During summer 2018, I got an amazing co-op/internship opportunity to work as a multimedia designer with a global media agency network, Mindshare in New York City. As an international student, the internship was my first full-time internship working in the U.S., and I was the only international intern among about 40 interns that the company hired that summer.
My major responsibility in the company was to assist the Mindshare Creative Director on various projects supporting the Mindshare business, including video and audio editing, building styled templates and other visual design projects.
• There are so many different things and skills to learn in an internship setting compared to working in an academic setting.
When in school, I mostly work with myself, classmates and professors, and everything is based on an academic setting. We do learn a lot in school, but I don’t know if my projects are going to perform well in the market and the industry. However, during an internship, I got to experience organizational and professional cultures that are very new to me. I have direct contact with people who do different works, and I also get frequent feedbacks from my workplace supervisor about my performance which reflects how the projects actually work and support the company’s business. It feels really good to see how users react to your design projects in the real world, instead of just getting feedbacks without testing out the performance and usability.
• Always be yourself, and always learn from the individuals you meet in the office.
I was really lucky to be surrounded by super nice team members and managers. My supervisor and I have similar backgrounds, and we constantly talk about our design concepts and thoughts on certain design projects. I also appreciate that my supervisor trusted me as an independent individual and offered me a lot of room for flexibility and creativity. I was so glad that I was not only gaining valuable applied experience, but also making connections in professional fields, which will guide me and impact my future career path.
• I am very thankful for this summer internship opportunity.
I was lucky to sit next to a super nice team, with mentors and managers who guided me both professionally and personally. I got valuable feedbacks which I would never get in an academic setting. And I am also glad that I got to do this internship in New York City, one of the greatest cities in the world. Although living in the city on an intern’s budget is a bit challenging, it at least gives you an idea of how it feels like to live and work in NYC and also expand your life experiences! Whatever the future may bring, I would look back on my time here and appreciate the skills and knowledge I gained.