CAPX Internships Set Students on the Right Path

A group of people are hosting an online video conference call.

Molly Fulop attending an online meeting for her internship at the Center on Halsted

Molly Fulop attending an online meeting for her internship at the Center on Halsted

by Nadya Kelly (MA 2023)

Studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is about growing as an artist—and it’s also about establishing a career. Internships are essential to this process: students with internship experience are 32 percent more likely [15] to get a job offer in the months after graduation. 

Through Career and Professional Experience (CAPX), SAIC students can intern at artist studios, design firms, publishing houses, museums, community organizations, fashion houses, and more.

We spoke to three SAIC students about their current internships and how their experiences impact their artistic and professional journeys.

A young woman with dark curly hair leans agains a brick wall and smiles at the camera. She is wearing a white blouse, a long white skirt, and a magenta coat.

Abigail Afriyie (BFA 2022) Obioma [16]

Why did you choose this internship?
I chose this internship because I wanted to get hands-on training and real-life experience in the fashion industry. I knew it would show me what to expect in my future career. CAPX helped me build my CV, and its Handshake platform led me to this opportunity through the CAPX Virtual Internship and Job Expo.

What does a day working for Obioma look like? 
My Obioma internship is hybrid, so I work remotely and in person. My regular tasks include designing clothes, creating prices for the collection, performing alterations, assisting with photo and video shoots, and helping manage social media platforms.

How is this internship preparing you for professional life after SAIC?
This internship is equipping me with competitive job skills and knowledge of the ins and outs of running a fashion business. Also, during events and photo and video shoots, I get to build professional connections and friendships.

Do you have any advice for students who are currently looking for an internship?
It’s very important to get an internship that captures what you are passionate about. For example, I love African Ankara prints and fashion and this internship has given me a chance to work with what I love!

A young man with glasses smiles at the camera. He stands in front of a forest of trees, and he is wearing a dark-colored collared shirt.

Wayne Degen (BFA 2022)
EDDSWORLD [17]

Why did you choose this internship?
I chose this internship mainly due to its focus on cartoon illustration and animation, but also because of my passion for and interest in EDDSWORLD, which I have had since I was a child.

What does a day working as an intern for EDDSWORLD look like?
An average day at EDDSWORLD is taking the day to check on the progress of several productions (such as episodes, comics, social media posts) and completing assignments such as cleanup, concept illustration sketches, animation, storyboarding, or sometimes doing these things all at once for a project you carry out on your own. Often, we collaborate with other artists in similar fields and utilize each other's talents to get work done as practically and as quickly as possible, while also having fun with it.

How is this internship preparing you for professional life after SAIC?
The networking relationships I made throughout this experience prepared me to apply for even more freelance and studio positions in the future. I also feel that I have rekindled a ton of animation skills that I thought I lost after shifting my career toward character design and comic illustration. Being part of a team of animators, artists, producers, and editors has also given me much-needed perspective

Do you have any advice for students currently looking for an internship?
To students wishing to work jobs within the entertainment industry, APPLY FOR EVERYTHING. Send any kind of application and see what sticks, and when you get anything, network with people, make friends, build off of each other, form meaningful bonds, and scratch each other's backs. It may take a stroke of luck, but you'll get exactly what you put into it.

A person with short blonde hair smiles at the camera. She is standing in front of some greenery, and they are wearing a dark pink blazer and a white collared shirt.

Molly Fulop (MA 2023) Center on Halsted [18]

Why did you choose this internship?
I chose this internship because it provided an opportunity to get better acquainted with the behind the scenes of The LGBTQ+ Intergenerational Dialogue Project [19], a group I joined last semester. I quickly realized that this project embodied exactly the kind of work I am hoping to do in my professional career as a museum educator with a focus on LGBTQ+ inclusion.

What does a day working as an intern for the Center on Halsted look like?
The work I do for my internship is largely virtual, but my primary project is leading weekly, virtual LGBTQ+ intergenerational art-making sessions in which 12 members of the Dialogue Project and I work together to create 2D and 3D artworks around the theme of LGBTQ+ futures. Our end goal is to submit an exhibition proposal to SITE Galleries, SAIC’s student-run gallery space on campus, for the fall 2022 season. Additionally, I am helping to compile and organize research related to LGBTQ+ intergenerational dialogues and art-making to build a Zotero-hosted library for use within the Project, as well as slowly learning to maintain and update the Project's main website using WordPress.

How is this internship preparing you for professional life after SAIC?
This internship, and the project in general, have opened my eyes to the possibilities of LGBTQ+ informal education, as well as helped me to recognize what I value in a learning environment and what kind of space I want to create within museum education.

Do you have any advice for students currently looking for an internship?
Think locally rather than globally; sometimes the work you want to do is already happening near you! Look for opportunities to support work that's already being done. This will give you a much better idea of how you want to engage in that work, what's already been done in your field, and what needs to be done to holistically move forward.

Students and alums interested in applying for an internship should visit Handshake [20] and/or contact [21] CAPX [21] for more information and guidance.

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