Overlap

This past week, I was at my desk in the English department’s office for my work study job when a professor came in and asked me if I’d heard back from any law schools. As the writer of one of my law school recommendation letters, he’s heard plenty about my future plans and what the last year has been like for me going through the LSAC application process. While I was updating him, Dr. Terri Witek overheard and added how much need there is for lawyers working on copyright law in the realm of literature and art.

I am planning to pursue a concentration in patent/intellectual property law, so this was right up my alley. While copyright law is in the general vicinity of patent law, the latter is much more technologically involved, and so I hadn’t given much consideration to what it would look like to work with copyrights. Part of the appeal of being a lawyer, though, is that you are able to dabble in different areas of the law. As an English major, I have a invested interest in literature. Spending the two semesters as a web intern for the Creative Arts department has also given me a greater appreciation for the arts.

It’s exciting to see the ways my interests could overlap in the future. My heritage in aerospace and passion for problem-solving is what has driven me to pursue patent law, but there are other interests I thought I would be putting aside in my future career. I assumed my more artistic interests would become hobbies I had to make time for when I could. Looking forward, the possibility of my English major and internship experiences influencing some of my career choices seems like more of a possibility, and it’s a brighter horizon because of it.

 

Future Projects + Connections

 

It was another quiet day in the office, with most people having left by 1 pm. I got another assignment of color correcting/editing bathing suits and this took me the entire day since there were so many and the bathing suit tops were so intricate. The quiet day gave my supervisor and I some time to actually speak though and he assured/emphasized that even though I am only in the office on Fridays, he hopes to get me as involved as possible. I unfortunately miss the team’s daily meetings and brainstorming on projects, but he’s hoping to somehow incorporate me into those eventually.

I appreciated this talk with him because even after these past weeks, I admit I have not completely connected with the team/my supervisor. He not only told me that as the actual volleyball season arrives I will be assigned true design projects that will be displayed internationally, but that if I ever needed advice or had a question about anything, he was more than willing to help as he could. He told me that he even does freelance so if I ever had a question about that or how to possibly get a job after college, he could try his best to help me. This conversation was the most significant thing of my day because it helped me adjust to the idea that although this is an internship, it can also turn into networking and potential mentors. I’m looking forward to these future projects and everything else that the future may hold.

Looking Back, Moving Forward

Today marks exactly fifty days until May 12, the day of  my graduation commencement ceremony. In a few hours, I will pick up my cap and gown. This also means that my year as a web intern with the Creative Arts department will soon come to an end, and it’s time to start looking forward.

Part of my work as the first year-long web intern has been to develop a schedule that details some of the reoccurring events about which future interns will also need to post: award ceremonies, contests announcements, Winter Break hours, and the like. This is advantageous in that there is no need to spend time every year deciding what needs to be posted when, so both the intern and the supervisors may benefit. I have found myself benefitting from this task as well.

Two semesters worth of projects, exhibitions, interviews, plays, and workshops have to be reviewed in order for me to create a comprehensive schedule of web posts. Therefore, this task has had an introspective nature, allowing me to consider my internship in its many pieces. I’ve interacted with people from all four disciplines falling under the umbrella of Creative Arts in a variety of ways, and my approach to web posts has changed over the year. Slowly, I was able to focus on adding in different features like links to outside websites, photos about the content , and excerpted quotes.

I hope that in the future, other interns modify the schedule of posts. My experience is just that: mine. It is a singular example of what can be done in this position. What I have encountered and learned may be similar to that of the next intern, but it will by no means be identical. For one thing, he or she will start the internship with a different set of skills and a unique perspective. Therefore, they will only be able to add to what I leave behind. I hope to come across the Creative Arts website a year from now and smile at how my successors have improved upon the work I once did.

Social Media Lessons

This week, it was extremely and oddly quiet in the workspace; it was only one of my supervisors, the other intern for social media, and myself. The quiet environment did allow my one supervisor to really connect with me though and he emphasized the fact that he hopes I learn a lot while at Rox Volleyball and if there is anything he could help me with, he hopes I don’t hesitate to ask. For a majority of the day though, I continued to work on product photo editing jerseys, fixing slight edits that I was advised to do.

For about the last hour though, I actually continued to work on the social media project and I finished one of the quotes given to me. I checked their Instagram a few days later, and the edit I had done had in fact actually made it on their page! This was an awesome thing for me to see because it was the first project I could say where I created it from scratch and it made it onto a professional company’s social media page. This project has made me more interested in social media and how creative one can get, especially with on Instagram. On Instagram, one can manipulate photos themselves but can also play around with layouts. This project specifically has sparked an interest in me on pursuing more social media endeavors and it has given me more ideas on how to improve my own social media pages or possibly another company’s in the future.

A Diverse Education

This week, I am working on an article whose subject is this year’s senior exhibition. I have done several past articles discussing the new art and artists going up in the Hand Art Center, but this is the first time the artists have been fellow students.

Coming into this web intern position as an English major has been a particularly rewarding opportunity because nearly every one I meet on campus through the work is someone I would not have met otherwise. I doubt I would have ever stepped foot in the HAC if not for this internship; not because I lack an appreciation of art, but because in the busyness of classes I failed to make it a priority. In this past semester I have visited the gallery several times and plan to do so again.

I recently spoke with a very successful federal prosecutor, asking him for advice as I grow continually closer to beginning my law career. One of his suggestions for the three years of law school was to diversify how summers and breaks were spent. Just like an undergrad, law students should use their summers to complete internships or other learning opportunities to build connections in their chosen field and build experience. The man I spoke with suggested doing the internships in different areas: maybe one in probate, one in health law, one in tax.

Why do something else instead of continuing to build a stronger network in the field you know? He explained it like this: “One of two things can happen, and both are good. You will either be affirmed in knowing that what you thought you wanted to do is the right way to go, or you will find a greater passion for something else that you would have otherwise missed.”

My internship has allowed me to do just that as an undergrad, seeing a different side of the  education Stetson offers and, in small ways, being a part of it. I’ve received my first lesson here, and it will not be lost on me as I graduate and take on the next challenge.

 

Text Is The Enemy

Today, I continued the design assignment with the motivational quotes and I actually felt productive about it today unlike last week. I learned about social media and unique ideas about layouts for Instagram, which was beneficial not only for professional purposes but even for personal purposes also. As I worked on the assignment and got advice, I was taught one important lesson for any graphic designer: text is a pain.

Everything I thought I once knew about text and text layout flew right out the window as I worked on this assignment. Although I was capable of editing the background photo perfectly fine, it was the text that was difficult to get aligned, making sure that it fit perfectly and there was no empty space. Although I started to feel discouraged trying to get the text right, one of my supervisors reassured me and said that text is one of the biggest obstacles for any graphic designer and especially since this was my first time professionally working with text, it was all a learning experience. So even though text may be a pain, I’m glad to start this experience and to actually work on a more in-depth project that will be displayed publicly.

Before You Forget

This past week, I learned another one of those best practices for the professional world that I will likely be carrying with me after graduation. Less to do with my work as a web intern, this lesson is applicable in every field.

I am currently applying to a few summer internships at NASA, and amongst the busyness of mid-semester assignments and post-graduation preparation, the application slipped from my main focus. I asked my faculty supervisor and on-site facilitator for a recommendation letter, but not until two weeks before it was due—much later than I normally would ask. Laura Glander, my facilitator, had a copy of a something like a performance appraisal for me from the prior semester I had interned. With some adjustments, they were able to send in a letter for me despite the time crunch.

Dr. Wolek, my faculty supervisor, explained to me the common practice of keeping such letters saved at the end of an internship or job. These recommendations are naturally easier to write before too much time has passed and the details of a student or worker begin to fade in one’s mind. that way, if an intern e-mails his or her internship director six months after they’ve left the experience, one’s not scraping the bottom of their memory to pull out some descriptions.

I will be keeping this in mind as I move forward into my career, both for future internships I may have and for the possibility of me one day facilitating an internship.