Category Archives: Internship Journal

Effective Communication

In-house with a team:

Working in a team can be challenging at times. What happens if we need a quick edit on a Monday, and the designer for that project won’t be there until Thursday? We have the office hours of each designer on a schedule on the wall, along with their phone numbers and personal emails so that they can be contacted outside of City Tech. One of us who’s there on that Monday could just open the file on the desktop and quickly make the changes and send it off that day.

As a team, we have each other’s back. If my¬†printed job needs to get delivered to the client’s room on a certain day that I am not on campus, I can call/text/email another designer on the team to help me hand deliver my final product.

With clients:

But, working with clients, could be even more difficult. Clients are usually so busy with the different projects they manage and classes they teach. We, as designers, are sometimes at the other end waiting for them to send us content we need for a poster or brochure we are designing.

I’ve learned that you must set an in-person meeting at the very beginning to get all your answers in regards to product delivery specifications, deadlines, availability (office hours), and contact information (email, phone, office). Just online/phone communication by itself could be ineffective. I know this from first hand experience with one client. I had to go¬†find her at her office because she didn’t respond to my requests for content.

Schedules serve as a contract for the project between you and your client. The overview of the project timeline really helps to envision the project success from concept to delivery. It keeps both designers and clients on track, so no one is lost at either end.

Because I am working for the clients through Faculty Commons, I have to cc Professor Jordan on the emails and others who are involved, so everyone know what’s happening. If I don’t respond for a few days for some reason, at least Professor Jordan knows what’s going on so far.


 

Overall, my communication as part of a design team has improved since working at Faculty Commons. This is one of my first internships where I have a team to depend on, but also where I work independently.

Finding a Role Model/Mentor

Finding role models/mentors could be difficult for some people. Sometimes they are just in front of your eyes, whether¬†it’s¬†on your campus or with you at work. My supervisor at Faculty Commons, Professor Julia Jordan, is a role model and mentor to me for the past two years. She has showed me how to be practice professionalism and become even more detail orientated.

Because this internship takes places on campus, one can say that it’s a “safe” place to make mistakes. I will admit that I came to college with my high school mindset, didn’t have proper attire for my age, didn’t know how to express myself appropriately, and was afraid to greet strangers. Prof. Jordan made sure every design intern says hello to all our neighbors in the open office from day one of training, have proper email etiquette, etc.

Even though she didn’t come from a graphic design background, she has taught me the importance of other little details aside from the aesthetics of a design. We would have each other scan a draft copy of a poster left to right and top to bottom, to make sure there are no grammatical errors nor spacing issues. Then, we can send it to print.

Aside from Faculty Commons work, she is one of the most supportive people in my life. I could tell her anything I am working on and she will encourage me to do my best, from my business trip to New Orleans (for my Hook&LoopNYC internship) to my mural painting project in Coney Island.¬†Before coming into this internship, I didn’t care about¬†my reputation on campus.¬†After this internship,¬†I decided everything I do must have a positive impact in the City Tech community or meaningful in some way.

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Profs. Jordan, Miller and I at the City Tech Writer reception.

Self-Evaluation

At the beginning of this semester I started a really unique project; it was very different from the traditional poster projects from previous clients. Professor Ferrell from the English department reached out to me and wanted me to design the display cases for the whole 5th floor. At first she mentioned that we should make posters to put inside the cases.

But something told me that it could be more creative.¬†I started to do research and came up with the idea of paper art for these cases–including the text. This is the project that changed my mentality. I was given the chance to do something different and experience something new, so I went for it. In order to convince my client, I did some mockups on the computer and send it over: unnamed

I got positive feedback from the client as well as support from my supervisor and peers. From there, we ordered the materials and it was time to get my hands on work started:

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This wasn’t an easy and quick project. At the beginning I was only working with Professor Ferrell on the aesthetics and content of each display case that showcased different programs such as The City Tech Writer, Literary Arts Festival, 2 Bridges Review, NANO and faculty publications. I didn’t really know what they wanted. But,¬†when more people started to see what was happening, they decided to pitch in about their programs. So there were many specific changes I had to make to meet their standards.

From there, I learned so much about working with clients and the many difficulties that may come up if I am not careful. It was a great experience. In addition to that, I made some mistakes during my trials and errors, and it definitely prepared me for future projects that could be similar to this one.

After this project, I fell in love with hands on art projects again. I was always into arts and crafts since a young age, but the graphic design career put a restriction on me with all the digital work. This project is not 100% finished (because I am still waiting on content from a few people), but it is one of the most fun and creative projects that I’ve worked on during my internship at Faculty Commons.

 

A Collaborative Project

For my client in the English department at City Tech, I was in charge of creating a series of posters to offer the regular English courses and also design illustrative posters for the different¬†special courses each semester. I was overwhelmed with¬†work and other requests coming in from different directions and also from my classes, and I didn’t know what to do. I had a creative block.

Fortunately, Dorian Valentine, my co-worker at Faculty Commons offered to help me create some posters. So we came together, worked on some ideas and he illustrated some of these courses for me. So it became a collaboration half way through. We submitted this series of English posters as a “Special Project” at the Honors Scholars Poster Presentation.

Below is our poster for the presentation event.

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10500542_907898885887615_9063679926445930895_n10349002_908370032507167_4703643618600578505_nWe submitted a few “Special Projects” to the Poster Presentation and received our certificates at the awards ceremony.

Training Position

After interning for one semester, I jumped right into the trainer position. My good friend and co-worker Patricia Persaud and I developed the official Faculty Commons recruitment and training manuals. We worked on both the content and design of the whole package, with the guidance of Professor Jordan.

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This summer will be my fourth semester recruiting and training new interns. From the in-person interviews to the actual 2-week training program, I’ve learned many things from the new interns. Being a trainer doesn’t mean you are always teaching or demonstrating something for the trainees. You could also be learning from one another because after all, we work as a team here.

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Prepping paperwork and setting up the table for the interviews.

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Last semester’s trainers: Raciel Guzman, me, and Dorian Valentine.