I’ve been Genji’s graphic design intern for a month now. I couldn’t have asked for a better first internship opportunity. To provide some background, Peace Dining Corp is our parent company. There is Genji Retail Sushi (GRS) who is the sushi provider for Whole Foods Market. Then there Genji LLC, the office I work at in Center City. Our office houses the Support Center for Genji. It’s where the IT, Accounting, Business Risk, Marketing, Creative team etc. for Genji is located.

A lot of the projects that I work on involves updating or redesigning flyers/signage collateral for GRS or Hai Street Kitchen and Co. Which if you haven’t heard, is home of the “sushi burrito”. If that sounds like the most fantastic combination they have two locations in Philadelphia; Center City and University City. Highly recommended. And if my word isn’t enough, maybe this will help:

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They’re super healthy and delicious. In fact, Genji is all about providing all-natural ingredients and they only buy from the highest quality suppliers that share the same values as they do.  I am probably their biggest fan, so it’s really cool to be a part of the “behind the set” production.

The Creative Team is made up of four people; the Creative Manager, two junior Graphic Designers, and me, the Graphic Design Intern. The first two projects I handled, I received a good amount of support from the other Graphic Designers. They were really helpful in showing me the process from when a project is put on your desk to when the invoice from our vendor is placed on your desk. I’m at a point where I’m so much more comfortable that I’ve been handling several projects on my own. Also, the purchase approval forms that we have to fill out when we get a quote from our printing vendors looks a lot less terrifying than it did the first week I started.

While my position is more focused toward Graphic Design and less about Advertising/Marketing, one thing that is really relevant with the work I do is the importance of brand identity. Genji/Hai Street Kitchen has a message they want to send out to their customers. That is that they’re a trustworthy brand that is dedicated to serving the highest quality food from the freshest ingredients. So, when I’m in charge of redesigning a menu, or creating new collateral, it’s critical that I’m not straying from their well-established brand image.

Proud intern moments: I was given a project to redesign the flyer menus for both Hai Street Kitchen locations, I oversaw the project from start to finish, so it’s going to be a really accomplished feeling to see something you worked on out there in the public. I’m sure there will be many more to come. Hai Street Kitchen is also getting their own booth at Broadway Bites in New York. Toward the beginning of my internship, the Creative Team was asked to sketch up ideas for the booth design, and my general concept got picked for the booth. Although one of the junior graphic designers is working on creating the design for the booth it’s awesome to see my concept come to life, and displayed in a very popular area. You can see in the picture below, which was posted on their Instagram: haistkitchen_us. Warning: cravings will ensue upon page visitation.

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They’re keeping me busy to say the least. But I love it. I love that there is always something I can be working on. I love that what I’m doing here has an impact. I’m learning things I could never get out of a classroom, but at the same time it’s nothing I can’t handle. For me, that’s a great feeling being someone who used to always doubt themselves. My time at Genji has been worth it every step of the way, and although the amount of projects can get overwhelming I remind myself how incredible of an experience this is.When you get into Graphic Design work, you have to know what you’re getting into. It’s a lot of work. It’s constantly coming up with ideas, producing work and thinking creatively. But it’s fun. Overall, I’m thrilled for this experience and it’s already given me so much confidence for my future.