Shifting Gears | Entry 4

After my research on the Hong Kong Handover fell through, my role as an intern shifted from doing mostly research related work to doing a lot of design work. I thought the shift in pace of work was interesting, but since I am not a Graphic Design Intern, I did not feel confident about taking it on. Like any new tasks, it has its perks and perils. Starting with the latter, I felt like I had limited creative liberty, meaning that I had to stay within the already existing central theme of the organization, which was reasonable but also somewhat limiting. More so, since i’m not an expert on the task (I used to do it as a hobby a few years back), I often have waves of frustration when I couldn’t execute what I had planned or pictured in my head. I felt somewhat incompetent–it felt emphasized that I could only do so much. These were only hiccups because I gained so much. By taking on this work, I was able to expand my skillset. I taught myself to use In-Design and Premier Pro CC (since these were the softwares the organization widely uses). Although I initially felt really challenged, I was able to get out of my comfort zone and really push myself past my limits.

My work desk during the weeks of feedback and redesign.

Essentially, my final project was to create a flyer outline for my department that is user-friendly and easy enough such that the future interns and my bosses can simply input text info and images regarding future events into the outline. Creating the base was easy, it was getting everyone’s feedback and approval that was painstaking and took the longest. Throughout the process, I learned the importance of effective communication through my boss, Eve. She made sure that at the end of the day, we both sat down and filtered through the hundreds of feedback we got and agreed on what we would actually take into account. This really hit home for me because it’s so easy to get lost in the shuffle of things with how busy things can be in the office.

What’s interesting is that the whole time I was on design duty, I felt more stressed than when I was doing my usual Programs Intern roles. I felt like there was a lot of pressure to produce something out of nothing, where as with research there was something to go on from–points of references, articles to consult, names to google. So, to design and art majors–mad respect! You’re lucky to have brains wired the way they are. Overall, I’m definitely grateful to have had the opportunity to have taken on this responsibility and to have added a few pieces to my portfolio. The frustration, back and forth feedback, multiple redesign were all worthwhile once I submitted my final project. It felt like the perfect closure to my internship.


Patty A

Typical twenty-something year old with a knack for learning and a curiosity for the world. Enjoys documentaries, horror movies, and trips to Ikea. Probably lost and not wandering.

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