cara.

and lastly for my third interview for my internship i asked cara, a fellow intern from the summer, about her experiences.

1 as a child what did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be an “artist”, even though I really didn’t know what that meant, I just knew I enjoyed all sorts of art-type-things. 

2 college, major I graduated from the University of Kansas with a BFA in Design and an Emphasis in Illustration.

3 are you currently in a position that while in college, you thought you would end up in? Ha, not at all! I never thought I’d go into or enjoy advertising, or that I’d even be accepting into advertising. I thought I’d go somewhere more warm fuzzy like Hallmark.

4 if you weren’t a designer/illustrator, what would you be? That would be sad. Maybe something with books, like an editor or publisher. Or a museum curator. Or an international travel and food critic/journalist – that’d be awesome.

5 job experience Not a whole lot design-wise, admittedly. I’ve worked in libraries for years; then as a designer for KU’s paper’s advertising department which was half legit half not depending on the day, although I worked with a bunch of real businesses. I’ve also done a small handful of freelance projects.  

6 how was the transition from interning to being a full time employee? Very little changed actually. Over a weekend I was just paid a little more and got benefits. I continued the work I’d been doing as an intern and slowly picked up a busier workload.

7 any additional responsibilities given to you? I was slowly assigned an increasingly larger workload, which was nice. As I’ve gone on I’ve picked up more clients and get pulled into more side projects – often when the in-house illustrator is busy I’ll get a random variety of illustration projects, so that’s really nice.

8 how long have you been in this position? Since mid-August, so just about 4 months full time.

9 what are some key skills needed to be successful in your position? Design skills are certainly at the forefront, but also: a variety of computer skills, organization, good communication, time management, that kind of thing.

10 how do you manage to stay organized? I try to keep up on my own calendar, and I’ll make post-it note checklists when things get really hectic.

11 what do you find most rewarding? Right now working with others to see an idea start from scratch and grow into a full-fledged, actual real-life, out in the world thing is pretty neat.

12 what are some struggles? When those same ideas get shot down, or, worse still, get whittled away at (due to a client’s budget, design conservativeness, or simply disinclination to understand the idea) until they’re a shell of their original potential. That sucks, and I lose enthusiasm to even work on that project then.

13 what about Barkley convinced you to work there? When I was doing work that I found interesting and it wasn’t at all what I’d expected to do at an advertising agency. I also enjoyed the people I was working with and the environment. Also I needed a job.

14 favorite and least favorite thing about what you do I love that I just go to work and make stuff all day, and they pay me to do it. I don’t love that I don’t have a lot of say in the work that I am assigned – they’re great about trying to give me clients I fit with, but if we lose that client then I’ve got to try to fit with another group.

15 where do you find inspiration I look at other design and illustration work I like, and I use Pinterest a lot. If I’m really stuck or really researching hard I’ll go a little more broad and just flip through books of general design or art and see if anything jogs a thought.

16 any advice about entering advertising Hmmm, I don’t feel like I’ve been there long enough to give any real advice. But maybe: go to a place where you know you’ll like the clients and the people you’ll be working with. Size wise I think it was a really good thing I started at a bigger place, but I know someday I’ll be happier somewhere smaller and more design-boutique-y; so maybe just have an idea of the culture you’d be best fit for.

17 advice about surviving the rest of college Print stuff early! Learn how to do a website and do it early! I wish I’d interned more places as well and I wish I’d taken (or could take now) some more specialty classes. And just have fun, and try to remain calm. I know I had all sorts of late nights and deadline freakouts but I could barely remember them a week later and certainly can’t remember them now, soooo enjoy the things you will remember *cue sappy music*

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