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Internships Provide Design Students with Valuable Experience

MicaelaThrough the internship program in the department of art & design, students are able to complete internships which help them develop the necessary skills and professional relationships, giving them the edge in an increasingly competitive job market. In any situation, A&D students provide much needed assistance and gain valuable experience in these difficult economic times.

The department of art & design partners with design firms, companies and organizations from government, health care, technology, arts and culture, religious, and many other sectors in order to provide opportunities to A&D students.

During the 2009 summer term, two design students earned competitive internships and gained the opportunity for professional experience. Senior advertising design major Micaela Nauman interned at Chute Gerdeman Retail located in Columbus, Ohio and senior advertising design major Lauren Bailey interned at the national office of Campus Crusade for Christ in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Ever since having an interest in design and retail, senior advertising design major Micaela Nauman wanted to work for a firm which specializes in interior and graphic design. Interning at Chute Gerdeman brought her one step closer to her dream job.

“During my first week, they treated me like a full-time employee,” said Micaela. “I underwent training for the company and a lot of professional development sessions with the design team.”

Micaela knew she landed the perfect summer internship when she began work on her first major assignment. “I first worked with a senior designer at the firm to develop a complete identity for Mars. The project was for the Kroger stores. We researched, developed and designed their entire Halloween candy aisle concept. A lot of work went into it.”

“A few weeks later, we presented the concept to the client,” Micaela explained. “The designers complimented me on how well I assisted them and on the great ideas that I developed. It was an amazing experience.”

As the Kroger stores begin their transformation in October, Micaela will watch in anticipation. “Every piece of graphic material as well as full-size mock-ups were approved by the client,” Micaela described. “When we started on the final art work, we had no down time. But, when the project was completed, we were relieved. I can’t wait to see it in the stores.”

Image When Lauren Bailey accepted an internship with the Campus Crusade’s national office, she knew her job would test her mettle as a designer. “I hit the ground running during my first week in the office,” Lauren said. “I worked with a team to create an integrated marketing campaign for Indy Winter Conference. We focused on the creative process along with an identity for the conference.”

By mid-summer, Lauren worked over-time and started designing an identity for Ohio Crusade, a ministry that involved many different college campuses throughout the state. “After our initial research and brainstorming,” Lauren explained, “I first worked on sketches then moved to computer roughs. We had a lot of work to do before our presentation to the client.”

In addition to her duties with Campus Crusade and Winter Conference, Lauren also partnered with many other organizations including a community center to publicize a steel drum band concert. “I designed a small identity program for them,” recounted Lauren. “I had to work quickly. For me, it was neat for me to see what it was like to do design in a workplace versus a classroom setting.”

From an undergraduate standpoint, the design management skills she learned enhanced her leadership roles. “My internship was great preparation because it made me confident in my design abilities and confirmed my professional aspirations after graduation,” Lauren explained. “I dealt with a handful of different clients. I noticed how I had to present things in a way that made the best option seem the most attractive and strategic.”

“It’s also been nice to collaborate with a team, which we don’t get much in a classroom,” added Lauren. “I was very fortunate to have worked with a group of people who worked well together and held their own weight. I enjoyed working with writers who made things much easier, web designers who knew coding much better than I did, and others who simply saw how everything intertwined together in video.”

Recognizing that students learn best when they are truly engaged in hands-on educational experiences, the department of art & design requires internships to complement the classroom education. Each A&D major includes some kind of internship experience, allowing students to select opportunities that best suit their curriculum and career goals. Recent A&D student internships have included a design internship at Walgreens in Chicago, a design exhibit internship in Washington, D.C., a design and marketing internship at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, and a design internship at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati.

Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second edition of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design, contact the department at 419.772.2160.