May 28, 2015

Meijun Cai: School, On-Campus Job, Internship, Sports and Success

It is well known that Pratt Institute offers intensive academic programs, and students know all too well that keeping up with the homework load is a full time job. Add in an internship, an on-campus job and sports, and it seems impossible to get everything done short of adding more hours in the day. Amazingly enough, Meijun Cai - a recent ComD graduate interested in Advertising & Art Direction - has found a way to accomplish such a feat.


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Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Meijun currently works as a Resident Advisor, holds an internship at Cooke Wax Partnership (a start-up branding agency) and plays on the Men’s Volleyball team. Meijun is one of the most relaxed students I have ever met. When walking around campus, anyone can find him with a smile on his face as he chats with friends. When I asked how he remains so calm, Meijun said ”Working puts me in a position where I am forced to be disciplined and aware of my time. I have no choice but to be more organized and do less procrastinating. I am able to stay sane and manage my time by having weekly and daily to do lists as well as an entire wall dedicated to mapping out my classes and the tasks for each class. This keeps me organized and less stressed out.”


Interning at Cooke Wax Partnership is an invaluable experience for Meijun, whose eventual goal is to create his own advertising agency with a team of Pratt alumni. Meijun found his current internship through Pratt Pro, Pratt’s job and internship board. He was first attracted by the job description, and when he began to research the company, he felt that its small size and experienced staff could teach him how to achieve his goals. Cooke Wax Partnership didn’t disappoint. As an intern, Meijun has his hands in everything. Not only does he assist senior designers and production teams, but he is also asked to do research and concept development, deck creations, comping ideas and preparation of presentations. These responsibilities have given him experience that classroom teaching couldn’t provide. Meijun sees the first-hand production of videos and prints, as well as being involved in developing strategies for branding and talking to clients like IMAX.


Even with this awesome internship Meijun doesn’t dismiss his on-campus job or classes. Due to his position as a Resident Advisor, Meijun is aware of the constant activity going on at Pratt and he interacts with large groups of people on a regular basis. “I believe that in the art world everything is interrelated. Learning through experience, within my major or not, is always beneficial because it opens my mind and gives me a different perspective on whatever you take on whether in class or life.”


The courses he has taken over his four years here gave him knowledge and proficiency in software programs, a better design sense and the ability to come up with creative solutions -- all of which are necessary skills that he needed for success at his internship. When I asked what achievement he was the most proud of, it was no surprise that he answered “Being able to balance everything and graduate with highest honors.”


While many would find balancing two jobs, school and sports overwhelming, Meijun offered some simple but effective advice. “Time management, just do it. Less talking, less complaining and more work, time and effort.”


Check out Meijun’s work on his website. To find out more about successful Pratt students and alumni, as well as see what awesome events we have going on, follow the Career Ambassadors on Twitter (@PrattSuccess) and find us on Facebook (Pratt Success)!


Written by Bree Balsamo

Image Provided By: Meijun Cai

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