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Ohio Northern design students spend summer participating in internships

For their summer vacations, Ohio Northern University design students fanned-out across the region doing everything from creative/art direction in Pittsburgh to design at the Ohio Environmental Council. They’re participating in summer internships, those valuable résumé builders that signify practical experience.

The importance of internships is multifaceted, said Nancy Sheely, one of the directors of career services at Ohio Northern.

“Of primary importance is the opportunity for the student to apply what has been learned in the classroom in a workplace setting. This can confirm the career choice or allow for a change in direction,” Sheely explained. “Conversely, the employer has the opportunity to ‘test drive’ the candidate for future opportunities.”

And, Sheely emphasized, data indicate that students who intern get better jobs, quicker and at higher salaries.

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 2010 summer term, four design students completed competitive internships and gained the opportunity for professional career experience.

Jessica Whitley, a senior art/graphic design major from Dublin, interned as a designer in Columbus for the Ohio Environmental Council, a leading advocate for fresh air, clean water and sustainable land use in the state. Working collaboratively in the marketing and communications office, Jessica assisted with many marketing projects by designing brochures and other publications to promote various OEC events. “It was a challenge. My solutions had to be creative and stay within a tight budget. Some of my designs had to be modified to meet the costs and deadlines,” said Jessica.

Senior art/advertising design major Bethany Schreck, from Pittsburgh, completed her internship with Mullen, a full service advertising agency, integrating disciplines from creative to direct response, public relations, full-service media, social influence, digital production and analytics.

Bethany worked on print, TV, Web, social and many other types of advertising from idea, concept development to execution. Working with real clients and internal creative directors, she was able to pitch an entire campaign while working with other interns from various departments.

“I was told I went above and beyond for our Pennsylvania tourism project,” explained Bethany. “The other interns were so supportive and put up with my lack of sleep! My efforts were extremely appreciated, and I have enjoyed putting the time in and really making an idea come to life… I genuinely do feel that I am cut out for this line of work and that I have something to offer. To have that piece of knowledge is the best reward of all.”

Matthew Garringer, a senior art/graphic design major from Jamestown, completed a design internship with Amscan Inc., the largest designer, manufacturer and distributor of decorated party goods and party accessories in the world.

“My job was to assist the creative director and associate designers with various projects,” described Matt. “I designed some of their products and packaging, created a number of concept mock-ups, and learned a little bit about their business.”

Senior art/graphic design major Katie Merchak interned at the Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati. From Loveland, Katie had the perfect opportunity to work with the lead graphic designer.

“I worked closely with the marketing coordinator and the public relations director in publicizing the Center’s exhibits, events and the store,” recounted Katie. “Every day was something different. I helped create information for the Web site, wrote copy, designed e-marketing campaigns and produced so many other communications material… At times, it was a little nerve-wracking.”

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.

Other recent A&D student internships have included an advertising internship at Walgreens in Chicago, design direction internship in Washington, D.C., retail design internship at Chute-Gerdeman Retail Design and Branding in Columbus, graphic design internship at The Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, design internship at Lima Memorial Hospital, The Detroit Studio in Cleveland and The Milan Historical Museum, and an exhibit design internship at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI).

The 2010–11 academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the Bachelor of Arts degree in art at Ohio Northern University. Growing from a single-discipline school, the department offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensions, three-dimensions and art therapy. 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 also 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 or the University’s 2010-11 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.

image: Bethany Schreck, second from the right, first row, with Mullen’s internship staff.