New Beginnings (Journal Blog #1)
image: Google Images
The company I am working for this summer is a public, non-profit organization based out of Queens, NY. The primary business or objective of the company is helping build and sustain economically stable communities. The organization services the elderly, adults, young people, minorities and others at or below the poverty line providing financial, educational and immigration programs. It was founded in 2016 and recently expanded internationally to South East Africa continuing to India and other countries in the future.
How I Got the Job (Journal Blog #2)
I am the Associate Director for the Digital and Design Department, this is not at all what I was expecting when I met with the founder the Friday following the start of this class. Originally, when I was planning out which internships to apply for, I had started with those offered by the school. I applied and interviewed for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Internship Program back in April and got no response. I then applied to the Young Commodores Program and upon being accepted realized that the program would not start until June 27th. Randomly, about the same week that my internship class began I received a call from the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Professional Development Center asking if I was still interested in participating. Giving it, some thought and needing an internship that started right away I agreed and was told to wait for a call from a studio. Days went by and I received no phone call, I emailed the BNY Development Center contact explaining my situation and was told he would work on it and get back to me. I began to see that this wasn’t going to work out, so I sought help from Professor Nicolaou, seeing that my strong suits were in photography, Photoshop, Lightroom and Illustrator she recommended I call the chairman of a non-profit based in Queens. We spoke the following day and set up a meeting for Friday June 7th at 11am. Instead of going to the main location because of the distance and time we decided to meet at a nearby Starbucks. Preparing for the meeting, I was nervous because I am still getting use to putting myself out there as a designer. When I got to the location, I texted the chairman and he let me know he was running late and would be there soon. I sat charging my tablet to show my recent studio photography and portfolio. When he arrived, we sat down and he spoke to me about the company and reviewed some of my work. He explained that it was a nonprofit organization formed in 2016 to help build economically stable and sustainable communities. The company was in the process of getting a new logo and website and he went on to speak about people affected by the services provided. We spoke about my experience and responsibilities while signing paperwork and getting my company email set up. Toward the end, of our meeting I asked about my title within the department and he said I would be the Associate Director. My responsibilities would include overseeing and approving work from the department, generating ideas and designing the monthly newsletter, contributing to the company social media pages and keeping in contact with my coworkers/team. All assignments were to be submitted remotely meeting the deadline although my supervisor assured me that I could reach out to him at any time if I had questions or any issues. After I left that day, I started working right away studying the previous newsletters and social media pages trying to figure out how to apply my skills after being trusted with such a high position. I understood the responsibility of the tasks put in front of me and did my best to start off strong.
Umm Work Culture???( Journal Blog #3)
Unlike most workplaces I’ve experienced before, this internship allows me to work remotely either from home or anywhere I have wifi. I love the freedom it gives me to set my own schedule, but it also takes a lot of discipline to sit down and work without letting life get in the way. I find the best time to work is late afternoon into the night because I’ve had to work on this schedule for a long-time juggling school and work, so I am most productive during those hours. I am also a procrastinator; it’s something I’m working on it but if I do push an assignment to the last minute, I work for days straight taking breaks in between until it’s completed. On the day of my interview, I dressed business casual, wearing a button down and jeans. Now that I’m working from home or anywhere it doesn’t matter what I wear, its another perk of working remotely.
What I’m Learning (Journal Blog #4)
In this internship, I’ve done a lot of self-reflection while working on traits like leadership, time management, communication and design skills that I learned in the previous semesters. One of the skills that I’ve been struggling with is working on a grid to provide an underlying structure. Other than that, there are also the other small decisions every designer must make including color, font, and overall content. One of the disadvantages of working remotely and overseeing everything is keeping in contact with your staff to give appropriate feedback. When given an assignment, I receive a notification on the Planner App, after looking at the description and due date I get in contact with my coworker to split up responsibilities and finally check in daily until the assignment is completed. If an assignment is given to my coworker individually, I try to check in before the final is submitted to provide constructive criticism.
Group Projects… (Journal Blog #5)
Before deciding to take more of an active role in the newsletter, I was working with one person on the project using previous newsletters for reference. From my research, I learned that the document was usually 12-18 pages long including appointees and other add-ons that would be provided by our supervisor. Thinking about the structure, I focused on the holidays I wanted to highlight in addition to the overarching theme of LGBTQ Pride. Locating all the articles and links to included I sent the information to my coworker to design the layout. We communicated through text message and phone calls over the span of a week, but as the deadline got closer, I realized we were going to need more time. I asked for an extension believing that my partner would be finished by the end of the day. Unfortunately, we went over the deadline because the layout was deleted, and I spent 10 hours overnight doing everything over. In the end, the June newsletter was turned in three days late, but I learned that I needed to be more involved in the design process.
Incomplete Self-Evaluation (Journal Blog #6)
Considering that I do not have much work to evaluate myself on, I’ll be writing based off my performance from my first day to now. In the beginning, I was caught by surprise being put in the role of Associate Director. I tried to start off strong by learning about the company’s brand and the audience they were trying to reach. Splitting up responsibilities when tasks were given was my way of making sure assignments were completed. Looking back, I wish I took on more tasks on my own and built more time into my schedule. Going forward, I’m working on making those corrections but for right now I would say my overall performance is at about 50%.
Company Event/Facebook Live (Journal Blog #7)
Being that I work remotely, I have not had the pleasure of attending a company event or working face to face with my coworkers or supervisor. I have, however, been keeping up to date with the recent events and developments within the organization via social media. In the last few weeks, I have been working on a logo project in which I was asked to reproduce the company logo in the color schemes of various countries. I later found out from a Facebook Live announcement, that the company was expanding to Malawi, South East Africa and Mumbai, India. I was also excited to see that the logos I had worked on were being used to celebrate the announcement. Continuing to watch the video, I listened to my supervisor speaking about the new President appointed to the Malawi expansion. He also had some advice for the viewers looking to make a difference in the world. He said, “if you debate on how to help the many, you’ll never make the effort to help the one”. In other words, any small contribution can make a difference if someone makes the effort. It can be any person at all, but we must allow ourselves to be used as instruments for change to make things happen. I felt inspired and renewed in my purpose as a practicing designer and I intend to continue working with this non-profit organization after my internship hours are completed.