School of Visual Communication Design Student Interns at National Museum in D.C.
Senior Martha Arbogast of the School of Visual Communication Design spent her summer as an intern at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
“Kent State’s VCD program is wonderful at teaching the details,” Arbogast said. “This gave me an edge and honestly helped me to even impress my superiors. I was not overwhelmed by the amount of work coming my way either because the VCD program at Kent State is like that itself, which constantly teaches you how to manage your time and work efficiently.”
Arbogast participated in the intern experience with other summer interns, met with in-house clients from different departments and designed different types of materials. During her 10 weeks as an intern, she worked on a multitude of projects from event branding to signage. She worked on these projects for different departments in the museum, including visitor services and education.
“A lot of the projects had a waiting period where I’d have to see what the client, or his or her superior, thought of my work before I could continue so I’d just continue to ask for more to work on,” Arbogast said.
She was most proud of the panel she designed to promote the first Smithsonian Kickstarter campaign.
“The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum was the first museum of the Smithsonian Institution to participate in a Kickstarter campaign for funding,” Arbogast said. “It was fun to be a part of that promotional experience.”
When she first applied for the internship, she thought it was a long shot.
“I honestly didn’t even dream that I would actually be spending the summer in Washington, D.C., working there,” she said.
Arbogast encourages other students looking for internships to apply to everything they can.
“Prepare for rejections,” she said, “but also prepare to be surprised.”
Through this experience, Arbogast said she learned the importance of working in a positive work environment.
“As an intern I was encouraged to seek out any opportunity I could to learn more,” she said. “I attended an eye opening workshop about interaction design, which I was able to apply to my studies this semester; I watched the IMAX films that the museum was featuring; and I would view the exhibits before the museum opened to the public. The people I worked with were collaborative and kind.”
She's already putting her Smithsonian experience to good use as a designer at IdeaBase, a College of Communication and Information student-staffed, full-service integrated marketing communication firm, located in downtown Kent. After she graduates in May 2016, Arbogast hopes to work at a design firm in the Cleveland area where she will have the opportunity to work with different clients and be inspired by working with other design professionals.
By Amanda Azzarelli