Through out my time in my internship I think I did really well. I tried to be as helpful as possible with more than just my design work and I got many thanks for it. A few people had even offered to write recommendations for me which I have in my emails. I wished I had more varying design projects. Most of it was all the same so I wasn’t really able to be as creative as I wanted. I don’t think there was anything I could of really done better, I put myself out there and offered myself for whatever they needed and finished my projects all on time within a day or two. I was at the office a lot and was always on time. I always answer emails and I helped prepare for events and classes, even if it was only setting up give away bags. Over all I think the only thing I could have really improve on was my design work and learning my way around the office better. My experience at IFCC was fun and informative, I think I’m a bit more prepared for design work at a real job or in an office from working there. I had a fun time and although it wasn’t as interesting of a design internship as I had hoped, I really liked the employees and those I worked. I think it was because of them that I was able to enjoy my internship.
Being Lent Out
PDI has more departments then just IFCC, and since they are all under the same institute they also share resources between department. As the only design student I was also seen as a resource so I helped out in other department. Because of this I sometime had as many as five projects to do at once. One of the project I worked on for another department was simply redesigning info fliers and charts for the Career Development Center (CDC)
There wasn’t anything especially new that I had learned while working on this project but it was a bit different then what I had experienced so far in my internship. My supervisor didn’t really know what I was doing for this project. She basically gave me permission to work on any projects for other department that I wanted. It was up to me to make sure I didn’t get overwhelmed with work. For this project I met the other department supervisor in a conference room. We had set a meeting time the week before so this felt vary official to me. The meeting was simple, the supervisor told me what she needed to be change and gave me creative freedom to do what I want as long as it looked nice. Another thing that was different in this experience was that I also had other projects that I had to work on. This is where I learned the most about time management and prioritizing. I had to decide how many projects to do in my shift, who’s project I should work on first and and also how I should send them the files. I also had to make the fliers and charts in PDF files so that the supervisor can change and ad information as needed. The best part is that that department will probably be using my designs for a long time and just changing the text to fit what they need.
My Most Important Project
Most of my projects were info fliers and fliers for events and a few charts. But out of all my projects, the most interesting one was when I designed IFCC’s annual, final report. Apparently annual report can be vary fancy in design and my supervisor, Angelica, wanted to put a new spin on IFCC’s report. I had to do a lot of research for this one. I looked up the annual reports for other companies like Sesame Street and the Environmental Protection Agency. I used a lot of circles and bubble like designs with this one since it seemed popular on my other designs.
Here are the cover and the first pages of the final report I designed. Sadly, my supervisor didn’t have the content ready so right now it’s just place holder text. This project was vary interesting because it seemed more official and serious compared to the fliers I had to design, I did about three different designs for this and was communicating back and forth with my supervisor to get this to how she wanted it. I learned while designing this how to work based on feedback from others. I also learned how to be more independent and not ask for permission for every change I made. I also learned how to organize my work better and how to really back up my work. This project was the longest I have worked on, but it was also the most challenging and most fun project I had designed
One of the people I most enjoyed working with, besides my supervisor, is a women name Zoraima Rolon. I think she would be a good mentor figure in the workplace for a few reasons. She had a good work ethic, there wasn’t a time when she wasn’t working on something. She never seemed to be overwhelmed and was extremely organized. She also gave good advice on what to do when I wasn’t sure about something. During a time when I didn’t have any design projects for the week, she told me I should talk to my supervisor, even though I was worried about be demanding and bothering her, Zoraima said I should bother her, because if I didn’t, then I would get anything done. She was vary cooperative with everyone else in the office space, and was helpful. She seemed to have experience in everything and was able to jump on to help others around her. And, even though she didn’t work on design or gave me assignments, she would comment on my work on how to make it better for the providers that would see it to understand. All in all, Zoraima taught me to be flexible and organized and helpful so make, not only my own job, but the jobs of others working along with me, easier.
The First Project
Because it was summer, there wasn’t a lot of design work for me to do at first. I was making layouts for info packets in the beginning before I got a real project. My first project was to make a flier for a summer event for IFCC. Being the IFCC wasn’t a design oriented company, it was up to me to make the flier without any reference and little to guide me to what they would like. I decided the design based mostly on the content I was given to work with and make a few different flier designs for Angelica, my supervisor, could pick and choose her favorite one.
Of my designs these were the finals I presented to my supervisor. The colors I chose were based off the IFCC logo, that was basically the only instructions I was given when making theses fliers. The Images came from IFCC’s shared drive that I was given access to. You can see here that I tried two different styles, a more formal top to bottom style and a more fun bubbly style. I used circles a lot In my designs for IFCC because it was one of the things I noticed they seemed to favor visually in their other fliers. Angelica ended up choosing the more formal one on the right. I saved the other flier design to use later. This project taught me how the work flow moved in the office, also what was expected of me. I had to manage my own time and use it for whatsoever I needed and to get my job done. It taught me how to communicate with a client, even if I didn’t have much direction. It also taught me how to use my resources and research skills in order to create something the client will most likely enjoy. This was simple first project, perfect for testing the waters in the office, and also fun to work on.
In the Office
The office space I worked in was a room with three other people at desks. Each person was so nice an patient with me, even though I had never worked in an office before. Luckily the office was business casual so didn’t have to dress up or anything. I actually went to work in jeans and sneakers and blended in with everyone else just fine. Everyone at the office was self-sufficient, they knew what their jobs were and did them with focus and skill. The employees came into work when the wanted and managed their hours themselves mostly. They also took breaks when they wanted to, there was no set time for one. They also helped each other when needed and were friendly. I even helped out with simple things like printing, copying and scanning when I wasn’t designing something. All in all, I found working for IFCC to be a good way to experience work life in an office.
How I got here
Searching for an Internship was hard. I had decided pretty late the year. Many internships I was interested in had already filled up and were no longer accepting interns. There was also the fact I was taking another summer class, which limited the distance that I could look for an internship. I did a lot of research on internships that would work for me. I gave out my resume to the few likely places I could be hired, I never heard back from any of them and I was running out of time. I ended up asking the professor for help and she game me the contact info for Angelica Velazquez, the director of IFCC. She had design interns from CityTech before and knew how the class worked and knew how may hours I needed. She was also willing to work with my availability. We ended up having a phone conversation at first, it wasn’t really an interview but it felt like one. After the phone call we went back and forth through emails till Angelica decided that there was enough design work to be done that a design student would be needed. Angelic asked me to come in and she gave me a tour of IFCC and explained their objective. I started the next week, my job was mostly designing fliers for events to recruit informal providers. I also did a lot of redesigning of info packets, fliers and presentations that hadn’t been changed in years. I also helped in other branches of PDI since I was the only available design intern in the institute at the time.
About NY Early Childhood Professional Development Institute
“The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (PDI) is a public-private partnership that brings together a range of city agencies, a consortium of private funders, and the nation’s largest urban university to build a comprehensive system of professional development for individuals who work with young children in New York.”
This quote is from the “Who We Are” page on the PDI website. To put it simply PDI works with those who work with children like teachers, daycare professionals, pediatricians, child psychologists and anyone who has a young child in their care. There are different branches in the institute for that covers the professional development (training) of different kinds of child providers. I interned in the branch department of PDI called Informal Child Care Project (IFCC).IFCC work with informal providers of children. These providers are legal but unlicensed because a provider only needs a license it they are caring for more than three children under the age of five. The informal providers are also called “Family, Friends and Neighbors” which are the type of people that are informal providers. IFCC gives these providers access to training, like child CPR, First Aid and even potty training. IFCC also provides child caretakers with supplies and learning items. Basically IFCC’s job it to recruit these Informal providers in order to assist them in being better at childcare. IFCC is stationed in Brooklyn, NY at 16 Court street.