baltimore. Founded in 1869, they are a privately funded no-kill animal shelter that supports dogs
and cats. They receive no money from the government or from the ASPCA. Donations are extremely important to their success. They are dedicated to helping the community and the animals. The Maryland SPCA is a shelter for animals while they wait to be adopted, but also offer low-cost spay and neuter procedures for the community’s pets and also multiple types of dog (and even cat!) training and behavior classes.

I was the photography and media intern. Photographs of adoptable animals on the website are done by volunteers, but I did the retakes of those animals if the initial images weren’t the best or if that animal needs an extra boost of attention to get adopted. I also created videos of long-timer animals to get more attention for them and also to inform potential adopters more about this animal’s personality. These videos were shared on the Maryland SPCA Facebook page. Rae Borsetti was my supervisor, but I also collaborated with Tina Regester and Bailey Deacon, the Communications Director and Creative Director respectively. Tina and Bailey are responsible for all things visual, so I’d often answer to them with projects that need to be photographed. For example, Tina would ask me to “go to exam and photograph three kittens with an eye infection for a ‘before’ picture before they are treated.” (Before and after photos are useful to show to donors how their contributions directly helped the animals.) Publications are a very important part of my internship as well. Whenever there’s a new newsletter or new event to promote, Bailey uses animal photos taken by me or other volunteers to incorporate them into the graphic design. The highlight of my internship was when I photographed a lovely, sweet eight-year-old pit bull named Kush, and then my image of her was used on their quarterly newsletter! I’ve also seen my images on the PawTalk monthly newsletter and on the banner on the front page of the website. I also add my animal photos directly to the website myself and I always have a great sense of accomplishment and pride in seeing them there.

The biggest take away from this experience was seeing how non-artist people and this company view photography and what use it has to them. I already know how to photograph. I learned that from practice and from being at MICA, but to see the “real world” application of how my skills can be utilized is really important for me to see. This internship is the answer to how I can use photography to do something I really love. It
was interesting to see how the Maryland SPCA responds to images versus how MICA responds. Last semester I documented and photographed my foster kittens’ lives and classmates warned me to not get “too cute.” At the Maryland SPCA, cute is really, really embraced because cute is what gets attention and it’s universal for their audience. The most important thing that I learned is how photography saves their lives. It’s so much fun to go out on a walk with a dog to take pictures, but there’s an intense seriousness about the subject as well. On numerous occasions now, I photographed dogs that in the next following days got adopted and the adopter mentions how they “fell in love with the dog from the picture.” It honestly brings tears to my eyes that I connected an adopter to their new best friend; someone they wouldn’t have made the trip to the shelter if it weren’t for the photograph I took. I have adopted two cats from animal shelters so I
know how it feels. Granted, the Maryland SPCA is a no-kill shelter so the dogs stay until
they are adopted, but it means the world to that dog that gets to go home.

This internship solidified my career goals. I want to do something like this, somewhere and anywhere. I was talking to Tina (Communications Director) about pushing the promotions further and new ideas such as starting an Instagram account, and she said she simply doesn’t have the man power to do things like that. It is not the Maryland SPCA’s funds to hire someone like me to do this. I was really disappointed but one of the women I talked to for my informational interview said “if they don’t have the funds, they just don’t. “ But it’s important to still volunteer there and help out in any way you can.” It takes a lot of money to run a shelter and even though photography is
incredibly important, they’ll typically tap into their volunteer base before paying anyone
so the money can go to somewhere else. So like I said, I want to do this somewhere that will hire me to do it. I also want to have my own animal photography business to give my services to non-shelter animals as well. This internship was beyond amazing for me and I am so grateful that I could be a part of it. Even though my internship is
over, I’ll be there at the Maryland SPCA photographing at every opportunity I have.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Globe Collection & Press

My name is Richelle Vargas and I am a junior Interactive Arts major as well as an  MAT student. During the 2014 spring semester, I interned with the Globe Collection & Press at MICA. The initial driving motivation to apply to the internship was to have it count as my printmaking pre-requisite for the MAT program, and I thought what better way to learn letterpress than to learn it from a historical company. In 2011, MICA bought the Globe Poster Printing Corporation’s Collection, which was established in 1929, after it closed its doors in 2010. Globe represents an important piece of Baltimore’s entertainment history as they printed posters for drag races, burlesque shows, carnivals, go-go acts, and R&B, soul, and jazz performers. The Collection is now housed in the letterpress studio in the Dolphin Building. Globe Collection & Press at MICA aims to preserve the collection and have Globe’s style and name live on.

I discovered the internship opportunity early in the fall semester after seeing the brightly colored and bold type posters displayed around campus. I attended the info session and discovered more reasons I wanted to be a part of Globe, such as learning a tactile form of graphic design and helping in the preservation of a historical company.

My direct supervisor was Allison Fisher. As a part of the Friends of Globe, a group of MICA students fighting for Globe’s preservation, Allison directly helped persuade MICA to acquire Globe’s collection in her senior year. As well as being used for letterpress classes, the collection lives on as an active press. Globe Collection & Press continues to make posters for events and for private clients too.

During my internship I worked on several client projects like the Lazarus Legacy poster, the Exhibition Development Seminar’s Workin’ The Tease Burlesque posters, a wedding invitation poster, and a poster for the Neighborhood Design Center. In addition, I also worked on projects for Globe such as Globe style Valentine’s Day cards and Globe style recipe cards. My role in each of these projects varied but I was able to experience the whole process of making posters for a client from beginning to end. A few things I had a hand in, for example, were setting type, preparing a form
for printing, working the presses, and screenprinting.

I am most proud of the collaborative project my partner, Hana, and I completed as well as the keen eye for quality I developed. We designed eight recipe card designs with accompanying food category cards and then screenprinted and letterpressed them. These will now be sold on Globe’s Etsy. It is so great to see the cards outside of the computer screen and finally completed after all the hours and physical labor we invested into them. There is also a sense of pride in being able to say that we made them with our own hands and made a high quality product. The sense of graphic design that I gained from this experience will benefit any interactive arts I make, especially my web based works. I also developed a more disciplined work style that I can bring into my teaching practice. As an intern, I was working as part of a team to make work that represented a whole company, so the quality and amount of work I helped produced needed to be top notch. As a teacher, I will work with a team
within my department to provide a rich education for our students.