Goodbye to our fantastic intern Erin from the Foundation for International Education
TDL-London have had an extra pair of hands around the studio the last couple of months in the form of our lovely intern Erin. We can’t believe it’s already time to say goodbye but before she heads back across the pond we carried out a little Q&A about her time with us.
A bit about you
Hi! My name is Erin Mihalik and I’m from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am an Advertising student focused in Art Direction, and I will be graduating (unbelievably soon!) on May 6th with my Bachelor’s Degree.
This semester, I have had the extraordinary opportunity to study abroad in London, where I was offered an internship at TDL-London for the second half of my programme.
I have loved living in London the past few months, experiencing everything I can about this diverse and exciting city. I had always wanted to come to London ever since I was much younger, so I’m really excited to have achieved this goal!
What were your expectations of working at an information design agency? Did your expectations align with reality?
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. At the time of starting my internship, my idea of information design was editorial Infographics. Working at TDL opened my eyes to an entirely different and far more advanced version of information design. The reality greatly exceeded my expectations, and I found that I was engaging with a company who, not only loved graphic design, had a passion for interpreting and analyzing data.
Because I learned graphic design principles in school as an Art Direction major, I was excited to gain some experience working within a design agency. It has been a great opportunity for me to learn about a sector of the design industry that was completely new to me.
What did you do at TDL-London?
At TDL-London, I was responsible for a seven-week project that researched information design opportunities for TDL within the security and military client sectors. My research led to a project with a division of the MOD, in which I was tasked with designing a crib card wireframe. It has been a real privilege working on this project knowing that my contribution to TDL-London and the military sector will be utilized and referenced even when I’m back home in the States.
Aside from my research, I was able to work on an editorial infographic as a side project to build my design software skills and participate as the Advertising Designer for Business in a Day. When I started here at TDL-London, I had no idea I would gain so much hands-on experience from multiple projects, not just my own.
What are the tools you have used at TDL-London?
During my time here, I was able to develop my research skills. Because my main priority was researching the security and military client sectors, I spent much of my time learning what I could about these two sectors in order to build my report at the end of my internship for TDL to use as a reference later. I often used Microsoft Excel and Word to keep my notes organized. As a plus, I was also able to continue building my design skillset using Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and a bit of Photoshop.
What have you learnt about clients whilst at TDL-London?
Having been given the opportunity to meet with multiple clients with help from Oliver and through Business in a Day, I have gained a lot of insight about what it takes to work with clients on a regular basis. I learned that it is important to listen and communicate with clients, to never make assumptions, and to always ask questions.
What have you learnt about information designers whilst at TDL-London?
I’ve learnt that information designers have a unique and niche skillset. Not only are they creative and talented in their design skills, they also have a knack for analyzing and interpreting data. Being a graphic designer is already a difficult job, but add interpreting and transforming data into understandable diagrams, and you have a job that requires a certain kind of brilliantly analytical, creative designer.
What are the three key things you have learnt about the information design sector whilst at TDL-London?
- Communication is extremely important, whether it’s amongst designers or with the client.
- It never hurts to ask questions. It is always better to ask than to make assumptions.
- Time management is crucial. Sometimes, you may need to leave one project to tend to another. Managing your time properly leaves less room for stress and procrastination.