This guest post is by Courtney Prach, our Spring 2015 Graphic Design intern. Just like Courtney, you can find internship opportunities on or off campus to expand your experience and try something new. Not only can you gain a new network and possible references, but you can develop new skills, earn academic credit, and make yourself a better job candidate.
I’m Courtney Prach and I am a recent graduate of Northern Arizona University with a BFA in Visual Communications, emphasis in Graphic Design and a minor in Advertising. I hope to apply my skills towards a career in print design, either pursuing my passion for advertising or working within the creative marketing field.
I have been working together with the NAU Career Development team this past semester to develop a variety of marketing materials. I have created promotional materials for 4 Career/Job Fairs, as well as designed the Jobs for Jacks banner,the 2015-2016 Career Resource Guide, and a rack card and business card for the team. For each design, I was responsible for establishing a number of mock-ups for review. They would then decide which of the mock-ups they wanted me to continue with and I would revise the pieces, often numerous times, to satisfy everyone’s vision. The result was a wide range of materials for the team to use now and in the future.
This was my first experience in dealing with branding restrictions set by a marketing team, in my case NAU Marketing. I felt very challenged at times developing ideas, since I was limited in the color palates and typefaces I was allowed to use. Many of the projects I worked on required me to budget my time effectively to meet deadlines. Thus, I learned to make decisions independently about the overall design of pieces while still including feedback. There were times throughout my process that required me to incorporating feedback from up to 3 diverse perspectives, which was difficult to balance. I received a lot of criticism from the team, some of which I did not necessarily agree with, but I overcame the challenge by prioritizing the elements that were most important within my designs. Reflecting upon this experience, I know that overcoming these obstacles has helped me become a better problem-solver within the design field.
In closing, I want to say thank you to the members of the NAU Career Development team for this invaluable experience and helping me to develop some truly amazing pieces that I will be able to showcase in my personal portfolio. It has truly been an honor to work with all of you.