It’s by no simple coincidence that SCAD touts a 98% employment rate. An internship is something that will set any recent graduate aside, giving them a much better chance of employment upon graduation. It’s the difference between, “I’ve graduated and need to start looking for jobs,” and “I’m about to graduate and already have a job lined up for me.” It’s no wonder that a lot of SCAD alumni graduated with one, if not two or three internships behind their belts.

Paid or unpaid, in your hometown or hundreds of miles of way, when it comes to an internship it does matter how, when or where you’re doing it but what you get out of it, — the experiences — that is what will snag you a job post-grad, doing what you love at a company that speaks your language. This summer, SCAD District’s Intern Diaries will outline the various internships SCAD students are participating in across the U.S. and beyond. Stay tuned to find out the many benefits of gaining experience in your field before graduating.

SCAD’s collaborative learning center is an awesome way to gain hands on experience during college. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to gain an internship. Fourth-year advertising major and Memphis, Tennessee native, Caroline Cook, was fortunate enough to be one of two students (although they had originally decided to have only one intern) interning at L’Oreal’s Urban Decay for the summer.

After the presentation, I went up to the woman from HR and asked if she had any more open time slots for me, and she did!,” said Cook. “So I rushed and printed off my resume and came back later that day for an interview.”

Located in Newport Beach, California, Cook is working for Urban Decay as their digital marketing and global e-commerce intern. The internship is paid and her daily schedule consists of going to multiple meetings, taking notes and working on building assets for launch presentation as well an ongoing intern project during her downtime. 

Although the internship isn’t directly related to what she is studying at SCAD, Cook is learning a lot about the marketing and commercial side of a creative company and gaining valuable digital user experience.

“For my intern project I can orchestrate anything from website design to correlating the campaign concept so it works digitally. I never considered something like this before, but after being here I think this is definitely a company I would love to work for,” said Cook. 

The lingo and jargon may be a little different from what Cook was exposed to at SCAD but she mentions the importance of asking questions when necessary, staying organized and being willing to adjust and learn along the way.

“SCAD has slightly prepared me for this with the Web Design/ Interactive Design classes, but only a little. Perhaps if I was in Fashion Marketing I would be better prepared, but I am studying to work at an agency rather than in a retailer’s e-commerce department.”

Nonetheless, she still experienced very exciting experiences such getting re-posted onto L’Oreal U.S.A.’s official Instagram. Cooks also very excited about presenting the company with her final intern project.

“I like presenting pieces of our intern project because it gives me the time to show them what I can do for them and my creativity. We haven’t had a final presentation yet, but I hope and believe that will be the biggest empowering moment.”

And there’s no doubt that living in the California is expensive, but Cook planned ahead, sharing a car with her roommate to save money for gas and landing a paid internship.

“Saving up is always beneficial because you never know what you’ll need before your first paycheck arrives. Also, for us, we arrived a week early because they weren’t prepared with paperwork, so having money saved up would help with no income coming in for the first week or two.”

With her internship wrapping up very soon, on August 11, after two months of working at Urban Decay, Cook leaves students with these words of advice:

“As much as SCAD tries, it [the internship] is not like classes because you are working for an actual company and they do and call things differently. So you’ll have plenty to learn and catch-up on. Just be prepared for the differences and be willing to adjust to fit in.”

To view Cook’s work, visit her website.

Most embarrassing moment: “My roommate and I’s car was side-swiped while we were at work. So someone came up to us and was like “Is that your blue Tiguan out there with the SCAD sticker… Here.” And hands us the shell of the driver side mirror. Then, because it was a hit and run, we were out there dealing with the cops alone as other employees walked by. That happened on the Friday of our first week there.”

Written by Asli Shebe.