I am good at following directions. It is a strong suit of mine. Coming from a past job experience where endless direction and input was suffocatingly placed on my shoulders, to an internship with quite a bit of creative freedom, I never knew how much I would learn that self-accountability and (courteous) confrontation are keys to success.

My name is Sam Schoenlank, and I am a rising senior in the Advertising Art Direction track at Temple. Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to work with a small up-and-coming publishing company in New York City called the Brown Eyez Publishing Group. I worked as their fully remote digital design intern for the summer of 2021.

This past year has brought challenges I am sure never crossed anyone’s mind before. As a lover of the outdoors and creative, my last thought was that I’d be sitting at a computer calling it professor. As the time rolled around for the internship hunt to begin, I went on interview after interview. I ran into unknown questions about the future of the pandemic, one after another. Finally, I got an email from Brown Eyez Co with an offer of an internship. I didn’t have a clue what I was in for, but I pledged my summer. 

Expecting to be bombarded with information and assignments, I sat excited, patiently waiting for instruction, waiting for my internship experience to begin. Scheduling conflicts occurred after unseen emails went by (as they often have in this pandemic). Communication with my supervisor was less frequent than I’d expected, and almost all of our contact was through email. I was unsure about how to structure my time, and I wanted to get the most I could from this experience.

Eventually, I made the decision to take the initiative in aiding my own personal success at this company, and I am so happy to say I have been able to grow because of it. I made the decision to reach out to ask how I could contribute, and where I could lend some assistance. Much to my surprise, these questions were very welcomed. Because I asked, I was able to start to develop a social media content plan from scratch for a new magazine called WhatsopenNYC. The idea for the magazine was to start targeting business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking for post-pandemic reopening help, and it was great to be a part of the change that’s helping to draw attention and attraction back to New York City.

From helping with social media targeting to designing infographics, from giving my creative input to simply asking for resources — I would not have been able to be a part of many of Brown Eyez Co’s developing projects if I had just continued waiting patiently. Reaching out made all the difference. With the final semesters of my college career coming close, I am excited to see where this new, eager sense of determination will take me.