Isaiah Drake is a graduating senior at Communications High School in Wall, NJ, who recently completed an eight-week internship requirement with Rizco. He plans on majoring in graphic design and will be attending Brookdale Community College for his freshman year. After completing one year at Brookdale, he intends on transferring to the Savannah College of Art and Design. Rizco sat down with Isaiah to discuss his experience and his plans for the future.
Why did you decide to intern with Rizco?
As a student at Communications High School in the graphic design track, I really wanted to see how my creative skills could translate in a business setting. I wanted to understand how design works as a communications tool and to learn what it’s like to interface with clients to meet their marketing goals. I had discussions with former Communications’ students who had interned at Rizco and they all expressed how appreciative they were of their internship experiences.
What projects and experiences were the most rewarding?
I really enjoyed working on the social media project for the Plum Practicewear Cinco de Mayo sale. I was given the freedom to design the graphics to promote the Plum Practicewear sale on Instagram and Facebook. This gave me a chance to use my design skills and learn about the importance of social media and Google Analytics. Through these marketing tools, I was able to understand how two different audiences responded to the same design.
As an intern, how did you feel you fit in with the Rizco team?
I really loved the creative environment. Everyone at Rizco is so nice and they all made me feel really comfortable. It felt natural for me to be here, and I enjoyed working and learning in a place that thrives on creativity.
Is there anything that you did during your time with Rizco that made you think differently about what you might like to do in the future?
Yes, a field trip to a printer, Digital Color Concepts, with Jill Nappi, Rizco’s director of business development, was really interesting to me. Jill spent 15 years in commercial printing, and it was interesting to learn about the business from her perspective. I didn’t have an understanding of all the details that go into the manufacturing of printed marketing materials. It made me want to pursue an internship with a printing company to learn more about their operations. I also realized how important it is to take business and marketing classes along with design in college.
What would you say is your professional goal for the future?
My goal is to become a designer who understands whatever market I’m working in. I’d like to be able to create engaging art that communicates powerful, impactful messaging.
We know that you have an important trip planned this summer. Tell us a little bit about what you’ll be doing.
Yes, I’ll be going on a mission trip to Haiti with my church. We’ll be supporting the House of Abraham, which is part of Go Out Ministries, a Christian non-profit organization. House of Abraham is dedicated to raising children in poor countries with biblical principles to become Christian leaders. I’ll be collecting supplies to bring to the village and supporting their initiatives while I’m there.
Wow. That’s so great. Is this your first mission trip?
No, I’ve actually been to Nicaragua twice, and last summer I went to a very poverty-stricken area of West Virginia. It’s so sad to see these children who have absolutely nothing. It’s rewarding to be able to give them some hope and the tools that they need to climb out of their situation.
Any tips for students pursuing graphic design internships?
Try to intern with Rizco or find a company just like them! Everyone here was so willing to teach and expose me to different aspects of graphic design and marketing. Also, when you do intern, don’t be afraid to ask questions – it’s the key to learning.