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Art & Design Professional Opportunities

Students in the department of art & design benefit from close, regular interaction with professionals in their disciplines. These experienced mentors come to campus to work with our students, encouraging them to refine developing skills and providing insight into the real-world demands of the students’ future careers. Other professional experiences require students to study or work at an off-campus site.

Internships and Externships
Internships are an integral part of our educational program. They give students the opportunity to affirm career goals and gain experience in a chosen field while making invaluable connections in the profession.

All students in the BFA program are required to participate in the internship program. For art education majors, 12 weeks of student teaching are required for licensure. Studio arts majors also are required to complete an externship or study abroad. In special occasions, domestic study in an approved program also may fulfill this requirement. For design majors, students are required to complete 16 credit hours of an internship in a graphic or advertising design setting, either during a summer or regular academic term.

Typical sites for students include design firms, public relations firms, advertising firms, museums and arts organizations. Some internships are paid experiences that help offset expenses and college costs while other internships lead to freelance work or full-time employment. Students at Ohio Northern are offered a plethora of possible experiences, such as:

  • Amelia Island Plantation, Florida
  • Baltimore Orioles, Maryland
  • Blanchard Valley Regional Hospital, Ohio
  • The Contemporary Art Center, Ohio
  • COSI Museum, Ohio
  • Doner Advertising Agency, Michigan and Ohio
  • Frog Inc., Texas, California, New York, Seattle, China, Italy
  • Graphis Magazine, New York
  • Informatics, Pennsylvania
  • Letter 13, Pennsylvania
  • Liggett-Stashower, Ohio
  • Marriott Corporate Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  • The Museum of Modern Art, Ohio, Massachusetts, Chicago
  • National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
  • National Geographic, New York
  • Nickelodeon Animation Studios, California
  • Nike Inc., Oregon
  • Ogilvy & Mather, Michigan
  • Paul Osbourne Design, Ohio
  • Proteus Design, Massachusetts
  • Reebok International, Massachusetts
  • Seventh Street Studio, Michigan
  • Siegel & Gale, New York, California, London
  • Target Corporation, California
  • The Studio Museum, New York
  • ThoughtForm Inc., Pennsylvania
  • Walgreen’s Advertising Department, Illinois
  • The Washington Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio
  • U-Wire National University E-News Service

The benefits of participation in our internship program for employers are many. Through the program, employers are able to gain access to a group of highly creative artists and designers. Art and design interns are able to bring energy and creativity to their internship sites while gaining real-word experience.

Internship site employers are able to have a positive impact on art and design students. Many employers have a sense of satisfaction from being able to provide a training and learning experience for their interns. For many students, an internship is one of their first work experiences in the field; employers are able to help train and mold a growing artist or designer.

Interns are able to provide a low cost alternative to employers’ human resource needs. By participation in the program, employers are able to develop a pool of candidates for current or future full-time employment needs. Interns are a good way for employers to determine if a candidate will provide a good fit for full-time job opportunities within the organization.

Interested employers are encouraged to contact the department of art & design for our Employer Information and Engagement brochure. It contains forms for an intern and a position description, approval process, and other information for employers. Please contact the department at 419.772.2160 or

Independent Studies
Independent study allows qualified juniors and seniors to earn credit while engaged in supervised work in areas of interest. Typically one to four credit hours, the "course" may be an in-depth investigation into a technique, a specific problem or a special project. The program requires tutorial supervision by a faculty member, group critiques by faculty, independent work. Interested students submit project proposals to the appropriate faculty representative for approval before registering.

Practical Experiences
The art & design department provides students with opportunities for practical experience through internships, externships, department newsletters and various activities within Kappa Pi, the National Art Education Association and AIGA/The Professional Association for Design. Students should take advantage of extracurricular activities on campus to build practical skills, a portfolio and experience. Most of the following examples can be taken for credit:

Graphic Design Production Workshop
The workshop is the department’s in-house design and project-management class. The workshop engages students in individual and collaborative problem-solving assignments for University and non-profit clients in a professional setting. Students work directly with clients on a wide range of projects including: identity systems, brochures, publications, posters, signage systems, book design and illustration.

Department and University publications

  • Polar Droppings: participation in writing, designing and producing of the department’s student newsletter. Published weekly (Fridays).
  • The Manutius Circle: activities in writing, designing and producing the department’s alumni newsletter.
  • The Journal of Personal Letter Writing: experience for design majors in technical, layout and production skills of a professional journal. Edited by Dr. Steven Iseman (communication arts department). Published quarterly.
  • The Northern: participation in design, photography, writing and producing the ONU yearbook.
  • E-Zine: publication activities on the ONU electronic culture magazine.
  • Northern Review: journalism activities in writing, editing, design, photography and producing the student newspaper.
  • Polaris: participation in design, production and editing of the literary-art magazine.
  • Theatre/Scene Shop: Opportunities to engage in technical and artist work for musicals, plays, dance, etc.

Department Employment
There are a variety of jobs available in the department for students eligible for work study funds. There are also special skills jobs available. The art & design department views these work assignments important to the operation of the department and expects that students hired for these duties treat them with the same regard.

A listing of departmental jobs is on file in the art & design office as well as in the financial aid office. Available times for work as gallery attendants and department office clerks are arranged through the department secretary. The computer lab monitors are hired through the graphic design program. Other departmental jobs include studio assistants, gallery director assistant, slide librarian, student designer, among others.

Department of Art & Design

Ann Hood

Wilson Art Building
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
Monday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed