Friday, March 28, 2014

What's An Internship Like? Gedalya, Our Winky Designs Newbie, Sheds Some Light On the Subject

“Internship on Wednesday”. The words look so foreign on my calendar’s to-do list.  As I rolled this new concept around in my mind, I all of a sudden froze and asked myself…what am I getting into?

Perhaps I should start at the beginning? My name is Gedalya Krycer, but most people call me “G”. I’m a graphic design student at the Art Institute of Las Vegas. Until very recently, I was just going about my business trying to finish my homework for the next day’s class and rushing to get to some other class on time. You know, the usual all work, no sleep college hustle and bustle. Then out of the blue, BAM, the phone call came that would change it all.   

It was my girlfriend on the line and she asked “Hey babe, how do you feel about starting an internship for a company called Winky Designs? A friend of mine just left there and a design position just opened up.” After a moment of panic from hearing those words and internally screaming at myself “YOU ARE TOO BUSY FOR THIS!!!”, I agreed to do it. Now understand I never worked for a company before in my life. My work experience in design is freelance and tutoring in graphic design programs. Working for a boss as opposed to a client was a new prospect for me and frankly it was kind of nerve wracking and scary. Yet two days, one interview, and a lot of schedule shuffling later I found myself standing in front of Winky Designs’ front door. 
I opened the front door and was greeted by a bunch of smiles. Taken aback by the friendliness, I put my bags down and set up my laptop. The atmosphere was surprisingly pleasant. The workroom was big, bright and full of informal tables with people working on laptops. Everyone was super cheerful and happy which surprised me because I was led to believe from Hollywood movies that the work place is a grind stone of deadlines and judging bosses; however at Winky Designs, this is not the case. Winky, the boss, keeps a relaxed and cheery atmosphere that immediately put me at ease.
Since this is an internship I was tasked with doing work, of course. My first job was to redesign the company’s wholesale catalog from the ground up. It was a challenge in many respects since I was not very familiar with the brand or its products. (Remember, I first heard of Winky Designs and then got the internship position within a few short days.) I learned however that the more complex the catalog became, the more tricks I discovered to make it easier to design and user friendly to interact with. I now know the wholesale catalog is an ever-growing beast with new products being added every few weeks.
My next project was to design the new Iconic Collections which happens to be my favorite product offered at Winky’s. It was very exciting and a welcomed change of pace. Winky and I brainstormed and came up with all the different themes and elements. Then I went to my computer to design and layout those icons on the watch. It was exciting for me because I never thought I would have something like a watch design for my portfolio. I cannot wait to get my hands on the actual finished products!
Over all, this experience for me has been good and turning into straight-up great. I certainly have a lot on my plate between the internship and school. Time management is crucial because every second I have counts, but my fear of the unknown has diminished and confidence has risen in its place. I actually feel that I’ve learned a lot during my time here. Not textbook school learning, but rather a real world level of education that's priceless.

The wonderful news is that this special education won’t stop here because I've been asked to stay on as a paid employee! The offer sent me giddy with happiness and I can't wait to start! I feel like all the sleep lost and long hours I’ve put in has been worth it because the sense of accomplishment is a wonderful thing.  I know I’ll continue to learn a lot from Winky Wu and her amazing team.