Design students land internships in the Big Apple

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

While summertime is typically a break from education, many students in the College of Fine Arts take the opportunity to pursue internships outside of Austin. Two design undergraduates traveled to New York City to test the waters for future employment.

Denise ZalidvarDenise Zaldivar

Design Senior

Intern with Estée Lauder in New York City

Hometown:

I am from El Salvador, but I live in Houston.

Describe the work you are doing as an intern with Estée Lauder.

I am a creative intern working for Clinique in the Estée Lauder companies under Vice President of packaging Ted Owen (mentor). I have collaborated in many different projects from saleable and holiday to sampling. I can't really say much due to the NDA, but I have been designing bottles and cartons for some of Clinique's top new products. I have done many studies on shapes, formulas, and colors to help the determine what the brand will look like in the future. I even had the chance to meet and work with Jane Lauder (president of Clinique). It has been an amazing opportunity and experience!

How long have you been working there, and how much time do you have left?

I have been working there a month. I have six weeks left! It is a 10-week internship program.

Is there anything that you have particularly enjoyed working on?

Again I can't be specific, but I enjoyed partnering with multiple designers to bring out a line of new "millennial" products to the market.

What challenges have you experienced, and how has your education trained you to work through them?

As a designer you might have a specific style and way of designing. I have had to learn my boss, coworker, and clients’ tastes to cater my design style to their choice. Sometimes, it is hard to let go of some design proposals that you feel very strongly about, but learning to design for others is what makes a designer successful.

Working with other designers for Clinique and UT, I have learned how to adapt and be flexible as a designer. With multiple past collaborative projects, I was able to ease into this new challenge without any problems.

Has this experience shaped what you hope to do upon graduation?

Yes, I loved working with a large corporation where the opportunities are endless. Working for a Fortune 500 company has opened my eyes and made me realize that the sky is the limit. No one should ever settle. I hope to one day return and stay for good :)

Nora GreeneNora Greene

Design Senior

Intern with Hillary for America in Brooklyn, New York

Hometown:

Austin

Describe the work you are doing as an intern with Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

I do whatever the design staff needs me to do. This ranges from bigger projects such as making social graphics or ads, to smaller projects, such as updating office signage.

How long have you been working there, and how much time do you have left?

I've been working here since May 25 and will end my internship on Aug. 1.

Is there anything that you have particularly enjoyed working on?

I have favorite projects, but my favorite part of this internship has been absorbing what my supervisors have been doing and how they critique one another. I'm surrounded by incredibly talented people, and hearing and seeing their design directions for each project is really inspiring.

What challenges have you experienced, and how has your education trained you to work through them?

UT gave me the experience to carry projects out on my own when facing technical difficulties or self-guided work. The design team is extremely busy so I often have to take initiative on projects to finish them.

Has this experience shaped what you hope to do upon graduation?

This experience has definitely shaped what I hope to do upon graduation. Interning at Hillary for America has increased my interest in branding since I've been working within the campaign's brand guidelines. Understanding why the HFA brand looks and functions the way it does has been a fascinating experience. Because of this I hope to do more branding projects in school and hope to pursue branding jobs after graduation. 

Courtesy photos: Top: Denise Zaldivar at Estée Lauder. Bottom: Nora Green, right, with her sister Matty at Hillary For America headquarters.