I had just finished my sophomore year at Clemson, and I had no idea what to expect from my first internship. I could only hope that the next twelve weeks would be beneficial to my graphic communications career going forward by showing me how I could apply myself in the real world.
Looking back on it now, those twelve weeks exceeded my expectations.
Yes, I expected to learn a lot, but I never expected to grow so much as a designer in one summer. Working at YMC was a great experience. From the people, to the work atmosphere, to completing tasks with real value, I discovered the significance of an internship.
Taking classes during college is one thing, but learning how to apply that knowledge is something completely different. With a team full of people willing to answer any question I may have had, I got the opportunity to work on projects I didn’t really know I was capable of completing. With every minute I spent working with a designer, I began to see all that I have learned piece together, while I also realized I still have a lot to learn. I’ve always been taught about the importance of finding a mentor, and here, I had an office full of people who were enthusiastic to share their tips and trick and thought processes, which helped me improve myself as a designer.
If increasing my confidence as a designer wasn’t enough, I also learned a number of other valuable skills that only a work experience could provide. Things like efficient time management, effective communication, and working for a client really helped me see the importance of being an effective part of a team.
The most rewarding part of working at YMC was seeing my work displayed and appreciated. In college, the things I create are simply for a grade, so I often lose sight of the bigger picture. Here, the work I produced meant something more. I had the satisfaction of knowing the things I worked on or came up with had an impact on someone.
Going into my last day now, I know how much I’m going to hate having to leave, but I know it means I only have more time to learn and build on the skills I have acquired over my next two years of college. This was an experience I will never forget.
As I say my goodbyes to YMC, there are two main things I am going to take away from this internship.
It’s not bad going to work everyday when you love what you do.
Jaclyn is the first intern for Your Marketing Co. and is a rising Junior at Clemson University, where she is working towards her degree in Graphic Communications with a minor in Business Administration.