Student Internship Experiences

The following three IWU Art majors obtained internships in their related fields. Melissa Pyle, Laura Hornbeck, and Sarah-Beth Anderson are all concentrating in Graphic Design. Internships are a very important aspect of the college experience, they give an opportunity to students that the classroom cannot provide. They let the students apply all the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real world situations. We thought the best way to portray this would be in a question and answer format.



Melissa Pyle

- Interned with Biomedical Communications at SIU school of Medicine.

Q: What led you to apply for your internship?

A: I wanted to get some hands-on experience using the skills I had learned in my graphic design courses. The internship I had (Biomedical Communications at SIU School of Medicine) was convenient, since it was in my hometown.

Q: Were you able to work side-by-side with other full-time employees?

A: Yes, for some things. I had my own office space with a computer, so it was almost like I was working there. Most of the time, they gave me smaller, easier projects to do where I didn't need a lot of help from them. If I was working on something where I needed someone's opinion, the other designers were always available to help out.

Q: What was the highlight of the internship?

A: The highlight was working on a mock project concerning a comprehensive patient relations program, which they were thinking of implementing at SIU. I had to research some things, come up with a name for it, and develop some printed materials, such as a brochure and newsletter.

Q: Do you feel that IWU prepared you well for your internship?

A: Yes, I feel that I had sufficient computer knowledge for the work I was given to do. Biomedical Communications also deals with photography and video, but I was more interested in the graphic design area of the department.

Q: Did the internship help solidify your future goals?

A: It made me want to get even more experience in different types of design offices. I'm thinking I'd like to be in an actual design studio environment to see what that's like, as opposed to a general communications office.

Q: Would you recommend that students obtain an internship during their college career?

A: Yes, internships are very valuable in terms of getting real-world experience and defining goals for your future.



Laura Hornbeck

- Interned with Starnet Digital Printing Company

Q: What led you to apply for your internship?

A: I applied for an internship because I was working at a digital publishing company where I had gotten a summer job, and absolutely LOVED it and had learned so much that I felt like I had been in a class all summer. I figured I might as well get credit for a job, which I needed financially, yet also developed my skills educationally.

Q: Were you able to work side-by-side with other full-time employees?

A: This summer I WAS a full-time employee. Now I work around 20 hours a week, and yes, it is side-by-side with other full-time employees. In fact, they treat me like I AM a full-time employee...not like I am just a college student who doesn't know anything: I am ACTUALLY a part of the decision making process...my opinion matters and is actually USED in any projects which might eventually come into my hands. And I DO the work of the other full-time employees...I don't have a sluff-off job: If I mess up, the company suffers...They trust me with an incredible amount of work.

Q: What was the highlight of the internship?

A: They ACTUALLY gave me REAL work where they not only RESPECTED my opinion, but RELIED on it. I am needed and USED to my full "design potential."

Q: Do you feel that IWU prepared you well for your internship?

A: Another exciting thing for me to realize, was that WITHOUT my training at IWU, I would not be able to have this internship. This is the first job where my education was actually needed in order to even BEGIN to understand what I was working on.

Q: Did the internship help solidify your future goals?

A: It almost confused me more. I was SURE I wanted to go into advertising when I graduated, but I have LOVED working in a publishing company so much I have been considering actually working in a publishing company when I graduate. We just have SO MUCH fun and I don't feel like there is all the stress that I have heard there is at larger advertising companies. I mean, we have deadlines and due dates, and things can get stressful, but lying underneath is a fun time just patiently waiting until things have calmed down a little... And since I love design, I want to go into a job where I can love what I am doing with design and not be so consumed by frustration and stress.

Q: Would you recommend that students obtain an internship during their college career?

A: DEFINITELY! I was all SET as to what I was going to do with my life, and now having an internship has shown me real life and has made me really think about all of the OTHER options I have in a field that I am still learning SO MUCH about!



Sarah-Beth Anderson

-Interned with Russ Koester Design

Q: What led you to apply for your internship?

A: I wanted to get a head start on finding a job in my perspective field of employment before my senior year, so that by the time I graduated I would already have a ton of experience. I'm counting on that experience to make me stand out from the crowd when the time comes to apply for a full-time position in the work force.

Q: Were you able to work side-by-side with other full-time employees?

A: I work for a "one man" company, so I'm really lucky to work right along side my boss. Our office is located in a suite with an advertising agency that we work closely with, and I'm able to work one-on-one with them as well. It's an awesome feeling when another designer from their office comes over to ask my opinion on a piece they're working on.

Q: What was the highlight of the internship?

A: The highlight of my internship was when our clients kept asking when I was going to be back on breaks! Aside from that, the other highlight of my internship was when my boss asked me to start working full-time and giving me complete projects to work on- jobs where the client would talk directly to me about the work.

Q: Do you feel that IWU prepared you well for your internship?

A: I think that IWU prepared me for my internship. I had only had one design class, but Sherri had me well prepared to present a portfolio and taught me how to brainstorm some great ideas that impressed my boss enough to hire me!

Q: Did the internship help solidify your future goals?

A: My internship really solidified my goals. I'm not apprehensive at all about going out and competing for work with other designers; plus, now that I've gotten a taste for the field, I'm positive that it's the right place for me to be.

Q: Would you recommend that students obtain an internship during their college career?

A: I definitely encourage all students to get an internship while they are in college, and not to wait until their last semester to do so! In fact, I plan to do another internship with a printer here in Bloomington before I graduate to get a feel for that side of the design process.