Guest post by Emily Faler, who served as graphic design co-op at KnowledgeWorks for two semesters
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to work in education because I saw it as a tactical way of helping others achieve greatness. But in my first year at University of Cincinnati I changed my major from the education field to the design field. There was definitely a level of uncertainty in changing my major to a career field I wasn’t as familiar with but was really excited about. I didn’t grow up with an art background – unless you consider hoarding craft supplies an art background, which I do not – so changing my major was a leap of faith.
But I came out of my internship at KnowledgeWorks with confidence in my career choice.
KnowledgeWorks was my third internship experience in the design field, but it has been the first experience that I have come out of feeling confident in my career decision. Working at KnowledgeWorks has allowed me to feel confident for a variety of reasons, but I think the most notable is the fact that I am working for something greater than myself. At KnowledgeWorks, my work impacts something bigger than me. This simple fact, along with the many skills I’ve learned and the many wonderful people I have met, has made my experience at KnowledgeWorks irreplaceable and has made my confidence in my career decision soar. I now know that I am in the right career field and that is a comforting realization.
At KnowledgeWorks, I gained concrete skills.
KnowledgeWorks isn’t the type of internship where you are going on coffee runs or making copies. I was able to actively participate in the design process from day one. I gained skills in photo editing, branding, publication designs and iconography, and I liked that I had the opportunity work with a senior designer who’s been where I’ve been. I was constantly impressed with my team’s willingness to allow me to have full ownership of projects – I was the sole designer on a 50-page publication! My team made me feel like they could trust me to get something done and appreciated the work I produced, and people throughout the organization were friendly, open to ideas and always willing to include me.
I think one of the best ways to get better at design is to practice every day. KnowledgeWorks gave me the opportunity to hone my design skills and learn something new each and every day.