Co-ops and Internships!
RIT has a great co-op program, it's one of the reasons why I decided to come to RIT. If you don’t know what a co-op is, it's basically a paid internship. You’re working in the real world, not taking classes, but you're still considered a full time student.
Co-ops are a great way to get real world experience, and you’ll be surprised as to how valuable they are when it comes to finding a full time job after graduation. Every one has a career advisor; my career advisor is Lisa Vasaturo and with her help I’ve gotten an internship every summer since sophomore year.
The office of cooperative education and career services offers mock interviews, resume and cover letter help, job search advisement, workshops and more. They also have career fairs for students to find jobs/co-ops. RIT has a bunch of resources, use them!
I am a Visual Media Major in the School of Photographic Arts & Sciences. Over the past 3 years I have done 3 internships during my summer breaks. During my freshman year at RIT I realized I didn’t want to be a photographer, but rather work behind the scenes that's when I learned about photo editors.
They are the people who pick and edit photos, hire photographers, direct photo shoots, collaborate with photo agencies, etc. They usually work in the company’s photo department. But I soon realized getting a job as a photo editor would require experience so I began looking for internships. My first internship was at an artist agency called Walter Schupfer Management. I worked in their art department.
I learned how to create and edit portfolios, retouch images, updated photos on their website and, best of all, go on a photo-shoot with the photographer Jessica Craig Martin. Now that I had working at Walter Schupfer Management on my resume, it was easier to get noticed by other companies.
The next summer I worked at TV Guide Magazine. I had always wanted to work for a magazine since I was little, so I was really excited to work at TV Guide. I loved it there. Since the company was small and independently owned, I did real work, not just get coffee for people. I was in charge of 3 different columns, and sometimes some feature articles. I was choosing images for the magazine, collaborating with the art department, filming TV stars for their YouTube channel, and more. One of the perks was I got to see all of the new fall pilots! I needed to know what the shows were about to find great photos to put in the magazine. Working at TV Guide was like being an assistant photo editor, the job I wanted to have once I graduated. My experience at TV Guide confirmed my thoughts that being a photo editor is what I want to do.
This summer I’m working at Hollywoodlife.com. Look them up - it’s a cool website if you're into celebrity gossip and news! Instead of working for a magazine this year, I am working for a website. It's similar yet different. A lot more fast paced!
We have to keep the website updated all the time! I’m still working in the photo department looking up photos, adding straps and banners to photos, making galleries, etc. I’ve learned that the more experience you have on your resume, the better chance you have of getting a job.
The best part of my internships is that I’ve spent my summers in NYC! NYC has a lot of fun things to offer, and a lot of free things! Which is especially important when you’re on a budget. For example tonight I’m going to a free Zedd concert (he’s a dj). NYC is awesome and so are internships/co-ops! I highly recommend doing them even if they are not required for your major.