Confessions of a Summer Intern: Expectations Exceeded

Kaitlynn wraps up her summer blogging, but not her internship. In case you missed it, you can catch up on Kaitlynn’s internship in her June post and July post.

The rumors are true, summer is almost over!

June and July are but a memory in my rear view. It’s hard to think these last two months have flown by so fast. In such a short amount of time I’ve gained so much experience and can honestly say have enjoyed every day. I know, however, that my time here at the James R. Connor University Center is not over and I still have many more days to further myself as a designer.

Poster by Kaitlynn Parrott
Unconventional Canvases

“Unconventional Canvases” exhibit that I designed the poster for.”
UC Unconventional Canvases

I’ve been lucky enough to receive the opportunity to carry this internship into this fall semester. I will be taking classes and working at the University Center throughout the whole semester. I am getting credit for my fall term as well and am very excited I could manage to use my internship towards credits. The way I look at it is I’m getting rewarded by doing something I love, getting paid for it, and doing it for school. Who knew there was a class I could get paid for and enjoy?

Unlike other internships my classmates and friends have had, I was fortunate enough to receive a paycheck. But it meant so much more than that. Not only has this internship been rewarding to my pocketbook, but also to my overall confidence and knowledge in creating and distributing promotional material. In the future, I know I will be able to look back at this opportunity I received and be so grateful. Of course I’m grateful right now, but whatever comes my way, I’ll know where I got my start and the place I established myself and became confident in myself.

I’ve mentioned in my other posts how in this short amount of time I’ve grown in all positive ways. I am still becoming more confident in my skills and learning new things every day. There are so many different techniques and shortcuts I’ve been taught or have mastered just by repetition on various programs I use to design like Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. For those who know me, they would be shocked to know that, yes it’s true, I’ve even become more organized.

I like to consider my organization skills chaotically precise, but since this internship, I have bought a planner, created an organizational technique for clothes and shoes, and managed to rename and categorize my personal files on my laptop and USB drives. Big change!

At the start of my internship, I was overwhelmed but ready to work hard and make sure I could show my potential to my boss and coworkers. I was unsure of what would happen but wanted to excel in every possible way, have others like my ideas, and if not, help to make ideas merge. As the days have gone by, I have had my expectations not only met but gone steps further. I was able to apply knowledge I had to further prosper my idea of how the real world will work. One of those things being deadlines.

The University Center held a Senior Painted Jars Workshop.
UC Painted Jars

Recently, there have been so many projects to work on that have specific deadlines to be met. And though it can be stressful to meet them, it’s beneficial to my overall work ethic. I know I can’t dink around and must stay focused to complete my tasks to my full ability. It can be overwhelming at times with many graphic request forms. Graphic request forms are specific directions to what kind of information each designer needs to complete a project. The detailed forms have the necessary items to complete a project and are a great tool we use at the University Center.

For other students, I know the summer is reserved for the beach, tanning oil, and cookouts. But for me, it was all of those things plus the satisfaction of working at a job that I loved and gained experience. I enjoyed my summer more than I expected and for working two jobs and still having time to spend with friends, I can’t complain.

The only thing ending for me soon is the summer and thus I do not possess the feeling of departure toward my internship. The feeling of departure however applies to this blog. Since this is my last blog post for the summer internship program I decided I should give some advice. Though I’m not one to ever give, just receive words of wisdom, I feel like this is my position to give some.

For those who are unsure about what you want to do in the future, just try the things you might want to do. You never know what could come of it. With my double major in Graphic Design and Advertising, I was never quite sure which one I would prefer. Coming into this internship, I was hesitant because I knew I needed work on my skills as a designer. Low and behold, this position has opened up my eyes. I’ve realized how much I love the overall feeling of creating something from my mind that others will see and that grabs their attention enough to stop and read the information. It’s a win-win situation. I create posters and signs for events for things that matter. They have substance to them since they are all events dealing with, featuring, or at the University Center. A place so close to all of us students here at Whitewater and they need to be recognized for such great opportunities offered to the students here.