Summer 2018, I completed an internship at 90 Degrees West, a studio that produces video, advertisements, television spots, and web ads for companies and organizations. I found the internship by posting my show reel on a subreddit for the position of motion designer and inquired about summer internships. One of the designers from 90 Degrees West viewed my post and contacted me to setup an interview and visit the studio a few days later.
I worked as part of the motion design team, which consists of two other designers. I was fortunate to be involved in several projects from start to finish, allowing me to see the whole process of video production. I was able to attend client calls, create storyboards for the brief, style framing, animation and editing. We created a new campaign for ValleyHealth, a health organization in St. Louis, and the project brief allowed for some creativity, but also specific design expertise. The team worked late several evenings and that experience allowed me to build good friendships with the other designers. This internship helped me gain real-world knowledge that I could not have received in the classroom. The other two designers had 10 years of experience in motion and video. They taught me important things about software and it was interesting to see their creative vision for the projects we were working on.
My education at IWU helped me to hone my craft and creative problem solving skills. The design classes have taught me how to present my work in a professional way. My graphic design professors helped me tremendously in applying for this internship and preparing for the interview. This internship experience has completely cemented my interest in motion design and I am motivated to enter the industry after graduation! My understanding has expanded beyond making good-looking work to understanding the value of communicating with clients, taking feedback seriously and continuing to learn new software beyond what I am comfortable with. Get an Internship! It’s an experience that will completely change your outlook. Also, don’t be afraid to share your work and reach out to companies. You never know where your next job will come from.
The Hart Career Center coordinates the centralized campus internship program and maintains Handshake, an updated online database of internships and post-graduate jobs. IWU students also have access to Internships.com, a large internship database with over 13,000 listings.
For students interested in art history, ACM offers a semester-long research seminar at the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Newberry Seminar: Research in the Humanities. Newberry Seminar participants can apply for paid internships in various positions including in Exhibitions, Public Programs, Digital Imaging Services, Events, and more.
Illinois Wesleyan is affiliated with the Washington Semester Program at American University