While searching for a design internship, the first of many things that stood out for me about Digital Surgeons was that their position description explicitly said that interns would not be fetching coffee. They had my attention immediately, as I was not looking for your everyday “cookie-cutter” internship. I wanted to break a mental sweat and exercise those creative muscles. Digital Surgeons seemed to have a program where they genuinely cared about the progress of their interns, and those are exactly the people I wanted to surround myself with. I’m a Graphic Designer, and this is my story of how being a Digital Surgeon’s minion got me to where I am today.
The Absorption Phase
I came into the internship in high gear, ready to go. I was given a diverse number of projects ranging from a website redesign to social media campaign designs. I began with a website redesign of Bradley International Airport. Pretty confident in my work and ready for feedback, I presented my project to the creative team. I received valuable, insightful feedback on a level that I rarely heard while attending class. Here, is where I further learned that I wasn’t just here to fill up a desk chair and pick up the next round of Starbucks coffee. Looks like I made the right decision on my part! I then dove even deeper into the digital space, designed my own UI Kit that gained popularity through multiple online sources. Not stopping there, I designed an infographic, blog headers and even contributed to some client work such as social media campaigns, and email marketing. At the internship’s end, I revisited the Bradley International Airport website redesign and used the knowledge I gained throughout the semester to design a better experience. The end product: exponential improvement. Why? ABSORPTION! Like a metaphorical sponge, I absorbed every possible drop of information I could from the talent in that room. Keeping my mind open to feedback and using that as my fuel. I welcomed all the critique I could get, and believe that is the only way we can learn. In doing so, I learned how to create consistency throughout a brand and its campaigns, while using client feedback to improve the end result. I learned the importance of creating an enriched, vivid, easy to use digital user experience. Paraphrasing one of the surgeons, having a pretty design with poor user experience is like having a perfectly garnished entree that tastes horrible. Without it, you just have a pretty website that has no life or purpose.
Ready, Set, Go!
Want my advice? Absorb as much knowledge as you can and ask questions. Embrace criticism, and use that to fuel your passion. Go outside your comfort zone and really stretch your limits.
I can honestly say that Digital Surgeons has strongly impacted my development as a graphic designer and has guided me into the right direction. I have never seen such rapid improvement in my skills within a short period of time. I came into the internship like a kid in a candy shop; overwhelmed with all the different choices but I loved them all. I wasn’t as knowledgeable with the different directions I could take as a designer. But after working and learning from them, I have uncontrollably fallen in love with the web and digital design. Digital Surgeons helped point me in the right direction. They have given me the tools necessary to further pursue my passion: to help contribute to the changing world of design. And that’s exactly what I plan to do.
Graphic Design Intern, Fall 2013