Design Internships: The Foot in the Door to the Creative Economy

Published on Friday, April 23rd, 2010

From far left clockwise – Amanda Altena, Dallas Doiron, Sara Stacey and Jim CeglarekThe design industry is a significant part of Massachusetts’ creative economy, employing nearly 50,000, and not just in advertising and entertainment. Fidelity Investments is a major employer of a variety of designers, according to the Design Industry Group of Massachusetts.

The design programs at Becker College are home to graphic designers, interior designers and video game designers and programmers. The design faculty includes artists and self-employed professionals who know the importance of internships—professional experiences are built into the curriculum—both on and off campus. Faculty also bring businesses to the students with the senior capstone project. Local businesses, in search of a new brochure, website or perhaps a new lobby design, apply for a team of students to take on their project from concept to completion.

Senior Sara Stacey proves interning isn’t just getting coffee and filing anymore. “I’m really enjoying everything so far, from wearing formal business attire each day to really being included at big staff meetings. I have my own office with a new computer, phone, and all the latest software,” she said of her internship at All Star Incentive Marketing.

 “My internship at JRA Design has been very helpful,” said senior Jim Ceglarek. “I have been learning a lot about how a business is run and how important it is to be efficient.” 

Design students are currently interning at a number of local businesses, including JRA Design in Shrewsbury, All Star Incentive Marketing in Fiskdale, and Polar Beverages and The Pagio Group in Worcester (Amanda Altena). Students have earned marketable experience from start-ups and non-profits, including the Central Massachusetts Convention and Visitors Bureau, Seamless Wraps in Holden, Illumina Records in Beverly, The Westborough Youth and Family Services and Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon.

With corporate experience in their portfolios, design graduates have gone on to contribute to Massachusetts’ creative economy, at WB Mason and Boston Interiors; video game companies Seven45 Studios, Demiurge Studios and Turbine.

The design department employs interns on campus as well. Brittany Sanderson is the department’s photography intern, and Matt From upper left clockwise – Brittany Sanderson, Amy Straube, Matt Stefani, Tony HeliasStefani’s internship had him helping to prepare for the video game development booth at the wildly successful Penny Arcade Expo (PAX East) in Boston.

The work of design students is showcased in an exhibit on the Worcester campus and on their own website. See G.I.G. (Graphic. Interior. Game) Magazine (Tony Helias), a gallery of student work and even a design store, on the Becker Graphic Design Department website, (Amy Straube). Visit the Weller Academic Center’s (61 Sever Street) second floor gallery for an exhibit of drawings, paintings, packaging and advertising, all created by Becker students.

Top photo: from far left clockwise – Amanda Altena, Dallas Doiron, Sara Stacey and Jim Ceglarek

Bottom photo: from upper left clockwise – Brittany Sanderson, Amy Straube, Matt Stefani, Tony Helias