Internship Diary: Clumsy With a Chance

My absolute dream as a graphic designer has always been to design for an independent fashion magazine. Growing up in Columbus, OH, I had always assumed the Midwest was not a place that could offer that kind of position to me. I always thought I would have no other choice but to go to an urban capital, like Los Angeles or New York. The coolest thing about PATTERN is their mission to make artists and designers understand that we don’t need to move for that—we can thrive here.

I moved to Indianapolis in January after graduating from The Ohio State University. Days before moving, I looked up potential design jobs in Indy to apply to. I made notes of all of the places to consider applying to. The one in big block letters with stars all around it: “APPLY TO PATTERN MAGAZINE INTERNSHIP.”

I didn’t major in graphic design, but it was always my passion and what I wanted to do. I am almost entirely self-taught; I have always considered myself a naïve artist with a dream but no foundation. I really didn’t think I would even be given a chance here, knowing how competitive it is. I’m a very clumsy person. Not only did I send two resumes to PATTERN within a week of each other (after realizing the first had a million typos and deleted words), but I also accidentally parked in the public library parking garage on the day of my interview, so I had to run through the library in my nice clothes to make it in time. Lowering my chances even more, as though it was a game I was winning, when asked what my weaknesses are in the interview, I said “I lose things so don’t trust me with your keys…” I am a buffoon.

For some strange reason, I was given a chance. And, oh boy, did it change my life. I got hands-on experience with a job I have always wanted—designing layouts for a really cool magazine. I never thought I would even get the chance to make spreads here; I thought it was beyond my internship experience. However, I ended up designing multiple layouts for the magazine, and one of them was actually chosen to be featured in the Magazine, which is pretty freakin’ cool.

This internship was more than designing layouts. It was making wordmarks, branding, making ads or fliers for other local organizations, the whole nine yards. I got a taste of everything that a graphic designer is, and I learned so much.

The best part about this internship is that it never felt like a job, it never felt like work. Not only because I’m passionate about what I do, but because of the people I worked with. Yes, you are kept busy and the job can be difficult, but man the people are so amazing. I have never met such genuinely sweet, yet goofy, talented people. Working here gave me, Megan, a self-taught clumsy graphic designer, a chance. A chance to develop myself as a designer and work toward my goals. They gave me the opportunity to design for a super-hip print magazine, which I never thought I’d get the chance to do here in the Midwest. I can’t wait to continue my contribution here and see where my future goes.

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