During this fall semester, I have been working as a graphic design intern at the DSA Marketing & Communications office at Florida State University. In my position, I have assisted with design concepts for different departments on campus, learned project planning and management as well as the essential details of all that goes into the production of various promotional materials. Working in this office has taught me what it’s like to work in a professional yet creative environment.
Many projects we work on at the office are marketing campaigns, logos, branding and t-shirt designs. Whilst working on these projects, I have refined my skills in Adobe Creative Cloud. In the beginning, I was only familiar with basic tools in these programs, but now I can say that I feel very comfortable with them, allowing me to work at a more productive pace.
One aspect of the job that I find to be immensely beneficial to my development is that at many times we are working as a team. Working in a collaborative environment with others has taught me how sharing ideas can make a project more successful. Not only has this created lasting relationships with coworkers, but it has created an environment in which I feel comfortable asking for help to understand certain facets of the job (for example, not knowing how to use a program to your benefit). Instead of being reluctant to ask for help, I feel as though my coworkers are happy to aid in my success. Additionally, many of those I work with are involved in the local graphic design community here in Tallahassee and are always encouraging interns to get involved with events. This networking has allowed me to become familiar with those in the local industry.
My supervisors allow me to partake in certain responsibilities such as contacting clients directly, which has allowed me to become familiar with the dialogue and feedback that is essential in professional communication. Something I’ve found challenging though is that clients sometimes request dozens of small changes. This may not have been my favorite part of the job but I am happy to have experienced it because communication is essential in the ultimate outcome.
Throughout my time at DSA Marketing & Communications I have learned to receive constructive feedback on my work. In many cases, I am assigned a certain task, whether it’s sketching a logo or figuring out a design solution, and after some time I approach my supervisors for feedback. We then discuss certain ideas and how they can be improved. This approach has taught me a lot about the creative process and the evolution of a piece.
This internship has given me a taste of what it’s like working in the graphic design field and I am grateful to have had this experience. After graduation, I plan to apply to a graphic design firm in Boston, Massachusetts that will hopefully approach projects similar to that of DSA Marketing & Communications.