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FSU Art BA ‘15 Ashley Christman Interns at Wilderness Graphics

Published March 11, 2015
Conference room and offices at Wilderness Graphics

Conference room and offices at Wilderness Graphics

This spring I have landed a graphic design internship with a local company called Wilderness Graphics. They’re known for completing custom projects, exhibits, and signage across the country and are a full-service firm that works with clients from concept design all the way to production and installation. Whether it be an entire museum exhibit fabrication or a simple wall sign, their work can be seen everywhere from the Bahamas to right here in Tallahassee.

Each day at Wilderness Graphics is always something new. With so many clients coming in, the job requires a lot of multitasking and responsiveness to deadlines. Part of what made this challenging for me is that my past internship and experiences have, for the most part, been in-house. Wilderness Graphics functions somewhat like an agency working with many different people at the same time and submitting proposals to bid for jobs. Balancing this work situation with schoolwork definitely requires a lot of time management and dedication. However, I would, without a doubt, recommend other students to intern with Wilderness Graphics for experience in graphic design, interior design, fabrication, and more.

With the company covering such a broad spectrum of project types, jumping into the internship was a bit overwhelming and I had some goals to set for myself. Although it is only half way through the semester and these goals are still in progress, I definitely feel that I have made a good head start on accomplishing them. What I first wanted to do was establish strong connections with my supervisors and coworkers who will be helpful resources in my future job search. Despite being halfway through, I feel the work I am doing and the relationships I am building will be very positive reference points for me.

My second goal was to expand my experience to areas other than just graphic design for standard print and digital media. In order to fully adjust to working at Wilderness Graphics, I had to become more familiar with the out of the box products and projects that may get sent my way. I was thrown out of my comfort zone right away when my first day on the job required me to come up with a concept design for a full truck wrap for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend. Needless to say, I continue to stay on my toes with projects such as designing a cartoon character used as a visual aid for the Navarre Beach sea turtle conservancy exhibit, or conceptualizing an idea for an interactive marine debris exhibit in Alabama.

Lastly, I wanted to have a stronger and more concrete idea of the type of company I want to work for in the future. After completing in-house internships and working at Wilderness Graphics with multiple clients, my decision has been narrowed down. I thoroughly enjoy the subject matter of this internship and the fast-paced and exciting workload that it brings. Alternatively, I didn’t necessarily have a strong passion for the product of my past in-house intern work, but I did enjoy how it allowed me to hone in on a certain topic and work specifically for that entity. Interning at Wilderness Graphics has allowed me to realize that in the future, my dream would be a somewhat combination of my past experiences. I hope to work somewhere that functions in-house, but in a subject matter is both relevant and important to me. After graduation, I hope to find a career in graphic design that proves to be just as prosperous and rewarding as my internship with Wilderness Graphics.