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Ohio Northern design students spend summer participating in internships

September—For their summer vacations, Ohio Northern University design students fanned-out across the region doing everything from graphic design at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland to design in Washington, D.C. 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 2011 summer term, four design students completed competitive internships and gained the opportunity for professional career experience.

Rachel Pioch, a senior graphic design major from Toledo, interned as a designer in Cleveland for the Museum of Contemporary Art. Working within the External Affairs Department, worked on a wide-range of communication projects including the design of invitations, signage, fliers, and postcards that communicated the MOCA brand. “I also had the opportunity to conceptually development a few design projects,” said Rachel.

Most intern positions require students to be excellent communicators with strong organizational, visual and verbal skills.  “Our design program emphasizes a strong foundation of design thinking and a liberal studies component,” explained Prof. Brit Rowe, chair of the department of art & design. “We want students to craft strong, impactful communications by being creative problem solvers. “

Senior graphic design major Andrew Adams, from Hudson, completed his internship with Winking Fish, a firm in Washington, D.C. specializing in communicating through print and digital design solutions.

“I was able to develop and work on a variety of projects, including a visual identities,” said Andrew. “I even pitched the idea of a re-brand for Winking Fish. I thought a better image suited the firm better in the current communications climate.”

Andrew also was accepted to the Washington Center for Internships and Seminars. The center is an independent, nonprofit organization serving hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C., for academic credit. Andrew is the second design student from Ohio Northern to have been selected for the program.

Greg Stawicki, a senior graphic design major from Wellington, completed a design internship with Red Red Design, a graphic designstudio focusing on design, production, and development of print collateral, websites, and interactive media.

“My job was to assist the creative director with various projects,” described Greg. “I designed some of their catalogs and other marketing materials, created a number of concept mock-ups, and learned a little bit about their business.”

Junior graphic design major Kevin Drain interned at Wilt Public Relations in Springfield. From Urbana, Kevin enjoyed the opportunity to work with public relation practitioners and a designer.

“I worked closely with the public relations coordinator and director in publicizing various businesses, events and many other things,” recounted Kevin. “Every day was something different. I helped create information for websites, wrote copy, designed e-marketing campaigns and produced so many other communications material.”

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 at the Smithsonian Museum 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 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 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 and third editions 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: Senior Andrew Adams with other intern students in Washington, D.C.