The following is a blog post written by one of our fabulous interns, Patrick Bickham, at the end of his tenure with Taft.
It was Wednesday afternoon on August 24, 2011, when my iPhone 3GS began to vibrate on my desk. I didn’t know the number, but I was expecting a call. It was Leslie Morgan of Taft Communications and she was calling to offer me a graphic designer internship position for the 2011 fall semester. It’s hard to recall the exact emotion I felt, but I remember being ecstatic. Overcome by feelings of relief and success, I wanted to jump in my car and get to work immediately, just dive head-first into my first agency experience and soak up everything I could. I didn’t feel like waiting for Monday but luckily I did, deciding that going into work as scheduled would make a better first impression.
From my first day to my last, I craved for an agency experience that would give me more than a placeholder on my resume and talking points in future interviews. I wanted to be challenged with meaningful tasks, pushed to think differently, driven by deadlines, accepted as part of a team, and given the room to learn and grow as a designer. Taft gave me that opportunity and so much more. Over the course of the past year, Taft has allowed me to take on meaningful tasks and client work, learn software and skills, and most importantly, to make mistakes.
Taft afforded me the opportunity to collaborate with highly experienced graphic designers and web developers on projects for current and prospective clients, giving me a real sense of pride and ownership in my work. These experiences helped shape my design skills and enabled me to craft my own style. When I showed interest in new technology and tactics like SEM (Search Engine Marketing), Taft allotted time for me to take courses on Google Engage to become a better search engine marketer, even going as far as giving me a budget and letting me have at it. Taft opened my eyes to industry tools like Qreate & Track, an online service that tracks QR codes and provides analytics, and Hootsuite, a social media management tool to help better market myself.
I was tested when they asked me to help create a mobile app for the Taft website and was further challenged when I was asked to create a promotional video. The opportunities offered to me at Taft were abundant.
In perfect, bittersweet irony, I’ll be finishing up my tenure on August 24, 2012, a year from the day I began. What was supposed to last only a semester has cultivated into my first professional work experience filled with new knowledge, friendships, trial and error, and a taste of what is to come. I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for the people who have helped me along the way and the place that has permanently helped shape my career.
Thank you, Taft Communications.