Week7: Reflection

During my internship, I’ve learned many hard and soft skills and also gained experience in interviewing. I was granted flexible working time because my internship has moved fully online for two weeks due to an internet issue in the office building. I have not had a chance to join any group project, nor attend any social events. I wish I could work with other crew members to learn more about team collaboration and how communication works among the film set crew, such as cinematographer, camera operator, gaffer, sound designer, and special effects editor.

Nevertheless, in this blog, I included some soft and hard skills that I walked away from this internship in this educational institution.

I’ll begin with time management. Since I’m mostly working from home, time management is an essential soft skill. I have to set a goal for the working week, set priorities, and make sure to finish work for each day.

Another soft skill I gained is communication. As I was working as a video editor in this educational institution. I understood verbal communication is key to a successful project. During the project discussion, I need to pay full attention to what my supervisor, in this case, my director said. And edit frames based on his vision. During the revision process, I learned not to interrupt when ideas are being shared and to ask appropriate questions afterward. Never assume the answer to avoid much trouble and extra revisions. 

In addition, I learned to pay attention to details. Because the video I was working on is for the general public and it also represents its educational institution. I have to make sure to take out the inappropriate frame because the audience will catch even the smallest error or inappropriate scene.

Some hard skills I learned are the following. Number one is how to organize larger content more effectively using video-editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro. Below are two screenshots from my Adobe Premiere Pro interface. Because the footage is filmed from two devices and named differently. I learned to organize them in folders for more effective editing.


Number two is problem-solving. Because when working with the given footage and an overall direction, your mission is to create a comprehensive and cohesive storyline based on the director’s vision.

My final point is to “be curious”. That means asking questions, showing your passion, and showing your commitment to learning and picking up skills even if they are not in your fields of expertise. Then you will find yourself growing and learning.

Week6: Self-evaluation and Takeaways

Although it is a relatively short-term experience with my supervisor in this educational institution. While working on this big video project, I walked away with some useful tips and skills that I can later apply to my future career.

Here’s what I learned and applied to my practice. One lesson is how to communicate messages to your audience effectively in a video. Another is how to attract your audience’s attention. Also, how to keep your audience’s attention in a longer video.

First, the aspect of the video project I am working on is to deliver a feeling of happiness and excitement, pride, and anticipation. Therefore, I’ve researched bright and happy music tracks to create such feelings. Also, I was directed by my supervisor to insert some photos between longer frames to create a sense of a music video. And it successfully converts a happy experience of the event.

Another piece of advice from my supervisor is how to attract and keep the audience’s attention. One of the components is to involve dynamic motion graphics in the video. Another is to make the visual flow with the beats/lyrics.

The image below shows an example of my editing screen. Bars in lavender color present image files, blue bars present video files, and green bars present music soundtracks. This graph shows an overview of how I took advice from my supervisor and mixed photo files with video files.

Example of My Editing Screen

Below is an example of the older version to compare for a better understanding. In this graph, we can tell lavender bars (photo files) and blue bars (video files) are separated into two sections.

Example of the Older Version

All the points listed above are some thoughtful and useful advice from my supervisor. After receiving feedback from him, I organized the notes and applied them to my revised version of the video project. From this internship, I’ve learned some new skills and also applied my skills to achieve the project goal. It is a wonderful learning experience.

Week5: Design Process

While working in this educational institution and working on the video project. I realized there are still rooms to improve. With more than four years of experience in video editing and graphic design. I was very confident about my skills and the end products.

This week, my supervisor and I came together after he reviewed my project. We set up a meeting with just two of us to discuss further refinements on the project. I thought it would just be some minor changes to the audio and transition. However, I pointed out a couple of mistakes and some major changes to the frames.

One improvement is needed if the duration of one frame is too long. In the market nowadays, people are more attracted to short videos and have less engaging time with longer frames. The suggestion from my supervisor is to limit one screen to three to four seconds and transit to the next screen to keep the audience engaged.

Another piece of advice I received from my supervisor is the duration of my photo shows is too short. Because it is a video of an event experience, we want the audience to be able to enjoy the photos. Therefore, I extended the duration to two to three seconds for each photo. So, they are not too quick and also flow with the music beats.

I was able to take the feedback from my supervisor and revisit my files after the meeting. We also discussed the next milestone of this project in the meeting which is the motion graphics portion of the project.

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

Since most of my works are individual projects, there are no communications with other designers/editors. Nevertheless, in my other internship in a non-profit organization, we are working on a collaborative project. What was successful about it is how magical we can have thousands of ideas from talking in the meeting. And we always learn from each other. But there were also unsuccessful moments when we disagreed with one another. When the time comes, we always make sure we have good communication and be good listeners.

Week4: Responsibilities and Projects

Working with this educational institution has been a remarkable experience. Even though there is not a design concentration, it is called ‘video production’ in our communication design department. It has fallen into these three main categories: motion design, graphic design, and advertising. It is to communicate information and ideas using visual elements, such as videos, photographs, and motion graphics.

I’ve been working on the first video project for two weeks. And I am working with Adobe Premiere Pro. The first part of this project is to watch and comprehend all the materials. The second part is to cut redundant clips and leave the useful clips. The third part is to find the right background music and special sound effects if needed. The last step of this production phase is to review and rearrange all useful clips.

Photo by Wahid Khene on Unsplash

What I’ve learned so far from this internship is how to make a video that delivers messages in a way that is visually appealing and also efficient. Nowadays, people are relevantly less attentive to longer/lengthy videos and more prompt to short videos. There are many platforms in the market right now, such as reels on Instagram, shorts on YouTube, TikTok, and many others that are shifting the market. How to make a relevantly longer video that attracts the current environment becomes a big challenge for the designers and the design industry. And I am very excited to learn more details from my supervisor after reviewing the first version of my project.

Since I mostly work from home, there is no set schedule for me unless there is a meeting with the team. My supervisor will notify me in advance if there’s a future meeting and what is due until then. Therefore, I will make sure I have the work ready for the meeting.

Week3: About the Organization

I am working at an educational institution whose primary business is designing for the educational institution from its branding to marketing to public image.

My schedule is Monday through Thursday 10 AM to 5 PM. The plan is to work from home on Monday and Thursday. And I’ll be focusing on pre-production and post-production remotely. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I will come on-site and do some in-house shooting in the studio.

Photo by Adolfo Félix on Unsplash

Based on my observation, the culture of my workplace is more toward Clan culture. It feels like everyone in the company supports each other professionally. We shared the same goal and our supervisor trust us to work autonomously. He also gives us the resources we need and a safe and comfortable space to work. Whether it is remotely or working on site. 

There is no specific dress code as I am aware. One can wear as comfortable as they wish to, no professional attire is needed. Nevertheless, I always make sure I dress appropriately, with nothing too revealing or unprofessional to work.

Photo by Marissa Lewis on Unsplash

The office was set up as an open workspace with cubicles. Furthermore, the supervisor and senior designers have their private rooms. And it also holds a compact photography studio. The photo above shows the overall aesthetics of the studio we have in the office. I haven’t run through a whole workday because of some technical issue with the computer in the office. So I had to bring materials home and work remotely for most days.

A little update on the project: I’m still working on the first video project I was assigned on my first day. I was also given information about the second project which involved photography, motion, and video production. I am very excited about it.

Ethics Assignment

Entry I

a) As a designer, most of us are well educated on what is copyright and how to attribute copyright ethically and lawfully. However, one’s client might not be familiar with the usage of copyright. It is the designer’s call to protect their stakeholder from violating the law and protect the artist’s rights. One chapter from the AIGA Business Ethics Handbook, Guide to Copyright, also emphasizes the importance of obtaining copyright. “Furthermore, an understanding of copyright is necessary if the designer is to obtain for the client appropriate licenses of copyright from suppliers such as photographers, illustrators, and authors.”

Photo by 愚木混株 cdd20 on Unsplash

In the film production industry, one major copyright encounter often is music copyrighting. To legally use copyrighted music in a film or a video, one must obtain permission from the copyright owner. When I received my first project in my current internship, at an educational institution. I remember having a conversation with my supervisor who is also the director of our team, about using music in the video. Because the video project will be posted on YouTube, the direction is to use royalty-free production music from the Audio Library in YouTube Studio.

I was also advised on how to properly use the logo when putting it in the video. I received a branding guidebook, which includes logos, colors, fonts, and how to use them in projects. I wish there was a section to show examples of misuse of a logo. For example, a white logo should not be placed on a lighter-toned background for legibility. Or a logo should not be stretched when resizing.

b) Employee confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement signed between a company and an employee to protect ideas and information. If a confidential or non-disclosure agreement was signed, the employee cannot under any circumstance, with the exception of prior written approval, disclose company secrets. It is also created to protect ideas and information from being stolen or shared with others, especially its competitors. My internship site does not require a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement. Because I am working in the marketing team in an educational institution. All my completed projects will be open to the public. However, I think it is important to have a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement created when they outsource work to a freelancer. In case they have information that they want to keep confidential from the freelancer.


Entry II

a) After reading the AIGA Business Ethics Handbook, I understood the different types of copyright and how they protect the copyright holder’s rights. I’ve used many works from others, such as photographs, books, music, and illustrations. I was reminded to add credits to my work a couple of times by professors. And I was educated, even though we usually will not get in trouble for using others’ work in student work if we give credits.

By understanding business ethics, I recognized the importance of copyright. Without giving credit or asking permission from the artist, it could cause preventable problems. One consequence would be limiting job opportunities for an artist. Another would be violating the copyright law.

Take the famous street artist Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster as an example. He was sued for using AP freelancer Mannie Garcia’s photograph without permission. The consequence of not giving credit or asking permission is serious, you could be fined, sentenced to probation, or even imprisoned. Therefore, as one transitioning from a design student to a professional designer. They should always make sure to ask permission before using copyrighted work.

b) In the AIGA Business Ethics Handbook’s chapter, Guide to Copyright, the writer writes: “Fair use permits someone to use work without permission for a purpose that is basically not going to compete with or injure the market for the work, such as using a design in an article about the designer’s career.” I think it is essential to have fair use permits in the market. For instance, if without fair use, a book reviewer would need to ask permission from the copyright holder, in this case, it is the author and stakeholders, before using the content in the process of criticism. And the majority of copyright holders do not like to be criticized which leads to censorship.

However, a fair use permit somehow becomes an opportunity to copy, or even plagiarize someone else’s work. One of the famous copyright infringement cases is Rogers vs Koons. And Koons responded by claiming fair use by parody, but it was later rejected and forced to pay a monetary settlement to Rogers. Fair use permits should not be used for not taking credit for someone else’s work. It is stealing someone’s idea, time, and effort.


Week2: Interview and Hiring Process

I am working as a video editor and motion designer at this educational institution. My supervisor is the director of the office. I decided to work with him because of my interest in video production and like to explore more hands-on experiences from video preproduction to production to post-production. Also, I wish to learn how to incorporate motion graphics into videos.

Because the other internship took a lengthier process time, my internship mentor recommended this job position to me. I immediately sent out my resume and cover letter along with a warm greeting and received the invitation to an in-person interview four days later.

Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

Before the interview, I reassured the office address and time with my supervisor. The interview was held between my supervisor and me. During the interview, I first introduced myself from my major to design focus to work experience. Then he went through my online portfolio together and asked about the background of my works: why did you choose this topic as your senior project? What does your design process look like? Is there a specific conflict during the design process? And what do you like to do besides school projects?

I answered all his questions and also watched some of the videos that I made in my free time. I showed my passion for the subject and he seems to like our conversation. That’s how I got the offer and get assigned to my first project right after the interview.

Week1: Searching and Obtaining an Internship

When searching for an internship. I started with the Google search engine and I searched for job titles. Since I wanted to apply for UX/UI-related designer jobs, I typed in ‘UX/UI summer internship’. However, many applications have already closed since the time I was researching. 

My job-research started around March. I have bookmarked some jobs but didn’t apply. Because I wanted to refine my resume and portfolio. I wish I could do them earlier, but I did not think my portfolio was ready at the time. Many big companies like Google and Amazon closed summer job applications around February and March.

Instead of being stuck with limited jobs available for UX/UI design. I went to my plan B. One of my design professors has told me that many companies when they are looking for UX/UI designers, they don’t always write it on the job title. And you can transition from one position to another when you got into the company if it is available. Therefore, I changed it to ‘graphic design internship summer’ and many results showed up.

After days of researching on job search sites, such as ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, Indeed, Handshake, and LinkedIn. I have sent out my resume to six companies and have heard back from three. And I accepted one interview and successfully got the offer from a non-profit organization. However, because of the time conflict, I decided to intern at an educational institution while waiting for the non-profit organization to pass my paperwork.

Job Searching Tools

The educational institution is a small office located in Brooklyn, New York. The office has less than 15 employees and its primary business is designing for the educational institution from its branding to marketing to public image. The goal is to ‘Understanding the educational institution’s core identity, ideals, and impact — and being able to articulate them to an external audience — are key ways that the educational institution’s community can work together to enhance our stature.’ And I will be working on video and motion projects whether it is for public image, marketing, or branding.