My name is Elliza O’Grady, and I currently work as the Student Graphic Designer for the Office of Education Abroad (OEA) at Temple University. During the past year in my position, I’ve strengthened many skills that a student of advertising and art direction needs to be successful. My favorite thing about working for the OEA has been the scope of events for which I’ve made designs. The office is always involved in campus events and is creating additional resources for students on pressing topics like navigating identity and gender, race, and sustainability abroad. I also was able to design for both print and digital media, and it was exciting to hold my printed designs in the end.
One thing I have learned a lot about in this internship is designing within brand guidelines. It can be tricky, and sometimes feels limiting on your creativity. However, working with brand guidelines actually challenges you to push the limit of your creativity to still make beautiful, effective designs within a set of rules. I appreciate that I was able to work with brand guidelines, as I know it will help me in future projects.
The main thing I learned from the OEA is how to collaborate and accept constructive criticism. I think as designers, we may have the tendency to become attached to our designs. I’ve learned it’s difficult for me to separate myself from my work. After interning here for a full year, I’ve discovered that accepting constructive criticism and working together are crucial skills for an art director, because our job is ultimately to make something that meets the client’s business objectives and impresses them.
Overall, this internship has given me much more confidence in myself. I know that this industry is for me, I’m a good graphic designer, and I will succeed in advertising. It made me happy to make my supervisor proud through my designs. I also feel more confident in a professional setting. I know in the future I’ll be able to speak my mind much clearer and make informed decisions about advertising.
I’m thankful for this internship at the Office of Education Abroad, and I’m excited to explore new opportunities. My next internship is taking place abroad in Barcelona, Spain this summer! I know this experience will also teach me a lot, and I’m excited to see how I can continue to grow my personal and professional confidence in the future.