We invited three interns into the spotlight to talk about their Bresslergroup experience to provide an intern’s-eye view of 2400 Market Street, and a peek for future interns into our day to day. Our roundtable participants include Rizki Tarisa, Junior Industrial Designer; Ariel Esser, Graphic Design Intern (who has since graduated to full-time Graphic Designer); and Molly Dee, Mechanical Engineering Intern.
(p.s. Check out our current internship openings.)
How they got here
Rizki: I graduated three years ago and worked for several companies in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Coming to the U.S. to study was not affordable so I thought one day I should come here to work or for an internship. I looked on some websites and sent out my application. I left my hometown [in Indonesia] on New Year’s Eve. I arrived on New Year’s Eve. So I traveled back in time. For thirty hours, I think. The flight is long.
Ariel: I was looking for jobs on the AIGA website. I had been living in Philly for a month or so. I moved here from Madison, Wisconsin, because I wanted to be in a bigger city.
Molly: I graduated from Penn so I was already in Philadelphia. I was looking for jobs between Philadelphia and NYC, and I knew I wanted to be in product design. I probably sent out close to fifty personalized e-mails trying to get my portfolio out there. I feel very lucky because I didn’t expect to hear back from a place like this. I thought it was kind of a long shot, but here I am.
Finish this sentence: Bresslergroup is _________.
Ariel: Transparent. I see a lot of what everyone does—the engineers walking around doing different things. I see the industrial designers having their ideation sessions.
Molly: Flexible. People want you to learn and they want you to experience new things, even if that means making mistakes on occasion. They don’t tightly manage you if they can help it. They want you to find your own way. And I think that’s been really beneficial. And I also just think that people here are fun and personable and interesting.
Rizki: Open. The industrial design team really pushes me to learn. I don’t have to always report to the project manager. I can use my own judgment and my own design sense. Only when I need help, when I need input from colleagues, then I ask for it. They let me learn by doing and by working on the project, by making mistakes and trying to fix them myself.
What they’ve learned
Ariel: A lot. I’ve learned about best practices for the Web, as far as size of text or legibility, and best practices for file management. I’ve learned to work with and adjust to a new aesthetic. In school, you can adjust a project to fit your style, but that’s not so once you get into the working world.
Molly: You go to school for however many years, and you graduate with this degree. And then you go to work somewhere and realize most of what you learned is absolutely meaningless and isn’t going to help you in the least.
(Molly, cont’d.): I’ve learned so much here that we never talked about in school: 3-D CAD modeling practices; part design, especially plastic parts; research and development practices; engineering estimations; machining tips and tricks for making things in the machine shop; manufacturing processes. I’ve been lucky enough to work on seven or eight different projects that all have required different sets of skills. And I’ve learned so much about each of those things that I didn’t really get in school.
Rizki: I’ve learned a lot of technical stuff, as in sketching and CAD. Color, materials and finish development; model making and other kind of technical things, too. And project management—how to relate to clients firsthand, and how to assess and try to fulfill what they want.
How the experience influenced their career paths
Rizki: I’ve wanted to be an industrial designer since I was a kid. This confirmed I like design studio consultancy work, because we get to work on so many different types of products.
Ariel: It has definitely changed my career path, since I became an actual graphic designer here—not just an intern. That’s a big change.
Molly: Working here it became clear that there’s a lot more to learn and explore. I plan on going into industry for a while and trying to consume all of that knowledge before coming back to a consultancy. You have to have a certain level of experience and knowledge before you can tell other people how to do what they’re already doing better.
Advice for future interns
Molly: Ask a lot of questions all the time even if you think they’re kind of silly. People here are happy to answer your questions.
Rizki: I agree: Ask a lot of questions. Have initiative. Be proactive. I always ask. I always bother people.
Ariel: Also, they’ll get whatever food you request (within reason) for your birthday celebration. Ask for something good.