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Last year at this time I was disembarking the Semester at Sea M.V. Explorer in Antalya, Turkey. The next three days were spent soaking up the sun on Turkey’s absolutely gorgeous beaches with an iced mint tea in hand. Fast forward one year, and I’m sitting at my Hasbro desk working with a team leader on what could possibly be one of the biggest portfolio pieces of my career thus far.

It’s not Turkey, but I’d say its better.

Due to the confidential nature of the piece, I cannot disclose exactly what it is. However, I can tell you that it is extremely important to promoting the company’s incredibly positive public image. This is what I love about my majors.

I can promote the company’s mission and positive public relations using graphic design. While the writing in a design is the meat of the message, the artwork is the first impression. You know what they say - “first impressions last.” It’s my job as a graphic designer to make that first impression a good one. From there, the reader/viewer can delve into the writing with the exact mindset and message that we want them to have.

This week also brought the development of another important project. I am now in charge of rethinking and redesigning the main Hasbro building’s internal directional signage. The building itself is the size of a standard city square block.

On account of the size, getting around is difficult without prior directional knowledge. I started my inventory of what signs we already have and where there is a lack of directional signage. I will be working on every aspect of this project from planning to working with the printer to make sure every sign comes out exactly the way I want it. 

Now, seven weeks in to my internship, I have made many friends with coworkers and become very comfortable with the company culture. Spontaneous inner-cubicle Nerf gun wars helped with that (Hasbro and Nerf are Franchise/Partner Brands).  

I look forward to continuing my projects next week and enjoying the holiday weekend, even though I’ll be spending it in Rhode Island and not somewhere off in the Mediterranean.

See you next week.

Brittany Semco is a senior design and public relations major at Waynesburg University.

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The first day of summer not only brought with it more tourists and typical Rhode Island beach traffic, but the further development of my logo project at Hasbro (detailed in my last entry). It seems that after the first two options I make for every design, I hit a major roadblock. See what I did there. It takes some deep thought and usually a fresh start to get to a point where the idea is finally “outside of the box.”

Some research on shapes and typography led me to a place where I could start to process exactly what message the company needed to convey with the logo and an idea that I believed would maximize the name of the entity with its mission and purpose (of which I cannot disclose). 

Because of the helpful nature of Waynesburg University’s professors, I was able to send my advisers and a mentor my logo prototype and get some excellent feedback. From there, I was able to improve the logo more than what I ever expected. Getting this feedback and “peer review” was a necessary step before sending the logo to my supervisor at Hasbro. It probably saved my supervisor a lot of time because now I can give him/her the best option possible.

The logo design process for this particular logo helped me tremendously in the process of another, which was given to me last week. I have already made strides toward what I think is a good option for the team. Time and more thought will tell if that is true.

During these last two weeks I have also had the opportunity to take some short online classes. When I had time between projects, I would take some of these classes and I have already learned more than I thought a video could teach me. I learned the science behind product photography and positioning objects in ways that make sense for say, a catalog or an advertisement. 

I learned about designing online portfolios in preparation for the design of my own to showcase all I have done during this terrific internship. I also learned that different shapes influence the feel of a logo. For instance, a circle conveys the idea of flow and movement, while a square gives the impression of structural integrity and rigidness. So a circle may be good for a medical facility to convey its current and dynamic nature, while an academic institution would benefit from a square logo to show its structured nature.

Most importantly, during these past few weeks I have learned the value of dedication to a project. It may seem that your first idea is awesome, but I promise you, the next one will be better because you have given the subject matter more thought.  Stay tuned for next week.

Brittany Semco is a senior design student at Waynesburg University. 

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MaryKay

Before starting my internship with Mary Kay Inc., I saw this quote online from its founder Mary Kay Ash: “God first. Family second. Career third.”

I thought to myself, “Wow. That's a really good philosophy to have,” but I also thought how difficult it would be to live it.

As a senior in college, I would look at the prospectives of the full-time job and think I had to make a choice between a strong, advancing career or a faith laced into the fabric of my job. My faith is a very important part of who I am, but from what I've heard, the “real world” isn't too keen on God in the workplace. Sometimes, faith is even an impediment on advancing in a job. I thought that I would have to compromise on the blooming career, living out my faith through my job or both.

However, working with Mary Kay has given me a new perspective. Taking part in the culture of Mary Kay's workplace, I can now see how there does not have to be a compromise between faith and success in the workplace, even in a corporate setting.

The most eye-opening aspect of Mary Kay for me is how this group of people keeps their priorities in order while also being an extremely successful global company. I have seen people rearrange schedules to have time to take care of their kids who are sick at home and still work from home to achieve a full day's worth of work. There is a way to put God first, family second and career third and be a thriving organization, and Mary Kay proves that everyday.

Working with Mary Kay has been inspiring but also challenging in that I feel like I still lack that “real world” experience my professors talked about. I suppose I expected my “real world” experience to include an unfriendly boss and more arguments and cussing in the workplace. At Mary Kay, I had a very encouraging, affable supervisor and didn't witness any screaming arguments in a meeting.

Although my perspective of the “real world” work environment has been redefined, I am so thankful for my internship experience. Working with Mary Kay has shown me that it is very possible to achieve and maintain a respectful, friendly work environment and that the “real world” doesn't have to be super scary.

Walking toward the “real world” and applying for jobs is still intimidating to me, but I am thankful I can walk into that unknown realm knowing it is possible to keep my priorities in order while also being competitive and successful in my career as I have seen so many do at Mary Kay.


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The Pennsylvania Transplant (that'd be me) has officially survived nine weeks in the Texas heat! I must say, I don't mind it, especially in comparison to all the rain, rain and more rain I hear y'all have had in western Pennsylvania. I hope all that rain clears up by the time I return in a couple of weeks.

Now, don't worry, Pennsylvanians. I have no desire to move to Texas right now. I have had an absolutely wonderful stay with my Texas family this summer; I would not trade it for anything. However, it is just not the same as home.

In Texas, you have to turn on the sprinklers every day if you want to have green grass in your front lawn. This was a new concept for me. Even the grass that is green is still rather prickly to walk on in bare feet. Green grass (and rain for that matter) are common elements of western Pennsylvania, and I have certainly missed seeing green on the ground and full trees dressed in emerald.

Speaking of trees, that's another difference between Texas and home. The trees were one of the very first things I noticed upon my arrival. They are rather scraggly in my personal opinion. Their branches don't spread as far, and their leaves aren't as... leafy. The leaves here aren't as full and don't provide as much shady relief from the sun as the leaves do at home. (To any Texas readers, please don't be offended that I dislike your trees.)

Despite the lack of greenery in Texas, it sure makes up the difference in warm weather. Of the nine weeks I've been here, only about seven or eight days have produced rain, and the majority of the time, it rained only during the night. The Texas heat is much less humid, too, which I could certainly get accustomed to!

Overall, Texas gets a four star rating from me. I have not seen as many cacti as I expected, but I won't count that against its rating. The people are very friendly here; strangers will wave to you as you pass by on the road, which is not something I typically see while driving down I-79. It's a little drier and less green than Pennsylvania, but it still feels like a second home.

Although I've lived with my Texas family in the Texas heat for the summer, I am still a Pennsylvanian on the inside. I am really looking forward to being back in Pittsburgh, visiting the Pointe and seeing the Pirates play at PNC Park. However, if you measure a true western Pennsylvanian by his or her use of "yinz," then you may consider me convert.

Yes, I do say "y'all" now... just without the Texas twang.

 

 

 

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David Holl and interns at iLunch

My first week of interning with Mary Kay, it occurred to me that I would be working in a building full of seasoned professionals. Those seasoned professionals have obtained an array of experiences from backgrounds such as brand development, legal issues, marketing and information technology. If I chose to neglect the opportunity to reach out to those people in Mary Kay, I would be missing out on a lot of valuable insights from them.

Taking advantage of that opportunity, I and another intern created iLunch, which is an abbreviation for Intern Luncheon. Another intern and I have worked together all summer to coordinate speakers for the weekly lunch event for the other 30+ summer interns and so far have had prominent people such as Vice Presidents Bill Brown and Nathan Moore speak with us. If you ask me, this past week marked the peak of speakers for iLunch.

Appropriately sporting a pink tie, CEO David Holl walked into the room wanting no formal introduction speech and spoke with us during iLunch to share some of his experiences. Mr. Holl has been with Mary Kay for 20 years and has been CEO for seven years, working his way up the corporate ladder from CFO to COO and finally to CEO.

Mr. Holl shared with us interns the value of accountability and “straight talk” with coworkers and shared stories about his experiences as a leader of one of the top private corporations in Dallas. He also spoke about being courageous enough to respectfully disagree with other people, having a plan with room for flexibility and accepting changes that will come whether you like it or not.

One main point that I took away from Mr. Holl's speech and conversation with the interns was concerning leadership. He said leading in a way that primarily aims to please or appease other people will result in failure. As a member of the Bonner Leadership Team and President of the Design Club at Waynesburg University, I really valued David Holl's insight about being a leader because I hope to use his insights to guide me as a leader on campus and in the work place.

By the way, I hope you all had a great holiday weekend; happy belated Independence Day!

 

 

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