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Michael H., '10 Illustration

Internship Success Story

Out Magazine

New York, NY

Sometimes, when you’re afraid of taking a risk and making an important decision, you need a push. This is exactly what I received throughout my internship experience -- small little pushes along the way, from people who care. I began looking at other students, comparing how they were taking advantage of their tenure at MICA to complete an internship, and how I wanted to do the same. I was intimidated by the idea, as it involved having a large amount of responsibility with little or no compensation -- a more affordable idea for the comfortable student, and a terrifying idea for students who are more self-sufficient. This also meant taking a leap into my career, presenting myself to professionals as a neophyte, and hoping that they consider me worthy of a position as their intern. I would have been daft not to be afraid – interning was an entirely foreign idea, and I wasn’t entirely comfortable with supporting myself.

The first push came from a friend. In early January, I told her that I was considering applying for internships with magazines, as I thought taking an art department internship would provide me with a better understanding of illustration handling. Her push was more like a kick in the rear, but she told me that if I wanted to go for it I needed to start immediately. I still needed to prepare my resume, write a cover letter, compile my work into a portfolio, and she suggested that I go to the nearest Barnes and Nobles that day to glean through the mighty list of national publications.

After I finished compiling a list of magazines that I wanted to work with, and magazines that I knew offered internships, I scheduled an appointment with Career Development. This meeting provided another push, as my objectives became even clearer. In the time following, I finished my resume, cover letter, and compiled examples of my work to send off. From the final list of magazines, I contacted three and sent in my materials, and found no direct response. I returned to Career Development for further guidance, and went back to the drawing board. After further research, I discovered a website that specifically listed editorial-related internship’s that was updated daily. I started replying to listings within days of their release, and began hearing back. I landed two interviews, one with Out Magazine, the gay men’s lifestyle magazine and one with Socolite.com, a socially conscious promotions site. This feeling of accomplishment was push enough to get the courage to go through with these interviews.

Going up to New York City to interview was stressful, as I had only been up there as a tourist before and had no understanding of the transportation system, or even the general layout of the city. But even though I was as entirely nervous, these interviews turned out to be a relief, and I connected with both of my interviewers. A few weeks later, I received emails from both. Through all of the work that I’d completed, all of the help that I received, as well as the worrying that I had done, I had been offered internships with both Out magazine and Socolite.com and took both. I would go to New York for the summer, living with the very friend who pushed me from the beginning, and complete two amazing internships.

Working with Out magazine was more than just an amazing experience – it was an eye-opening, challenging, and wonderful few months that I feel better prepared me for work within the commercial and publication arts. While at Out magazine, I worked on magazine layout design and composition, general design tasks, and other art department work. Occasionally I would help out with the other departments, and at one point was offered to complete illustrations for the magazine. Since then, I have completed illustrations for each issue since and continue to do freelance illustration for them. I couldn’t have had a better experience without the people who supported me and the little pushes that really set the stage for my opportunity.