What are the skills learned in arts-related internships and summer jobs? How is the practice of creativity and artistic skills in a professional art studio different from in a classroom setting? What are the practical skills used in careers in the arts?
Internship experiences in the arts can allow students to work with mentors on arts projects — learning about the business and marketing aspects of careers in the arts , learning professional techniques, learning how to give and receive feedback on artwork, learning to take creativity to a new level. What skills do students practice in arts internships?
Here is an example of seven skills, taken from a sample of Work-Based Learning Plans.
|Creativity and Critical Thinking
||Generating ideas and concepts; working with colleagues to evaluate options and make choices. Being fluent in generating one’s one ideas while also being open to ideas of others.
|Gallery Space Design
||Organizing and enhancing selling space in a gallery.
|Hanging an Exhibition
||Understanding and applying best practices for presenting artwork for an art exhibition.
|Framing, glass cutting, matting
||Learning and practicing techniques for mounting and framing artwork.
|Computer Technology and Equipment Operation
||Using software, cameras, and other equipment to produce digital images, prints, brochures and other marketing and display materials.
||Gathering information about clients, local organizations, local history, and other topics related to artistic work, public art, marketing and communications.
||Gaining fluency in techniques relevant to the project, such as sketching, painting, mixed-media, collage, calligraphy, ….
Posted by Jennifer on October 29, 2014
Many students use graphic design in their work-based learning experiences, both as the primary focus — in graphic design internships — and as a key skill within internships, summer jobs and student-led projects in the arts, community service, entrepreneurship, journalism, education, museum work and other fields.
Students may be engaged in creating logos, signs, brochures and posters, creating and updating websites, creating and updating print publications, developing graphics for exhibits and art shows, or other design projects.
Here is a list of seven skills for graphic design experiences, drawn from a sample of Work-Based Learning Plans.
||Using a variety of methods (reading, online research, workshops, etc.) to learn about design software and design principles.
|Creativity and Critical Thinking
||Generating ideas; drafting design concepts; working with colleagues to evaluation options and make choices. Being fluent in generating one’s one ideas while also being open to ideas of others.
||Understanding and applying design theory. Developing an eye for design. Learning and applying concepts of color, contrast, scale and typography.
||Organizing computer files, following file naming conventions. Organizing information into folders and subfolders. Archiving old information.
||Formatting pictures for use in publications and websites, including adjusting file size and canvas size, cropping and color correction.
||Gathering information about client organizations, local community, local businesses, local events or other topics for publications and websites.
||Becoming fluent in the use of graphic design software and related software.
Posted by Jennifer on October 13, 2014
In honor of Boston Fashion Week* here is a feature on skills for fashion-related internships. Examples of fashion-related internships (from sample Massachusetts work-based learning programs) include:
- Working in fashion retailing.
- Working as an intern in a fashion design setting.
- Working in a student entrepreneurship program focused on apparel and jewelry design.
- Helping to teach in a sewing program for younger children.
In these settings, interns take on varied tasks in order to learn skills for careers related to design, retailing and fashion. Interns can learn and practice business skills, merchandising, sales, and customer service, as well as sewing and design skills. Interns may work in merchandising and sales roles. Interns may help with tailoring, design, and alterations for customers. Interns can be involved in special events, website and social media promotion and other aspects of product marketing. Interns are encouraged to be knowledgeable and enthusiastic about fashion trends and continually to seek out fashion and product knowledge.
Here are seven skills related to fashion internships, selected from a sample of Work-Based Learning Plans.
||Selecting and dressing mannequins; selecting outfits for display; selecting colors and sizes for display; maintaining retail displays.
|Sales and Customer Service
||Assisting customers with selection of apparel and gifts.Comfortably building rapport when meeting customers.Supporting customer buying decisions by sharing information about the company products, such as information about fit, fabric, and styling. Representing the company in a professional manner at all times. Respecting the confidentiality and diversity of all customers.
|Product Knowledge // Active Learning
||Being knowledgeable and enthusiastic about current fashion/trends. Consistently seeking new fashion and product knowledge to serve as an expert for our customer.
||Becoming familiar with the tasks related to owning and managing a business, including bookkeeping, marketing (including Facebook and a web site), organizational systems and computer systems.Computer skills include inputting and editing inventory; entering customer information; updating social media; miscellaneous data entry and retrieval.
|Design and Pattern Making
|| Learning the elements of fashion design by drawing, pattern making, draping and pinning, and enlarging/reducing patterns.
||Becoming familiar with garment fittings, including reading commercial patterns, adjusting patterns, modifying clothes, pinning, hemming to correct length, taking garments apart, adjusting and installing zippers etc.
|Event Planning and Marketing
||Assisting with the planning and execution of special marketing events. Taking photos of outfits and new merchandise for website and social media sites.
** For more about events of Boston Fashion Week, October 5-11, 2014, see http://www.bostonfashionweek.com/2014.html
Posted by Jennifer on October 6, 2014
A physical therapy intern has an opportunity to become familiar with professional skills used in a physical therapy clinic while providing support for the staff and patients through a variety of office and clinical tasks. Interns can become familiar with office procedures, including record-keeping, scheduling and billing, with equipment operation and maintenance, and with clinical tasks such as finding and printing out exercise routines, providing patient “set-ups” such as cold-packs and heat-packs, and greeting patients and helping them get started up in the gym.
What are the skills used in internships? Here is a sample of seven skills, based on Work-Based Learning Plans in the database.
||Show initiative in learning career skills by observing treatments, shadowing PTs, asking questions about purpose and outcome treatments. Also learn the “FLOW” of an outpatient PT clinic and work to maintain that flow.
|Customer Service / Interacting with Patients
||Become comfortable interacting with patients by greeting each one and bringing them into the gym for warm ups. Intern will also assist with instruction and education.
||Intern will learn the proper use of equipment and help to maintain and clean equipment. Under supervision of mentor, intern will supervise patients while using the machinery.
||Develop fluency in use of specialized computer programs, including:
– Learning and demonstrating knowledge of data collection using the TekScan wearable footwear sensor system.
– Learning and demonstrating use of 3D Motion Analysis software.
– Using Excel to assist in monthly analysis of clinical data.
||Show professionalism and careful attention to detail in performing office tasks, including:
– Pulling charts for upcoming patients.
– Assisting with copying of HEP (Home Exercise Programs) for patients.
– Scheduling patient appointments.
– Making and organizing patient files.
– Filing insurance and patient paperwork.
|Research / Web Searches
||Use computer to find exercise programs and print out copies for patients.
||Become familiar with the vocabulary used in the clinical setting. Use knowledge of vocabulary when conducting web searches and other research tasks.
|Posted by Jennifer on August 28, 2014
Many youth employment programs provide opportunities for teens to work in early childhood education settings: in childcare programs, summer day camps, preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Interns may work as teaching assistants, assisting with child’s activities as well as general classroom duties such as organizing materials, preparing snacks and general cleaning. Interns may prepare lessons for the class, with teaching and activities appropriate to the age of the group of children. Interns may have the opportunity to come up with “activities in a pinch” – those quick games and art projects that can be organized and introduced quickly when an activity is needed. Interns may work with children on early reading and math literacy, as well as art, music, science, nature study and other children’s interests.
What are the skills that interns practice in these settings? Here is an example of seven skills from a summer internship in a childcare center.
||Demonstrating understanding of age appropriate activities, communication and behavior for assigned age group
||Keeping art materials, toys and other materials organized. Making sure that materials are easy to find and ready to use.
|Art and Creativity
||Exploring your creativity while inspiring others through various art projects.
|Leadership and Role Modeling
||Role modeling appropriate behavior (being polite, positive, using appropriate language) Encouraging children to participate, by actively participating.
|Reading and Literacy
||Encouraging children‘s literacy skills by participating in story-time and other reading related activities.
||Encouraging children to learn and practice basic math skills by counting, using the calendar, noticing shapes and noticing patterns.
||Following safety procedures and regulations. Successfully completing CPR and other safety training.
|Posted by Jennifer on July 8, 2014
What type of information do interns work with for your organization? Shown here, a screen from a GIS mapping program.
In lots of workplaces, summertime is the season for summer interns and special projects. The ideal project is one that is valuable to your organization; provides the intern with insight into your organization and field of work; will require a significant number of hours of work; and involves skills and tasks that you can teach to a short-term intern.
For example, in the past I have hired interns to work on maps using online mapping software, to lay out database screens for a large database project, and to update a series of PowerPoint presentations. In each case, I had already designed the project and identified the software needed, the steps involved, and the general look of the project. I left some of the decision-making to the interns so that they could put their own stamp on the finished project.
Many summer internships involve interesting special projects. Inventorying trees for a city. Cataloging materials for a museum. Developing a database of stock photos for a marketing department. Creating a local directory of local social services. Putting an organization’s employee handbook or safety manual online.
What are the skills that interns develop and use in these projects? Here an example of a set of seven skills:
||Using organizational tools and strategies to keep track of your project step-by-step. This may include using checklists, calendars, stylesheets, project notebooks and other tools as needed by the project.
||Gathering and organizing information for the project. Paying attention to accuracy of information; making sure that information is complete; avoiding duplication. [For example: gathering garden names, volunteer names, photos and location coordinates for park gardens for a park mapping project.]
||Being able to discuss and use basic math concepts. [For example: understanding the coordinates system used in computer layouts or understanding the use of latitude and longitude in mapping programs.]
||Being alert to identify problems, such as missing information, duplicated information or software issues. Systematically identifying potential solutions, communicating with supervisor and other team members to determine best solutions, and applying the solution(s). Writing notes and sharing any agreements about what steps to take in the future for the issue.
||Becoming fluent in the use of relevant software programs. Systematically managing computer files and folders for the project, including spreadsheets, photos, documents and other materials. Properly using usernames and passwords to maintain the safety and confidentiality of information.
||Taking initiative to learn about the scope of the project, organizational goals, and the software and technology being used. Looking at the organization website, reading manuals and other resources as needed. Asking questions relevant to the project.
||Using the internship experience to explore career interests and find out about future opportunities related to this field.
Posted by Jennifer on July 5, 2014
Part of a series of “seven skills” articles.
What are the skills used in journalism internships? Many students seek out jobs and internships in journalism and related arts, media and communications positions. What are some of the responsibilities they take on? What skills do they develop? Here is a sample of seven skills from the Work-Based Learning Plan for a sports journalism internship for a local newspaper.
|Collecting and Organizing Information
||-Proactively communicate with coaches to receive game recaps in order to gather data to be entered on website roundups and for print. -Attend sporting event, documenting events of game, augmented with comments from couches and players, to create an article for the newspaper.
||Write articles in the parameters of deadlines when covering late-breaking events; exercise good news judgment.
|Understanding All Aspects of the Industry
||-Cover various types of sports events, including high school sports, collegiate baseball, and semi-pro football games. -Become aware of the various roles, responsibilities, and departments within the newspaper.
||-Interact with reporters and serve as a resource to reporters by representing a youth perspective. -Complete misc. tasks for sports editor to ease department workload/production.
||-Conduct interviews with players and coaches, including questions drawn from both personal and coach’s observations. -Research and writing involved with a daily feature.
||-Create articles using Adobe software. -Post scores to newspaper website via web-based program as they are received by coaches. -Assist with videotaping of various sports games.
||-Develop a “story bank” of feature story ideas for future use.
Here is a word cloud of skills appearing on Work-Based Learning Plans for journalism internships. See what inspirations comes from these!
Posted by Jennifer on June 17, 2014
What are the skills used in culinary arts, cooking and food service careers? What skills do youth build in their work-based learning experiences? From our database of Work-Based Learning Plans, here is a set of seven skills.
Youth may be participating in a student-run restaurant based in a school or youth program; as interns in a local restaurant; or as entrepreneurs in a food-oriented business. Roles will vary across settings. In a student-run restaurant, students take the lead in menu planning and recipe selection. In a local restaurant, students serve in an assistant or apprentice to experienced staff. In each setting, participants apply cooking and culinary arts skills that they have learned through formal classroom instruction or training. Participants also develop additional skills and learn new techniques on the job. Participants apply knowledge of food safety and safe use of tools and equipment. Participants apply knowledge of nutrition and health to menu planning. Participants apply teamwork, creativity, math, reading and other core skills to the work.
||Interns work together to prepare large quantities of an item or dish. All interns will have a specific role in the preparation and execution of a recipe, and rely on team members to ensure success. They need to be able to offer advice as well as accept constructive criticism to effectively work together as a team.
|Mathematics and Measurement
||Interns must be able to correctly measure and weigh all ingredients needed for a recipe and use math as needed in planning, budgeting and managing inventory.
||Interns use reading comprehension skills when reading and learning a new recipe. Interns will encounter unfamiliar words, phrases and concepts that they may never have heard before.
||Interns follow standard industry practices with regard to food safety and safe use of tools and equipment. Good communication, time management, and a comfortable pace of work are essential to creating a safe environment.
||Interns utilize their creativity when adding their own spin on a certain recipe. After reviewing with their site supervisor an intern may attempt to create his/her own recipe from scratch. They also are able to design the presentation of the dish they have made.
|Nutrition and Health Awareness
||Interns draw on knowledge of nutrition, health, food choices and diet, as these issues affect menu planning and choice of ingredients.
||Interns apply culinary arts skills (food prep, menu planning, customer service, sanitation, food safety) to the workplace setting.
Posted by Jennifer on June 10, 2014
Many summer, school-year and year-round youth employment programs engage youth in entrepreneurship projects. In some projects, students develop new businesses starting from the ground up. Students identify a product or service, write business plans and develop strategies for financing, marketing and production. In other projects, youth may join in as owners/workers in ongoing youth-run business; in others youth work in entrepreneurialy focused projects in local businesses and organizations. Experiences include:
- Identifying and defining a product and a market
- Product development
- Brand development
- Development of logos, marketing materials and social media presence
- Day-to-day production, sales and customer service
From a sample of Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plans, here is a selection of seven skills that are relevant to entrepreneurial projects.
||Systematically using project management tools, such as checklists, timelines, calendars and planning charts to manage a project step by step.
|Reading, Research and Analysis
||Gathering information to support business planning. Research includes gathering information about the potential market for a product; looking at the existence of complementary or competitive businesses in your market; looking at staffing and production costs; finding out about potential sources of start-up funding, and other aspects of business planning. Reading industry-related materials to learn more about product trends, technology or other aspects of the business.
||Generating fresh approaches to any and all aspects of the business: products and services, marketing materials, packaging, logos, channels for outreach and distribution, publicity and customer service. Creativity may be highly original “out-of-the-box” thinking or just a slightly fresh approach.
|Customer Service Skills
||Listening to and understanding the needs and wants of customers. Working to meet those needs through high quality customer service and products.
| Production Skills
||Using available time, resources and materials to produce a high quality product or service.
|Computer Technology / Graphic Design
||Using available software and social media to support the business. Tasks may include graphic design, social media marketing, budgeting, data management or other tasks.
||Approaching day-to-day activities as well as major decisions in light of the mission, goals and values of the business. Decisions are shaped by values including profit, long-term viability of the business, excellent customer experience, high quality products, innovation, artisanship, community-mindedness, environmental concern and/or other values.
Posted by Jennifer on May 27, 2014
What are the skills used in student entrepreneurship programs? What projects and tasks do students work on? For a quick insight, I looked at a sample of job descriptions and skills/tasks lists from the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plans that were customized for students in entrepreneurship programs. First, I did a quick word count. What words show up most frequently? Excluding words like “the, and, for, also” the most 40 common words are listed below, and shown in a “word cloud.”
A word list can be a good conversation starter for noticing key themes. I notice the strong business focus, of course, and I especially notice words related to the cluster of skills that support entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation: designing, creating, writing, communicating, presenting, calculating, designing, thinking…. What patterns do you notice?
The next post will look at some of the job descriptions…. meanwhile it’s fun to look at the word list and ponder the key themes….
business / businesses
student / students
design / designing
create / creating
plan / plans
communicate / communication
Posted by Jennifer on April 24, 2014