Interning with the media team of the College of Fine Arts (CFA) here at the Florida State University has been an enormous growth experience in terms of professionalism and technical knowledge in the design field. As one of two interns working under Anna Prentiss and Denise Morrow, the Media Specialist and Web Developer for CFA, I have gained a world of insight into an important part the well-oiled machine that exists behind the curtain. The team handles tasks relating to print media, public relations and web design. From the user perspective, this equates to everything from postcards, flyers, catalogues, and other publications that the College puts out, to social media updates on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, to managing the College’s various websites and documenting events. In short, the media team shapes the face that CFA uses to communicate with students, faculty, and the community as a whole.
Being part of this process has also allowed me to develop and utilize design skills in real world projects. My responsibilities as an intern include keeping social media pages updated, implementing news blog submissions for the College of Fine Arts website, attending and photographing events, and taking part in print and web design projects. I have thoroughly enjoyed stretching my ability to communicate effectively via good design. Although the appearance of a webpage or even a mere icon may seem simple, its creation entails trial and error and attention to detail. This has been a challenge for me. As a BFA student in studio art with a focus in painting I love to get my hands dirty and play with the materiality of a medium. However, the process of creation in web design is very different. In order to design well, I have had to learn to think in this different medium that at first seems flat and sterile, but is also elegant in its simplicity. I hope to bring this new perspective to my painting. Whether someone is applying to this position from a traditional media or design heavy background, this internship will offer valuable experience.
Aside from design, students looking to apply for this internship should expect to learn a lot about cooperation and professionalism, as well as technical knowledge. For example, if you don’t know basic HTML, then expect to learn it, as well as some CSS thrown into the mix. Denise Morrow, the web developer and analyst, has been a wonderful mentor to me in my internship experience, and is constantly encouraging me to stay current with technological information. Not only is it helpful to be up to date with technology, especially in this digital age, it is a professional habit that employers look for.
This internship is a great opportunity for students to take part in the University community. Communications, design and photography related students would be most comfortable with this position, but I would recommend it to anyone wanting to get his or her foot in the door with a professional position that is geared toward active learning and growth.