March 20, 2012

From Apple Intern to Employee

Eric Goud, a 2011 BFA graduate in Advertising/ Art Direction, was one of the lucky ones. After landing a summer internship with Apple two years in a row, he was offered a job at their design office in California. Eric was kind enough to answer a few questions to give all the current students a bit of insight, and a bit of hope. Check out the Q&A below. 

1. What is your position and responsibilities at Apple?

I am a design assistant with the retail design group. As far as my responsibilities go I provide assistance to senior designers, art directors and creative directors on the team. This can be working on everything from illustrations, icon design, posters, gift cards, product launch graphics, barricade designs for new store openings, t-shirts, mocking up concepts, printing and mounting exec presentations and internal projects. I also do my best to keep the studio tidy, do archiving of digital and hard copies of work and recycling of the confidential work.

2. How did you get the internship with Apple?

While cradling a coffee in a beloved morning type class I heard from a friend that a recruiter from Apple was coming to New York to visit a few of the design schools looking for interns for the summer, my eyes opening up a bit. I submitted a portfolio to the good folks at career services and was given a chance to interview with the recruiter when she visited the city. When the interview was over I left a hard copy of my portfolio with her and a few months later I got a call asking if I would be interested in doing another round of interviews with a few of the CD's from the retail group. After a two and a half hour iChat interview with various members of the group I was lucky enough to get an offer for the gig. They flew me out and I was set-up for the summer. 

3. How did your education at Pratt prepare you for the job?

Pratt gave me a solid understanding of design on a formal basis which is obviously crucial and really a prerequisite for any design/direction position. My education at Pratt also helped me broaden the way I think about design and sharpened my thinking through all of the conversations with instructors and friends around work. I am thankful to have had the chance to study there because of the incredibly wide range of influences and experiences you have at your fingertips. When you live in Brooklyn and go to Pratt everyday you have the opportunity to do, hear, or see something amazing or at the very least new. With instructors and peers who are studying architecture, painting, illustration, interior design, poetry, critical visual studies etc you are exposed to lots of ideas and these relationships and conversations about work and life help you articulate your ideas and develop your unique point of view which is a valuable thing to have. 

4. What did Pratt NOT prepare you for?

It can be a bit overwhelming being brought into a big company with a very specific way of working together to get work approved. Learning how to coordinate with producers, art directors, visualization artists, web development, executive creative directions, designers and how each position functions is something that I had to learn as I went along. But that is why it is good to get a few internships and get a bit of experience working with a group. 

5. Advice to current students?

Keep your head on a swivel and take advantage of the time you have at Pratt with your friends and instructors, dig in and ask questions. Make lots of work. Another thing that I would say is consciously work on developing your design vocabulary and on clearly expressing your ideas. This is a craft in and of itself and a valuable one to hone. It's great if you can make really beautiful work but if you are not able to articulate the thinking behind it you run the risk of having your work not being understood. Lastly eat Bergen Bagels everyday. 

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