Getting Creative at the Small Business Development Center

This semester I have been working at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which is located right on Temple’s campus.  If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s one of a number of centers throughout Pennsylvania that partner with a university to provide low-cost business consultation to local entrepreneurs trying to start their own businesses.  Because there are a variety of departments involved with getting budding businesspeople real-world ready, it’s become somewhat of a feeder organization for Temple students majoring in business, advertising, marketing, etc.  As an Ad major double-tracking in Copywriting and Art Direction, I’m in the SBDC’s Creative Department.

Coming into this internship, I didn’t know quite what to expect.  My interests in advertising are pretty varied within the creative realm, so I was excited when the Associate Director told me that I would be working on a variety of projects, from designing logos to writing newsletters.  In the six weeks or so that I have worked here, I have come to really enjoy the laid-back atmosphere. I’ve also been able to get acquainted with other fellow advertising students who work in the office as both interns and employees.

So far, I’ve spent most of my time doing design work.  A few weeks ago, I was assigned to design a logo for my first client, a financial consulting company catered specifically toward helping Christian organizations.  I scheduled a meeting with the client and Pearl Wang-Herrera, a senior business consultant from the SBDC, who was going to help me move things along.  I have to admit that I was pretty nervous going into the meeting.  Luckily, the client was very nice and had experience with the SBDC before, so she already knew a little about the ins and outs of the whole process.  Pearl was also great in helping to conduct the meeting if I ever looked like I was drawing a blank.  It was easier than I thought to talk to the client about her preferences for the logo and the vision she had for her company.

Since then, I’ve been working on the design, emailing the client, getting her feedback, making changes, emailing again, discussing on the phone, rinsing and repeating.  The client was looking for a logo that incorporates a cross to project a Christian image, but Pearl thought a secular logo would bring in more clients for her company.  So far, the client has stood her ground.  I’ve actually enjoyed being caught in the middle of everything, because it’s teaching me about the natural give-and-take of working with a client.  You can make suggestions, but in the end it’s all about making the client happy.  And at this point in my career, that’s good enough for me!

One comment

  1. As an art direction student myself, I can definitely relate to your experiences working with clients. Sometimes you have to defend your work as a designer and other times you have to meet the needs of the client. I’m glad you’ve been having a positive experience working with this client as sometimes things can get complicated. It sounds like you are gaining great experience while creating work to add to your portfolio. I hope things continue to go well for you at SBDC!

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