Art + Design majors find that internships give them valuable career experiences and helps them develop a network of references. Below students reflect on recent internships
Amber Mills (’14), Design Department, Taft Law Firm, Indianapolis
“Through each of my internships, I’ve gained practical experience that helped to improve my craft, graphic design. Working at Taft further strengthened my ability in software such as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop as I was tasked daily with assignments requiring these programs. For example, in my time at Taft, I designed various marketing materials, paper and electronic event invitations, business cards, info graphics, announcements, advertisements, and firm news slides for the lobby televisions of Taft’s offices across the mid-west. In addition to my designer role at Taft, I was also given a glimpse into the marketing side of things. Along with the design pieces listed above, I worked with some data entry and organization utilizing Excel. In addition, I was given the opportunity to flex my research muscles to help Maria Porter (Butler Art + Design Alum ’11) my supervisor, be informed of the best practices on certain topics, compare pricing for marketing materials and staff incentive pieces, and investigating new design solutions. Finally, I was given the opportunity to work in the back-end of Taft’s website, growing my HTML knowledge. Overall, Taft’s leadership structure is what enabled me to learn at this capacity. From day one, I was invited to sit in on weekly marketing team meetings and encouraged to speak up with any ideas I might have to improve the firm’s current practices, as efficiency is key. Though split up among five states, Taft’s marketing team communicates effectively, making strides to keep each other up to date on current projects across the offices. This breeds a well-oiled machine. In addition, the level of confidence, both Maria and her boss Susan, had in me allowed me to take on larger projects most interns wouldn’t dream of. For example, during my first week, Maria allowed me to jump in on a branding project that had come up. As a result, I created business cards, stationary, envelopes, a branded folder, and internal ‘about us’ pages for one of Taft’s new partner companies, The Mid-American Regional Center or TMARC.
While designing each piece is fun and a learning experience in itself, the major reward is seeing each of them come to life and be used for practical purposes in the office and beyond. It makes me feel as though what I do matters. With graduation upon me, this realization solidifies the notion that I want to be a graphic designer, producing work that not only functions for me, but everyone who encounters it. Taft was a great experience that will serve as a stepping stone to my future design career.”
Taylor Sitorius (’15), Public Programs Department, Indianapolis Museum of Art
“One of my first large responsibilities was revamping how we engage visitors during Summer Nights, the 15 film Friday night series in the IMA’s outdoor amphitheater. Traditionally, visitors would enter the amphitheaters two hours early and would be responsible for entertaining themselves until the film. The summer, I was tasked with developing ideas to fill that time in ways that would create a community within the larger audience while enticing visitors to come back for the experience as a whole, not simply the film. For the film Peter Pan, an audience mainly of children, we created a large treasure hunt for the with maps, hidden treasure, and small prizes. We enhanced the atmosphere and included the whole audience by drawing a enormous version of the same map on the amphitheater floor. For Mean Girls, we used a photo booth so visitors could personalize “mug shots,”then uploaded the photos to Flickr for them to access. We also crowed sourced questions about our programs and the IMA in general with chalk on the amphitheater floor, gaining visitor insight into what’s been working and what has not”
“All summer school classes are under public programs. I contributed ideas for classes that would challenge students to think outside the box as well connect to the mission of the museum as a whole, to promote art and nature. I contributed ideas to create a series of camps. Wilderness Survival camp, a week of 100 acres focused activities where students learn about their natural environment, make art from found objects, and see how non-traditional artists from the IMA’s collection were inspired by nature. Conservation camp, focusing on art made with recycled materials, learning about the White River and how they as kids can live sustainably. Spy camp would encourage students to find and make secret messages in works of art. Obviously not all of my ideas were implemented, but the main benefit I had from helping with summer school classes was that I was able to experience a professional brainstorming session. I had the chance to contribute my ideas to a room of people who listened to them with as much respect and interest as the professional staff’s ideas.”
Brooke Dominguez (’16), Luckeyou Design Inc
“Over the course of my time with the company I learned so much about myself and improved tremendously on my knowledge and skills. When I first started out I had taken a few basic classes on video editing and design, but nothing too specific, which is probably why I was so nervous to start working for a company. I quickly learned that it is okay to make mistakes and that internships are there to help and teach you things. Most of my time at the job was spent doing more freelance videos and logo editing. Editing is something I have always enjoyed doing so it was really awesome to be able to work on things that other companies and clients needed.”
“One of the biggest things for me was learning how to manage my time and meet deadlines. I have had deadlines for projects in school before, but having clients and companies that are depending on you and your work is something that I had never experienced before. Being able to manage different projects and knowing how much time to spend on things in order to meet various deadlines was by far the hardest thing. Although there were always people around helping me, I was mainly on my own when it came to completing tasks that I was asked to do. Another task that I felt like I really improved on was my organizational skills when working. Normally when I am working on a certain project or projects I keep the most recent ones open on my computer or on my desktops, but when you are working on so many different projects and have numerous files it is important to stay organized. By not organizing your files it takes so much more time trying to find files and completing jobs. One of my favorite parts was being able to receive feedback by multiple people. When I wasn’t editing, I was able to shadow other workers and ask them questions about their job and careers. This was really helpful for me to get a better understanding of possible jobs that I could have in the future.”
Olivia Toriumi (’14), Creative Team, Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington Illinois
“My internship was working with Creative Directors, Blaine Hogan and Bjorn Amundsen. Both of them work with the creative team at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL. In addition, they also do freelance work in marketing and rebranding. Blaine’s Hogan’s personal project, Make Better, is an online course for artists to develop their creative process and help them to be better people and make better art. I helped out in all of these areas for my internship. I also began helping them with one of their clients- Kitchfix. I acted as a secret shopper and ordered food from them and documented the whole process. I also began developing a list of creative, crazy, out-there marketing ideas for Kitchfix.”
“This internship was very helpful for me because I was able to get a good feel of different types of work. I also really liked the fact that this internship allowed me to use both my marketing and artistic skills. Before I started this internship I had no idea what I wanted to do after I finished at Butler, but now I think I have a more clear idea of what work I want to be doing and what type of companies I want to be working for. ”
Abbi Miles (’16), Web Marketing and Communications Department, Butler University
“For one of my other assignments, I was able to use Butler’s new branding to create a logos for the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and Symphonic Orchestra. I was able to be inspired by the new branding guidelines, but also create these designs from scratch.”
“As well as these logos, I have also worked with the new branding and the re-construction of the Butler website. I have helped with photo backgrounds that have a blue treatment to them to bring everything together. I have also helped with the Butler 2020 vision video by selecting images for the video that will be shown. I have also been helping with the reconstruction of the interactive Campus Map that is on the website. Most recently, I have already completed the web banners for events for next semester. This was the first time that I got to use the new branding for the web banners.”
Margaret Citron (’17) Community Health Network
“Throughout my fall semester I have been interning with Community Health Network and their learning resources team. I have learned a lot throughout the semester about the professional world and efficiency. I had a certain task to work on throughout the semester that required me to use my creative and problem solving skills and to learn skills of working as a team and to create a product using another’s vision and specifications to get the project done and finished to where it pleases the client. I worked on a variety of three-dimensional design projects, including designing centerpieces for an event within the learning resources department and a drawer organization project for Community Health Network’s Cardio Vascular Heart Hospital. I also redesigned their monthly newsletter.”
“I enjoyed my time at Community Health Network. I learned a lot of invaluable skills about being a designer in the professional world and using other’s ideas to create your design in a timely and organized manner. I think while my experience could have been a little more organized and structured. I feel that all of my projects helped me grow and become more professional in how I handle my work and how I communicate my ideas with others. Which is a very important skill to have as a designer when you want your designs to be perceived in a certain way that is desirable to the client you are making the design for.”
Studio Outside the Box, Indianapolis
Several of our students have completed internships at Studio Outside the Box, Indianapolis. This is a particularly useful internship for students who are interested in careers in Art Therapy.
This is a particularly useful internship for students who are interested in careers in Art Therapy. Two of the Art + Design students, Carly Soboloweski (’12) and Ali Sanders (’17) turned their internships into paid positions at this art studio whose clients are developmentally disabled adults.