Confessions of a Summer Intern: Faster than a Hungry Cheetah

Kaitlynn is back with her second post for the summer. Meet Kaitlynn in her first post.

Since my last post I have been keeping very busy! My time has gone faster than a hungry cheetah. There is always something to create because of the many events that need posters and promotional materials here at the University Center. To be honest, I was surprised at the amount of projects I have been given considering it’s summer. I’m not complaining of course, because I enjoy never being bored and always keeping busy and… it’s air-conditioned at work.

From the start of my internship, I have been creating digital signage for the James R. Connor University Center front entrance that gives information on upcoming events, featured gallery work, general information about the University Center, and important reminders. This is a process I will continue to work on. But when other projects with stricter deadlines come along, I put the digital signage to the side for the time being.

I have been designing promotional material for Roberta’s Art Gallery and their upcoming events. Recently, the three events I designed for were an artist exhibit called Imagination: Building Castles in the Sky, a free workshop entitled Decoupage Frames, and another artist exhibit deemed Unconventional Canvases. Imagination: Building Castles in the Sky was an exhibit that displayed a variety of shadow boxes and 2D artwork by a self-taught artist named Leah Jurgens. This exhibit ended July 6th and in it’s place Unconventional Canvases will be shown. Artist Ann Windell will display her paintings that she put on windows and doors.

There are many projects I work on that aren’t seen by the public that consist of materials seen by employees and individual departments. This material is mostly invitations, reminders, and updates.

An event many people in the University Center and others help create is our Summer on the Malls. This is a series of events on three different days. At each event there are efforts to raise money for different local organizations. The last Summer on the Mall on June 14th was called World’s Fair. The picture below is two other employees and I (center) working this event.

Kaitlynn at Sumer on the Mall

The upcoming Summer on the Mall on July 18th, Tropical Island, is currently in the makes. Check out the website to see our menu and events! There will even be a DUNK TANK!

Summer on the Mall

There is a lot of “revamping” of material, if you will. I redo different permanent posters, informational signs, and other material in that category that needs some updating. I like the kind of work where I get to make something that seems boring simply come alive. It’s a valuable talent I believe to posses helps in becoming successful.

A challenge I’ve faced is being able to come up with new ideas that aren’t generic for a certain client. What I mean is, there are times where I’ll do three projects for the same client and focus on every design being different from the others, yet have similar qualities and stand out as a well without making the design look like it’s been done one hundred times by one hundred different people. I overcome this by doing massive amounts of brainstorming and searching for different images that can inspire me for a new and improved design.

I’m learning so much in the ability to adjust my ideas, various color schemes, and overall tactics depending on the client. Certain departments posses different standards and brand identity, so it’s important to understand, interpret, and produce a result that is consistent with those ideas.

As a designer, I’ve learned to manage my time more wisely. Before, I would set aside this huge chunk of time that I needed to get a project done and think I had to use every minute. But in reality, if something takes you less time, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t as good of an idea or design that took twice as much time. This has also made me a more confident designer. I believe in the designs I create and no matter the time spent, I have more confidence in my work than in the past. Instead of just having one professor tell you he or she likes or dislikes your design in class, it’s sent to be printed and given a final review which means it’s complete. I value this because you can learn many things in the classroom, but it isn’t until you get into a real world situation that you realize the potential to grow.

Recently a few of us got together and explored Whitewater Lake. Our Assistant Director taught us how to water ski and kneeboard. It was a fun experience for us all to get together and do something outside of the office. Some people, of course, were more successful than others, but I won’t name names 🙂

It’s hard to think the summer is half over and at this rate, the amount I’ve learned in this short amount of time, I’m excited to see how much more is in store.