The importance of being a jack of all trades
I am a senior advertising student at Temple interning at Skai Blue Media. My track in school is art direction and my internship is for graphic design. Skai Blue is a small PR firm located in Center City. There are 7 full-time employees and I believe 18 interns per semester. They have clients ranging from fashion designers to nonprofit organizations to large media companies. I have been interning there since the start of the Spring semester.
Within the first few days I had a tremendous respect for everything the employees at Skai Blue do. Since they are a small company, what would be an entire team at a bigger company is generally covered by one person who specializes in each area. These areas of expertise include PR, account coordination, multimedia, social media, and fashion showroom coordination. But the boundaries of who does what are being crossed over every day. At a small company, sometimes an employee must be a jack of all trades. There is so much to be done in so little time with so few people to do it, but yet the employees meet every strict deadline and keep their clients very happy. I would argue that it’s more difficult than working at a large company where you have a designated job that you do every day and don’t worry about doing anyone else’s job or anything out of your strongest comfort zone. I am trying to start emulating this quality that the Skai Blue employees have as I think it will be extremely beneficial to me in the future when looking for a job.
Skai Blue Media does not have a graphic designer or an art director on the premises. While this has its drawbacks, it also presents an opportunity for me that I wouldn’t get interning at a larger company. Everything I do is used for something, and I work on 2 or 3 projects a day for Skai Blue’s clients. That is my favorite thing about the internship, knowing that everything I design is for a specific purpose and will be seen. As an intern I thought maybe I would design a few things the entire semester that were actually seen by anyone, but I was completely wrong. Almost everything that is put out by Skai Blue needs some kind of graphic design put into it, so I hardly ever get bored at this internship. My second favorite thing about interning at Skai Blue is how much creative freedom I have when given assignments. Some assignments have pre-existing templates, but my supervisors always say if I think I can design it better to feel free to show them my ideas, which I have quite a few times. A lot of times though, I am given information that needs to be included and a few images, and I can put them into a design however I want. Then I show my design to whoever gave me the assignment and they might ask me to tweak a few things and then I send them the final version which bears my creative stamp.
Leaving comfort zones
Since I am the only graphic design intern and I do something pretty different from what any other intern or any full-time employee does, I have started to explore the other areas that Skai Blue covers. Yesterday I went on a video shoot for interviews with Macy’s Philadelphia Fashion Incubator 2013 designers. This allowed me to see the multimedia aspect of what Skai Blue does, and it was also really cool to hear the designers talk about what inspired their fashion lines.
I think next I will ask to go on one of their fashion photo shoots just to see what it’s like. I already know fashion is not my thing and PR isn’t either, but I still think the more exposure to the different areas of communications that I can get out of this internship, the better.