As you might know from reading a bit about my background, I have a business background that is fairly analytical. While Finance turned out to be the wrong career choice for me, my experience at Asia Society helped me learn something important about myself: I am happiest working when I am using both sides of my brain.
I started Pratt under the assumption that I would eventually seek a role that required both analytical and creative thinking. But after a few classes, the right side of my brain was raring to go after resting for so long. That and being surrounded by incredibly talented designers and artists made me want to see if I too could do well in a purely design role. I now know what the answer is – probably not.
But there is a certain amount of pride I feel to know that I had a strong enough portfolio to have gotten a design internship in the first place, given I had never even used Adobe Illustrator before design school. And in going own the career path, it’s just as important to understand what you don’t want to do as it is to know what you want to do.
I have now worked at both ends of the extreme – finance and design. I think this puts me closer to where I want to be, which is in the middle. Hopefully.
I wanted to regularly update this blog with my internship experience, but classes and working have kept me so busy that my very first design internship has already come to an end, and this is my first post about it!
My six month internship at Asia Society of New York started last September and ended last month. As part of the Marketing & Design department, I worked on designing both print (advertisements, invitations, signage, and web banners) and digital (web banners, exhibition websites) collateral for exhibitions, events, and gift shop promotions. I also got to indulge my inner-photographer when I was asked to take pictures a few exhibitions to submit to the press (including the New York Times!). Everyone in the department was friendly, especially the talented designer who I worked under. It was extremely gratifying to see my work on display and sent out in the world. And I absolutely loved working in an environment surrounded by art and culture. How many people can check out Buddhist sculptures from the 4th century BCE during their lunch break?
During my time here, I learned how to create and carry out a a cohesive brand identity across different media, spaces and sizes. A new exhibition opening required designing everything from small dinner invitations, large window signage, and even bigger (eight feet long!) fabric banners that were hung high up at the Park Avenue entrance. Part of the design process included collaborating with the exhibition designers to collaborate on colors and typefaces. I accompanied the designer on press checks where I picked up a lot of useful information on proofing and color management, that is going to be very helpful for my classes. It was these types of real-world experiences that I really appreciated, because up until then, I had only done design work for school. Some of the work I did fo the Asia Society can be found on my portfolio.
My thoughts on career-related matters next…
Earlier this month, I presented the culmination of my Thesis I efforts in front of Pratt’s graduate Communications Design faculty. I received great feedback and lots of encouragement from the audience. My full presentation, which outlines my research findings, conclusions and next steps is below:
Pratt Thesis I Presentation