At this point, I am very close to reaching my required 120 hours for this internship course. During my time here, I have grown as a designer.
I have gained incredible knowledge about Banks in America and how central banks handle finance. I learned a lot about the Fed’s history and culture. It is incredible to see how the Federal Reserve Banks contributes to the community. During my time here, I have increased my knowledge/understanding of how the work done at the Federal Reserve Bank of NY educates my community. I have even had the chance to read literature that was produced by the Bank.
From the very beginning it has been an amazing experience for me. The bank truly cares about their scholars and very much acknowledges our presence. It was great to be able to work on a project that relates to my studies here at City Tech. This has been my first experience stepping into the field which City Tech has prepared me for. Thanks to the Communication Design curriculum I had a strong skill set that matched the work that I am currently doing for the bank. I was able to apply design and use the adobe creative cloud to put together my work. In addition, I have touched on some other great professional skills that are not necessarily related to my studies. For example, I learned how to manage my emails, manage my time, meet deadlines, receive feedback, communicate ideas and so much more.
Perhaps my most exciting moment and highlight of this internship was being able to put my work on display for the public! My supervisor made this extra special for me. She invited me to come downstairs with her to put together my printed work on plastic stands. She was extremely proud to have my work go live and available for the general public.
This was certainly a milestone for me, as this is the first time I EVER produce a design for my work field.
This internship is not even close to being over. Outside of the class course I am required to meet 250 hours through the CUNY Service Corps program. I am excited to see what other projects the department has waiting for me. I can’t wait to see the growth in my work and to engage in more collaborative projects. Ultimately, I hope to be able to come out with some pieces for portfolio work. I am looking forward to what the next steps are for me, I would love to be able to fight my way in for a full-time position here someday!
It amazes me how friendly and kind individuals at the bank are. I almost never walk past anyone without greeting them or wishing them a great day. Although I am a bit isolated in my cubical, I often find myself in conversation with bank employees and meeting new people every day that I am there. From the start I was looking forward to meeting the other CUNY Scholars who would be sharing the space with me. I only get to work with them once a week but it’s great to have their presence in the space. We always have interesting conversations and they teach me a lot. I also learned that I am one of the youngest CUNY Scholars there and maybe even at the bank. I enjoy connecting with the other scholars. Recently we have been having lunch in our department. This has led to many networking opportunities and I have met a lot of great individuals. It is also a luxury to be surprised with lunch and dessert. The office managers organize these treats in recognition of the employees hard work. I too have access to these treats and it is truly a great reward.
Currently I am still working on my first assignment. It has been a long journey, but we have really came up with a great piece. The piece I am working on is a takeaway for the general public. So far, through this experience I have learned how to communicate better, work in team, send emails that are more “work structured” and have developed my design skills along the way. It has been a great experience to work in a team, sitting down and observing my design. I receive feedback almost every day and it really improves my work. In addition, I am now applying images to this piece, something I was not doing before. This new addition can be tricky, you need to know how to work with the images proportions and how they will fit on the page. The piece is close to being done, I am looking forward to the result!
Work is perhaps one of the most important responsibilities that we have in our lives. We all work for different reasons, it helps us earn an income while also contributing to society. I first started working when I was 17 years old. I have explored a fair amount of jobs and engaged in different work environments. So far, I have had the luxury of working jobs that have been, for the most part extremely flexible with my schedule. I believe this flexibility often has to do with the facts that I am a student and the employer is always aware of that. Not all employees at the jobs I’ve worked have been students, many times they are full-time. Employees who are full-time usually don’t have flexible hours. In addition, employers have higher expectations for full-time employees and rely much more on them. Unfortunately, I have seen cases outside of my internship where full-time employees are denied days off and even asked to come in if they are attempting to call out. I have heard many employees upset because they miss out on family gatherings, parties, visitors, holidays and other special occasions the list goes on. Often, I have thought to myself how I would feel in their position and its very upsetting to think about. They are often stuck because the job there working is providing food on the table, so it is not easy to risk missing out on work. It is a tragic to hear these kinds of scenarios happen.
Fortunately, so far during my time at the Federal Reserve Bank I have not expereinced anything near this. Everyone at work seems calm and affirmative towards their work. I never hear any complaints about work schedules, it’s almost like that subject is non-exist. I wouldn’t expect nothing less from such a professional setting. On Halloween I experienced a very beautiful thing. Some employees were moving a bit faster than usual and seem to be leaving a bit earlier than usual. I heard many conversations regarding their kids and how they were leaving early so that they could take them trick-or-treating after school. I overheard stories about what kinds of costumes their kids were wearing and how they were looking forward to taking them out. Employees left early, no one seemed bothered by their early absence, on the contrary other employees wish them a beautiful and fun night. The staff who stayed made friendly jokes and free candy was everywhere!
I can only dream of being employed in such an amazing work environment like the one I am experiencing during this internship. Being comfortable and at peace is a luxury to have at a work space. I want to work hard in order to earn a job where my hours don’t make me feel trapped. I have also experienced this at a nonprofit organization which I have been employed for in the past. It brings peace to me knowing that these work settings are out there.
Perhaps one of the most significant moments that I’ve had was my first day in the office. During this day I was able to have lunch with my supervisor and another team member who was full-time staff. My supervisor shared her background in art and the work field. I found it really exciting that she uses to sculpt and that she has a background in art. She also shared with me her work habits, I was amazed at by how much she was doing. Right away I knew that she was a busy lady juggling a lot on her hands. Nevertheless, she was passionate and excited when sharing her story. I was inspired and motivated by her experience. She made me feel like I was in the right place.
Across from me sat another team member who came from an animation background. It was a wild experience because I could feel my expression growing as he was describing his experience. He also shared that he is a Professor at SVA (School of Visual Arts), this was so incredible to hear. He shared a little bit about his work. He is an individual who comes from an animation/illustration background. It turns out that he did not see himself in the field of economics and that he kind of just found himself there. He is also an adjunct professor who teaches animation. The Federal Reserve Bank of NY also has a comic book that educates kids about the economy in which he participated in bringing it to life. He wrote and illustrated this work! This was crazy to me because he was somehow applying his passion to the work he was doing at the bank! I knew that my skills as an animator/illustrator would also be applicable to my work space, no matter where I found myself. This individual made me feel sure about where I was at. I can’t wait to see where I end up, however one thing is for sure my illustration and animation skills WILL come in handy!
I truly believe that this assignment is helping me grow as a graphic designer. I felt that since the start I have approached this with a serious tone. I want to be able to produce outstanding work for the bank. I am very passionate about this piece. I am very proud that although this assignment only consists of text, I am still feeling excited and motivate to execute a strong piece! I am also having fun with this piece, I don’t find myself wanting to move on or step back from the work. I truly enjoy this assignment and experiencing this collaborative experience.
I feel that I have done rather well in receiving feedback and applying it to my work. I am also proud that I do not hold back in asking questions. I am not shy when I feel uncertain, most of the time my questions are answered, and I am more relaxed about my work. I have also done some serious note taking along the way. I am learning that note taking is very essential in the work that I am producing. It prevents me from asking questions and it also helps me avoid the feeling of being “stuck”.
Overall, I feel like I have been successful in my work so far. I give myself credit for using tips from professors and listening to their lectures. I also am proud to say that although I am working I am still having an incredible experience. My creative and work speed are being tested so I must exceed expectations!
Currently I am working close with my Supervisor on my first assignment. We are aiming for this assignment to be a public takeaway for the museum. I find this to be a collaborative work between my supervisor, another employee who is in our team and myself. This assignment was introduced to me by my supervisor and another bank employee. Together, the three of us walked through the project brief. I made sure to take notes and develop ideas as we went along. I did no hold back on asking questions such as paper size and color. I tried to take as much notes as I could, I knew this was a must. Suddenly my progress was interrupted by required training for new employees. This training was time consuming, so I had to step away from my assignment. I was able to obtain knowledge on how to better manage myself and the work I engage in. I learned more about company culture and got a better understanding of how to keep my work secure and safe. I found this experience to be significant because this will happen in other work spaces. You don’t always get right to work, often there are other factors involved that can interrupt your process.
After completing new employee training, and more required paperwork I returned to my assignment. While working on this assignment I found myself communicating with my supervisor in many ways such as in person, e-mail or Instant Messenger (IM). I came to see how versatile my network is and the different methods of communications. This assignment mostly focuses on text rather than imagery. The text was given to me back when the assignment was first introduced to me. This is a great first assignment for me because there aren’t many elements to be working with. I am starting with a simple approach to this project. So far, we have been successful in communicating with one another. We are still currently in the mock up phase and are working closely to provide a piece that matches the museums look and feel as well as its identity.
Serving as a design intern at the federal reserve bank has exposed me to the field of my interest. The courses I took at City Tech prepared me so well for the language and understanding of the Graphic Design field. Many professors would speak on what it’s like to be active in this field. For example, deadlines are significant and many of my Professors would highlight that. Thankfully this has helped me with time management and I have developed the skill to move quickly with my projects. Another area that was highlighted often presented to us was not to be sensitive to feedback. I have experienced presenting my designs to my supervisor and have received directions to change a lot of the work that I had prepared. For example, the Museum has a style guide that I must strictly follow. I had to admit that I was not following the “look and feel” of the guide and so I had to step back. After reevaluating my progress, I found my supervisors insight helpful as I was able to go back and be truer to the style guide.
The work that I am producing at the bank is truly one that fits my interest and major. Throughout my college career I have explored so many branches of graphic design. I have developed a great interest for typography ad my passion for graphic design has truly expanded. Although my concentration is animation/illustration, I still have valid skill set that I am using that I obtained from my design classes. I had the pleasure of meeting an animator who was also a full-time staff. This individual also teaches at SVA (School of visual arts), I was able to have lunch with him and learn about how he ended up at the bank. This made me feel sure that I was in the right place. The most exciting part is that my supervisor expressed an interest for assigning a project to me related to my concentration!
Currently I am working mostly with a design program on a takeaway for the general public. This takeaway is for those interested in learning more about the history of the Federal Reserve System.
Company culture is an obvious at the Federal Reserve Bank. Since I first started entering the environment I could see that everyone “spoke the same language” and was familiar with the nature of the bank. Employees dress business attire both men and women. I soon became familiar to the vocabulary and acronyms that the employees were using. I myself also dress business attire, I try to wear a tie often but not always. I wear slacks everyday along with a dressing shirt and business shoes. I am not shy about wearing vibrant colors or shirts with patterns, however I always consider if the piece is clothing will be appropriate for the work place.
My department consist of high activity, there are always employees printing, walking around, some are rushing to get to meetings and everyone always has their eyes on the clock. This isn’t necessarily a negative setting on the contrary the energy can be felt, and it often motivates me to move fast or focus more on my work. Although the setting can feel very busy there are times when the office is calm, and the energy begins to go down. This too is a benefit because you experience a moment of relaxation and it becomes easy to focus on your task for the day. I imagine that employees experience this at different times. The bank has the luxury of having its own cafeteria which is located on the top floor.
Employees seem to take breaks whenever its most convenient for them. I have the freedom of taking my lunch when I choose to. However, I like to have a specific time for lunch during my work days. I work 2 days, 6 hours each on Wednesdays and Fridays. Full-time staff have their own schedules, I haven’t asked around about their work hours, but it seems to be a 9-5 job. I often hear the staff casually talking about traveling due to other states. I find this interesting and would personally enjoy having to do that. I look forward to adapting more to the company culture and being able to represent the bank beyond the work space.
Allow me to take you back to about 8 months ago. I was at my first year and semester at City Tech as a transfer student. Prior to this I had completed an associate degree in Graphic Design (A.A.S) at Kingsborough Community College. One of my main goals was to start seeking an internship as soon as I started City Tech. As the semester went on I was able to network with many classmates. I quickly found myself in conversations regarding internships. Some students had already participated and completed internships and others like me were seeking the opportunity to apply for one. The CUNY Service Corps was perhaps the most popular internship and certainly fit my interest. I went home and immediately researched the Service Corps and quickly found myself applying. I was intrigued and impressed with the work that the CUNY service corps was accomplishing and the impact that they were having on all different communities. To join the Service Corps, I completed the application which included a lot of paper work and 3 essential essays. I was notified about my INITIAL acceptance into the program months after I had already applied. To gain full acceptance to the program I still had to go to training’s, workshops and other mandatory events that increased my knowledge about the Service Corps and its values.
Perhaps the most intense event was the job fair at John Jay College. This was a 2-day event that was full of potential working cites from all over the 5 boroughs. I had prepared my portfolio and was ready to be interviewed. It was tough having to adapt to each interview. For example, for some interviews the representatives were happy and proud, in others they seemed uninterested and blunt. I attended both days of the interviews, in total I participated in about 10 interviews. Some of these interviews were scheduled but others were not. My final interview did not take place until weeks later. The Federal Reserve Bank did not attend either days of the job fair I soon found out that the reason for this was because they had already chosen who they wanted to interview, and that interview was to be held at a separate time. This interview took place at the CUNY headquarters in Manhattan. The interview felt intense it was a huge building and just finding the correct floor was a journey within itself. During the interview I expressed my personal interest and love for graphic design. I was asked questions about my knowledge of the bank, personal achievements, and what kind of work I do as an artist. I answered each question genuinely and with much energy and excitement.
Finally, after this long journey I finally received an e-mail with a job/internship offer. I am now placed as a Design Intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of NY my role is within the Communication and Outreach department. My supervisor has been working closely with me since I first started and has introduced me to my first assignment!