COM 3950, Communication Practicum, requires students
to intern for 200 hours in their field, and the college keeps
an up-to-date list of business willing to sponsor interns and
provide real work experience. (Students also meet as a class
on a weekly basis to discuss the job search process in general
as well as problems specific to communication professions.)
The first step students take when looking for an internship
is deciding what area of communication they wish to intern
an advertising major, my idea of what my internship should
be was very clear. I wished to learn as much as possible
creative department of a local advertising agency.
Honolulu has many prominent and large advertising agencies.
It never occurred to me that those agencies would have neither
nor interest in allowing hands-on creative experience. Between
the high-speed interviewer who made it clear that graphic designers
would never be willing to share their knowledge with me, and
the wired creatives who barely looked at me when they bumped
into me because I was in their way, I started changing my mind.
The advertising industry is fast, challenging, and competitive.
Interns might not get the best deal interning in those agencies.
I needed to change my focus and expand my internship possibilities.
My next interview was inspiring. The boss and co-workers- to-be
were modest, incredibly enthusiastic, and willing to pass on
their experience. After 15 minutes, I knew I wanted to intern
at Pacificstock, a stock photography agency. An hour later,
I was the new marketing/advertising intern.
Pacificstock specializes in images from the Pacific, Asia,
and the Hawaiian Islands. For me, this meant working at the
where professional photographers and creative directors meet.
There is no better position for someone aspiring to become
an artistic director in the visual industry.
My first days at the agency were as challenging as first days
at school, a new job, or any novel environment. I had to understand
what was expected from me, familiarize myself with new softwares
and machines, and adapt to the corporate culture. My boss,
President Barbara Brundage, and its marketing manager Martin
Platenkamp, developed a number of varied projects to maximize
my exposure to all aspects of the agency.
I started with a telemarketing project to introduce a new Web
site to existing clients. Brundage told me early on, “You
are the face of the company!” implying that I had a great
responsibility. I called about 2,000 clients. A number of them
even called back to purchase images.
Another project was looking for infringements. Working with
copyrighted material involves legal issues that are delicate
Every week, the agency finds new infringements. My task was
to collect travel and hostelry brochures that might illegally
some of our images. HPU’s advertising degree program
does not require a media law class, so this experience made
aware of the copyright legislation in the United States.
Finally, the last and most exciting project for me was the
creation of advertisements. Each category of image is directly
to the client via e-mail. Pacificstock’s artistic director
Krissy Iki helped to create some of these presentations. This,
as everything I did at Pacificstock, was truly a productive
and enriching experience.
Internships are an essential part of the education process.
Mine helped me better understand the world in which I will
after graduation, and it better prepared me to seek, find,
and acquire the kind of career position I want.