After working professionally with WPC for roughly about 2 and a half months, I feel that I have gained an amazing amount of knowledge and experience in terms of dealing with people in a professional manner. School is considered to be the training ground where you cultivate the skills that you will eventually use in professional settings. An internship provides you with a safety net that allows you to make the initial professional mistakes that are corrected early– especially concerning future professional endeavors so that you’re adequately prepared for beginning your career. In the time spent at WPC, I’ve learned how to communicate with clients and teach them some of the tips and tools behind designing. I’ve also gained basic phoning skills and the ability to adapt to talking to people on the phone and in person when trying to pitch effectively. A new routine that took me a bit of time to adjust to is now a routine that I gained confidence in completing and skills that I can utilize when promoting myself and creating a quick pitch on the spot to grab attention. I still have a lot to learn, because that’s what life is about, learning but the more time I spend with WPC the more I know I will pick up skills that will benefit me in the long run.
One of my projects at WPC required me to work with a partner on her personal project of creating a website that was a self started web zine and also doubled as a portfolio site for her because she wants to start a career in interface design. This website was supposed to feature up and coming artists of all mediums and have a user interface that was aesthetically pleasing as well as user friendly. This collaboration was a little hard to manage, since I had to take into consideration that this was dealing with another person’s project, so I had to explain why certain design choices did not work as well as others but she was very stuck in specific ideas that normally as a client I would just agree with, but because this would also technically double as her portfolio, I knew that she would eventually need to be aware of certain design elements and how they work with each other. Working so closely with her personality was more difficult than figuring out the site with her, but the site has progressed in a very attractive and functional design. Despite the struggles I felt in working with her, I did gain a method of talking and communicating in a professional way, instead of getting angry or saying anything that may be out of place in a professional setting.
At WPC I’m not always learning designing skills or skills pertaining to what I want to do in terms of my long term career goal. Sometimes I’m asked to help with clerical work such as organizing, jotting down notes and filing certain information regarding volunteers at WPC.
I did recently learn how to help out with phoning at WPC and the process of contacting people who signed up to be potential volunteers and financial sponsors. The way to learning a new skill set is to just be thrown into it but with a firm support to help you feel comfortable and to build the foundation that will later help you to utilize a newly acquired skill. Phoning is an important skill because it allows you to make connections and practice professional interactions with other people as well as help you become more aware of your speech habits when talking.
I learned how to read from a specific pitch tailored for talking to potential volunteers and how to spot adjust, which is being able to improvise the pitch on the spot when the receiver on the other side of the phone may deviate from the predicted responses or how to deal with a person that may speak for longer than expected. There is a term called parity, which explains that a certain number of calls should be made in half an hour because out of 2/3rds of people called only 1/3rd will confirm to the purpose of the call and then they still may not confirm even after that. That is why it is important to achieve a high number of parity- but most importantly, this also shows why it’s important to have a professional and hospitable behavior when dealing with people and networking, because without a trustworthy and intelligent demeanor, people will not agree to helping you out if you don’t know what you’re doing.
One of the projects I received recently at WPC was right up my alley and in the programs I happen to be the strongest in. The task for this job was to create a flyer for an event that was taking place in in St. Francis College in Brooklyn. The event would be a lecture that speaks about the misrepresentation of Latin America in the media. During this project because it played up my strongest skills, I was very confident in the creative process of this project.
I primarily used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop in tandem to create a consistent design for the flyer. During this process, I explained to my supervisor the reason for my choices as well as the little tips and tricks to create certain images and effects in the programs. The process behind this design enabled me to think about the color choices, the composition and the typography of the poster— how the color relates to the images and the message, the choice of font and how well the layout makes an interesting composition.
My projects that I received at Women’s Press Collective are related well to activism and bringing attention to the media misrepresentation of countries and events outside of the United States. At Women’s Press Collective we utilize the Adobe Creative Cloud to create content that helps with spreading the political message that people should have a voice to represent the truth in media. Because of this attitude, WPC receives clients that have a strong message that needs equally strong design.
WPC’s information carries through physical print publications and the predominately used program in the office is Adobe Indesign to create the proper layouts for the publication. As primarily an illustrator, my skillset in Indesign still developing and while I can create very basic layouts, I am not very familiar with the interface of the program. My supervisor comes from a background of art, as she had attended the School of Visual Arts based in NYC and has a very good working knowledge of Indesign. She takes the time to teach me and support me as I work through my understanding of Indesign to make it stronger.
One of the projects that I worked on was editing, proofreading and editing stylesheets for one of the two publications — The Guide to Patrons— which was something I had learned but never really expanded upon. This process was a little tedious and tiring as typographical design is something I am not normally used to creating or editing, but my supervisor walked me through everything and my skillset in Indesign became a little bit stronger.