This year I had the pleasure of working as Orange Element’s summer design intern. As a graduate student at MICA, I came as an unusual addition. Most interns are looking for experience, which I already had. But that didn’t mean there wasn’t still plenty to learn. Here are some of my favorite lessons from these past three months.
1. Passion is contagious.
Before I started here in May, Orange Element had declared 2016 their “year of type.” For me, this meant nerding-out with a bunch of fellow typography fanatics once a month. But it really means there is a lot of passion in this office. Making an effort to discuss a unifying topic built camaraderie and got us excited to look more closely at the fonts we choose. These seasoned professionals showed that – with a little effort – it’s possible to stay current and passionate, indefinitely.
2. There are many ways to approach a project.
AKA: InDesign hacks for days. These people really know their way around the King of Page Layout Programs. Because of this, they truly live up to their motto of “work smarter, not harder.” Though I would argue they do both…
3. Pride in Tradition and Culture
This internship exposed me to some great local food. My favorite? Gotta go with Ekiben. So. Freaking. Good. Most of this food came as a weekly free lunch – something else they initiated before I got here. The lunches celebrate (okay, reward) the team for meeting a quarterly goal. Setting goals and rewarding them has built a strong company culture here: something I was really lucky to be a part of.
What more could you want from an internship?
Above all, I learned that Orange Element is made up of seriously good people. They work hard and take pride in what they make. They’re kind. They love their work, and they’re good at what they do. What more could you want from an internship?
As I head out for the summer, I’ll take these lessons (and plenty more) with me. I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone here. Thanks for your patience and lessons, your time and commitment. It’s been fun.