Friday, September 12, 2014

My Summer Internship

Here's Bianca Pham's summer internship experience in a small startup tech company:

My summer internship in the creative industry

            As a Networked & Social Systems engineering student, I had the option of going into software, consulting, product management, etc. just like the other kids in my major. However, I wanted to build up skills that would allow me to be more creative and allow more room for design thinking. Thus, I interviewed for a small creative digital agency in New York called Ivory Digital.
Ivory Digital

            Ivory Digital is made up of a small team of entrepreneurs who build products they love for small brands that matter. As a production assistant, I helped the production team on every facet of a digital project: from business and web development to the creation of a business class website; from collecting project requirements to creating design presentations; from browser-troubleshooting to producing HTML markup; I experienced the full cycle of crafting websites for a wide array of client sites Ivory Digital currently maintains. In short summary, many of my projects consisted of giving a “fashion makeover” for a company’s website. Although I had mostly only technical skills, my boss was willing to take the time to teach me design skills such as Photoshop and InDesign because I was in a small startup company.  

            Typically when I start my project, I would first meet with the clients to understand their brand goals and objectives for their new website. I would then strategize content, website features, and plan the architecture of the new website. Once that was approved, I got to the fun part which was putting together mood boards and concept designs for the new website based on inspiring themes. After my clients approve all of the steps above, we would code up our newly designed website and Voila!

Bianca and her coworkers
            At this internship, I found out both that I have a creative side as well as the value of being a Penn Engineering student. I had the skills to talk to clients, understand the coding behind the website and figure out what the developers wanted out of the final product. With these various skills, I was able to act as a middle-man between the various departments and translate the needs of each department to one another. It was difficult to find a balance between all of the departments, but I had the power to pick and choose what elements made sense to put together to build our final product. Thus, I really encourage students develop new skills that you have always wanted to develop and try working in a startup environment, because there, you can learn a lot about yourself and learn from the people around you.

Questions for Bianca? You can contact her at

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