My Path to Finding Internships

Here is one of our Seniors discussing how she successfully found several internships during her studies here at Belhaven.


Heading off the Beaten Path…

Just some advice on finding internships as a graphic design student through personal experience.


First off, anything is possible with the Lord. God provided ways for me to gain experience in what I love to do as a designer without lucky charms or a car (not even the means to borrow one). The bare bones of finding an internship is really sniffing out opportunities and pouncing on those opportunities.

I’ve found an internship with The Imaginary Company (a small studio in the Belhaven neighborhood) simply by chatting with some gents and gals hanging out at Sneaky Beans when I asked if any of them knew the location of the studio and was given the contact information from a buddy of one of the workers. Sure enough a phone call later, a quick interview later, and I’m set to work as an intern. The experience I had was invaluable, unique, and I discovered a range of tasks designers do, with pay. No job was ever boring, the only downside was working with two cats pawing over my keyboard and batting their tails in my face. I’m not an outgoing personality, but being assertive, articulate, and focused are necessary for any designer. If the desire is there, if the hunger is there, and if you want to work, there is always a way (that’s ethical and sans spec) that’s, really, just a phone call or a hand shake away.

Another opportunity I had was over the summer, in my junior year. I simply checked out downtown Denver galleries and found Plus Gallery. All I had to do was write a neat, simple, to the point one page essay on what I could offer, my skills, and so forth as an intern. A call and an interview later and I was able to create the seasonal art gallery events booklet for the Denver Arts Dealers Association. Plus Gallery designed the booklet and hosted the project twice annually. No pay but I was able to keep as many copies of my work, keep the original files, and made one contact through the gallery owner that led to the Denver art world. If there is no pay, outline in an agreement or contract of some sort about the terms of what you need as experience, even if it’s just contacts and a letter of recommendation for a start to a career down the road.

Generally, interviews were short & somewhat informal. You’re working on someone else’s precious time so a PDF portfolio, snippets, samples, etc. with something intelligent to say will do fine, but looking spiffy, normal, and sane makes a difference too. Know where you’re applying and whom you’ll most likely be speaking to. Both these cases required business casual which means pants that are not jeans and a collared shirt for guys and maybe a skirt and blouse for the ladies.

Plus, as a given, and out of consideration and courtesy, ALWAYS WRITE A hand written or well designed if your penmanship tanks, THANK YOU  note or card before and after your internship. This is professional and important, not to ensure anything for you (though that’s possible), but to show that you house the Holy Spirit and a person touched by the grace of God had better, and at the very least, show some appreciation and gratitude. Trust me, nothing you do is without God’s hand leading out to yours. Your health, talents, gifts, all of those things encompassing your life are by his provision. Kiss that ego goodbye. Far away…


One point that is important to know is the Lord honors honest work and working towards a goal that expands his kingdom. Each person is unique with a set of talents, gifts, and skills, even if it’s just one, God will use you for his purpose. Every opportunity is never too mundane, stupid, or lowly enough.  Nothing is ever lame enough to pass up, because no matter the task given, a Christian knows God watches and speaks behind the scenes. Those you meet, create for, and work with are people God loves and needs you as an ambassador to spread that love.


Lastly, a designer’s arsenal does not live on mad Photoshop skills or killer app layouts alone but intuition, assertiveness, and proactive behavior are just as important of weaponry choice like comfort with the Pathfinder tool(s). A Christian designer applies those three because it’s not about the job or you but about building relationships and glorifying Jesus Christ.



Capital Gains @ Belhaven

Once again the Belhaven Campus was set upon by many Graphic Design students and professionals from all around the State in order that they could attend the Capital Gains conference hosted by Karen Johnson & the AAF – Jackson

This one-day event is a unique opportunity to have working Professionals critique & review student’s portfolios as well as give presentations on current trends & topics facing working Graphic Designers today.

We were honoured to host the event and  hope everyone who came left enlightened and encouraged.

Special Guest — Heidi Flynn Barnett

I wanted to say  Thank you to a Heidi Flynn Barnett of Flynn Design.  Heidi was kind enough to come over and talk to our students about being a free lance Graphic Design and some of the joys & pit falls of working for oneself.

Flynn Design

Flynn Design

So go check out her stuff online!

Thanks again Heidi, we all enjoyed seeing and hearing about your journey.

Thrive — featuring our own Karlos Taylor

Navigate Turbulent Waters of a Challenging Economy
Presented by the American Society of Training and Development
and Belhaven University’s Aspire Program

When:                     Thursday, October 14, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Where:                    Belhaven University Student Center — Second Floor Theatre
Registration:         Free of Charge; RSVP Required at 601-968-8880 or                                                        

Bullet-proof your career
and learn how to make the most of challenging economic times by starting your own business or through exercising  some “best practices” to maintain your current position.

Speakers include:

· Rob BensonPresident of First Steps Training and Development with offices in Georgia and Kentucky. Rob has achieved prominence in the field of Training and Development with classifications as a Certified Professional Facilitator <> , Charter member of the Society for Advancement of Consulting <> , Certified Master Trainer of the Best-in-Class Trouble Shooting Logic <> methodologies, Inscape Certified DISC Trainer, and a University of Southern Mississippi Certified Training Professional. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Oral Roberts University and a Master’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Tulsa.

· John Brandon, Manager for the Entrepreneur Center with the Mississippi Development Authority.
With over 30 years experience in a variety of retail-oriented business environments, John has expertise in corporate and store management, buying, consulting, and university-level teaching.  He received the 1992 President’s Award from the Cleveland-Bolivar Chamber of Commerce and the 1996 Award from the National Association of Small Business Development.  He serves as an adjunct faculty member for Mississippi College.

· Dr. Margie Culbertson, Consultant Coordinator of the MS Center for Nonprofits in Jackson.
She is the author of three books and the editor of six.  Margie has been a management consultant, corporate trainer and keynote speaker, as well as a college instructor, photographer, artist, and writer.   Her work has taken her across the U.S. and Europe with offices based out of California, Texas, and Washington State. She received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Organizational Psychology from San Diego State University and a Ph.D. in Speech Communication from the University of Texas at Austin.

· Karlos Taylor, Specialty Instructor of Graphic Design at Belhaven University.
With background as a freelance Graphic Designer, he has served as Art Director for M3A Architecture in Jackson.  He received a scholarship from Mississippi College where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and has completed a Master of Fine Arts in Computer from Memphis College of Art. He has taught over 7 years at the university level as both a full-time and adjunct professor.

The following seminar THRIVE, hosted by Aspire and the local Association for Training and Development, will focus on “Bullet-Proofing Your Career” in tough, economic times.  The workshop is free of charge, open to the public, and students/faculty are encouraged to attend.  RSVP is needed as seating is limited (601-968-8880/