Student Spotlight: Kaleen Suter – SWELL Agency

Temple Senior, Kaleen Suter is graduating in May 2017 as an Advertising major in the Art Direction track with an art minor. During her tenure here at Temple, Kaleen has visited the Career Center on a number of occasions. This past semester, Kaleen was fortunate enough to receive a summer contract offer with the advertising agency, SWELL after interning with them this Spring. We asked Kaleen a few questions about how she was able to land this great opportunity, and how the Career Center assisted her on her path.

Tell us about your internship experience this semester!

During my internship I have been fortunate enough to gain a great amount of real-life agency experience. I have helped work on projects for SEPTA, attended client meetings in which my work was presented, and aided in the design of branding for clients including The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Pennsylvania Wine Association, and the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society. Throughout the past 3 months I have striven to do my best work and offer to help with projects even on days I was not scheduled to be in the office, which resulted in developing strong connections with the SWELL team.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?

During a capstone class I took in Fall of 2016 where we worked in teams to create an advertising campaign for our client, SEPTA, I had the opportunity to have my work critiqued in class by the Creative Director of the advertising agency SWELL that currently designs SEPTA’s collateral. By being proactive and sending my resume/portfolio to the Creative Director before the critique, I had the opportunity to afterwards inquire about internship opportunities for the Spring 2017 semester. After a process of interviewing, presenting my portfolio of work, and then having the SWELL team attend our advertising pitch to SEPTA that we ended up winning against 5 other groups – I was offered a design internship at SWELL for this semester.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?

The most important thing I’ve learned during my internship is that going the extra mile and putting in extra time is what gets noticed. Also being thoughtful, personable, and genuine are important qualities to go along with great work ethic in the advertising/marketing field.

What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?
 A piece of advice I would give to current students embarking on an internship search would be to start interning as soon as possible – don’t be afraid to put yourself out there or make mistakes – interning is your chance to learn. Each experience will be different, but will tell you more about what you like and don’t like which will guide job searching for post-graduation.

Did the career center assist you in any way, whether it was identifying the opportunity, applying to it, interviewing for it, or preparing for it?

I visited the career center a few times to go over my resume and also to help perfect my cover letter before going on interviews and submitting applications. It was a great resource to boost my confidence before those nerve racking times.

Anything other advice for students?

The last thing I’d like to mention is that studying abroad at the Temple Rome Campus was one of the most influential experiences during my college career. It really broadened my horizons and positively influenced my creative work. I think more students should seriously consider studying abroad – a lot of programs have international internship opportunities too!

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