Our 2019 summer interns describe their challenges, surprises and lessons

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October 2019

At StudioNorth, interns do real work. This past summer, they did real good work.

Annie Brinkman and Guillermo Pizano-Nunez made meaningful contributions to client projects on our Design team, while Rachel Miller performed many of the tasks that now belong to a regular, full-time Social Media Coordinator.

We asked all three about the challenges, surprises and lessons they’re taking away from their summer at StudioNorth. Here’s an edited transcript of their responses.

What was the most challenging part of your internship?

Guillermo: Trying to be open-minded and learning everything an agency has to offer. When you’re in school, you don’t learn what a work environment is like.
Rachel: Learning how to communicate within the agency and working remotely with everyone. Also, working with different personalities is challenging, but it’s prepared me for the next school year and projects for my major.
Annie: The challenges of working within strict brand guidelines. Clients have borders you can’t cross, so how can we make this as creative as possible while still working within those limits?

What about your internship surprised you?

Annie: I was surprised by how much SNers value interns and the ideas we’ve brought to the table! Everyone has been willing to let me learn with them, being in meetings and hearing how we talk with clients.

Rachel: My biggest shock (after interning in 2018) was how much processes have changed, platforms have changed, and analytics on social media have changed over just one year.

Guillermo: The culture surprised me. On the Studio’s website there’s an emphasis on a human-to-human approach, and it strikes a chord. Everyone here is very nice and helpful, but with a lot of other internships you work alone, or you don’t have much to do.

What was your favorite project?

Rachel: I’ve gotten to lay out clients’ social calendars, with links and social objects, and had the opportunity to write agile social posts, which is great because I’m thinking about going into copywriting. And it was cool to learn how to use Sprout Social.
Annie: I hadn’t done anything with animation before, so I appreciated the freedom to play around with storyboarding videos.
Guillermo: A publication layout for one client was good preparation for my school newspaper next year—a great way to exercise design skills within the brand.

What will you take away from your internship?

Guillermo: At school, most of the time you’re on your own, but at the Studio, you work with a team, and you have to be able to communicate properly, know your limitations, know when you’re at capacity and be able to reach out for help.

Rachel: I appreciate the small company culture StudioNorth has. People check in on you and see how you’re doing outside of work, too.

Annie: It’s a learning environment. People have stepped in and said, “Can I walk you through this? Can I teach you?”

Any final thoughts about your summer experience?

Rachel: I really appreciated having hands-on experience with different platforms and websites and doing research and new client presentations.
Annie: People at StudioNorth take on projects that push them to be a better designer. I learned there’s no right way to pursue your creative interests—you just have to go for it and immerse yourself in the experience.
Guillermo: My experience has made me a better designer. When StudioNorth designers review my work, they’re very specific and helpful, pointing out things my professors don’t point out. Sometimes I feel like I’ve learned everything I can, but I’m glad the Studio has proven me wrong!

Back at college—for now

Our summer interns are all back at college now.

Annie is starting a graduate program in visual communication and social design at the University of Notre Dame.

Guillermo is a senior at Dominican University, where he’s lead designer for the school newspaper.

Rachel is also a senior, at the University of Illinois, pairing up with a graphic design student for their senior project.

Like proud parents, we wish them all the best—while we miss them, just a little.

Jeff Segal

Jeff Segal

Senior Copywriter

Senior Copywriter Jeff Segal writes blogs and social content for several SN clients, while crusading tirelessly against the words provide, quality, strive and utilize.

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