A short essay on internship philosophy

June 7, 2022


Design education


At Pencilbox we try to have an intern every semester. Frequently, because of our work load, we can’t have an intern. Which seems backwards. Wouldn’t you want an intern when you are busy so that you can have them do free work? No… not the way we approach internships in our studio. We feel it is important to “give” to the intern, not take. We take mentoring seriously. We are training the young professional for their future, as well as the future of our industry. Our industry does not need any more hacks and over confident egos… oh did I say too much here?

Below is a nice essay we received from McKenzie our Summer 2015 intern and her BTS shoots with Bill and crew. Apparently, McKenzie is a pretty good writer too:
Interning at Pencilbox

Finding an internship is tough. Finding an internship that actually benefits you and prepares you to work in the “real world” is another challenge altogether. My tenure at Pencilbox was short (a mere two months), my time spent there gave me the confidence to take on the world as a freelance photographer.

Attending Pencilbox’s weekly meetings gave me insight to their creative process and provided me with a feel for being in the creative world. My favorite part of the internship was assisting at photoshoots. It was tough, holding screens and reflectors all day, but I really feel like I learned a lot. Especially how to interact with clients and talent, which has been a struggle for me in the past. I wish I would have been able to assist at more shoots, but time was not on my side.

Photoshoots were definitely the most fun I had, but the most valuable information imparted to me was how to market myself as a freelance photographer. I cannot thank Bill enough for all of the information and advice he provided me with. I feel grounded and confident in my ability as a photographer, armed with a personal marketing plan, a shiny new website, and postcards to send potential employers. I honestly can’t think of a better way to finish off my education.

Now I’m starting in a new place with fresh ideas and a creative mindset and I’m ready for whatever the world has in store for me.

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