Parsons students are required to complete at least one internship before graduation. Most students complete 2 or 3. The Career Services office is a great resource for students with career advising, the online job database, interview preparation, and hosted job and internship fairs. Additionally, because the majority of faculty work in the industries they teach in, their industry advice and contacts are current. Students (like Katie) can often find job leads through their professors and mentors. While most students participate in internships over the summer, depending on their course load and the intensity of the internship, some students can also complete their internships during the school year. Just another one of the benefits of learning and living in New York. – Victoria
At this point of the game, and by game I mean Parsons, I have accomplished three unrelated internships. As I count them it seems hard to believe four years have passed so fast and with them the amount of career paths I have previously been on. But lets stroll down internship memory lane, revealing every learning moment, lazy moment and awkward moment I have had over four years.
My first internship was the summer after sophomore year. I finally felt comfortable enough to stay in the city all summer and confident in my skills to get an internship. I asked a teacher of mine that runs the internship program in the Illustration department, if she had ANY summer internship available – I was a bit desperate. Anyway she got me an interview at an illustration agency, called Bernstein and Andriulli that represents illustrators and their work. I of course was thrilled and got the job for the summer, an unpaid internship. I felt all fancy going to Bryant Park every Thursday and Friday, to their chic and modern office. In reality, I was just a person that updated the website, added illustrators information and researched about new illustration prospects. But in my mind, I was an important cog in this ever growing industry and had this amazing access to actual artists’ portfolios. What I took away though was much more important then anything else – I never want to be a freelance illustrator, ever. Talk about inconsistency and competition, the two things I hate. So I moved on.
It took me until my second semester of junior year to concoct my next job move – magazines. I thought, hey, I love doing all the design work in class, I’m sure I would love working in an art department, being able to do layouts and type placement. So I talked to one of my teachers, and she got me in contact with MTV and Nylon Magazine. I decided to take an internship with Nylon because well, I grew up with Nylon and it seemed like I would really get to see how a magazine works. I found that art departments are extremely focused with the actual construction of the magazine, and as an intern, I updated the wall, did photo retouching, some layouts and a lot of organizing. However, these menial tasks led to the glory of them actually publishing my illustrations in the magazine with my name right under it. I stayed with Nylon until the end of the summer. Even in observing how a magazine worked I started to get more and more interested in publishing.
My last internship just started about three weeks ago and it’s probably the best internship I’ve had so far. I once again got it from the internship head of the illustration department, and she sent it to me specifically knowing I was looking for a publishing job. So currently I work at a small children’s book publisher called TOON Books, a company run by Francoise Mouly and her husband Art Spiegelman based around the idea of creating comics for young readers. Due to the company’s small size, I get the opportunity to do a lot of hands-on stuff, such as making book dummies, web designing and working on mock-ups. It’s a realistic peek into the world of children’s book publishing, which I think is my newest and greatest career direction.
I can’t say children’s publishing will be the end all be all in my never ending career search, but right now I’m really enjoying it and even looking into “actual jobs” for “real people.” Parsons has given me the ideas and talent behind what I like to do and now applying that education to real world internships has shaped me into hopefully what I truly want to become. This is all still a maybe – next week I may be an abstract expressionist. It’s all still up in the air, so let’s see how things shake out.