written by Laura Guerrero-Almeida
As an editorial intern at Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS), I interview staff, write feature and news stories and gather information for blog posts. It has been a rewarding experience in which I learned about the professional world and grew as a person. Unfortunately, multiple BUDS interns and I will soon graduate and forge our separate paths. Each one of us is taking invaluable lessons and great memories.
The Importance of Open-Communication in Graphic Design
Elizabeth Lee, graphic design intern, is an accomplished student with a vibrant personality whose flyers and posters fill our dining establishments. Though she is now a well-versed graphic designer, her fondest BUDS memory was learning dining lingo with Field Marketing Coordinator and Marketing Intern Supervisor, Jenny Delgado.
"Jenny was explaining all the events that I needed to include on a sandwich board," Lee said. "When she finished talking, I genuinely asked: 'so where does the sandwich go?' She starts laughing and then pauses and says, 'wait, you're serious?' I was dead serious. Long story short, there is no sandwich on a sandwich board."
By now, Lee knows plenty about food graphics and has created many informative pieces. She also learned the importance of open communication in the process.
"Not only did I have to come up with creative solutions to get messages across in my designs," she said, "I also had to communicate with my peers and supervisor. This aids in creating a healthy and open work environment where the team feels comfortable enough to voice anything."
Working at BUDS gives Lee a supportive environment in which supervisors and interns can help each other. This helps elevate her work.
"In this environment, ideas are constantly bounced from person to person," she said. "You might think you have it all figured out, but then someone pitches an idea that can greatly advance your thought process. I loved how we were all able to grow together as a team."
Photographer Learns Self-Growth
Our photography intern, Hana Cho, is a prime example of versatility. After her mathematics classes, she walks around campus with the mission of capturing BUDS' essence through photography. She has photographed countless dishes and events. Yet, her favorite task was covering the dessert buffet at the MarketPlace.
"I just loved how so many people came to enjoy beautiful and tasty desserts, and I absolutely loved taking pictures of them," Cho said. "The chef offered me a piece of cake at the end of the photoshoot, and that made my day; it was one of the best cakes I have ever had!"
As an intern, Cho tackles multiple assignments out of her comfort zone, which enforces and expands her abilities.
"I found what I am good at and how to apply those skills to improve my job performance," she said. "Over time, my duties and responsibilities increased, like updating isolation meals weekly menus and pricing. I think that is a good indicator of me growing professionally."
Cho believes her supervisors' trust enables her to grow professionally and personally.
"Even though I made mistakes, I'm thankful for them trusting me through this journey and allowing me to be myself," Cho said.
Social Media Photographer Enjoys Creative Freedom
Courtney Aslan, social media and photography intern, joined BUDS as an outlet from her business-focused classes and to create innovative content. Her most notable works are her fun and engaging Instagram stories. Having creative freedom allows her to make each of these unique.
"I will miss the endless opportunities to be creative," Aslan said. "To take pictures of so many different people and foods, and gain exposure to working in such a unique and welcoming environment."
Aslan's supervisors are confident in her skills and give her independent tasks. That can sometimes test her confidence, but in the end, her self-trust only grows stronger.
"Working at BUDS has pushed me to think outside the box and trust my creative instincts," she said. "These were things I didn't realize were crucial aspects working professionally and my day-to-day life."
BUDS recognized Aslan's dedication and asked her to produce Chenango Room's branding photos.
"Some of these photos ended blown up on the walls of the Chenango Room," she said. "This made me feel so special and recognized. It was such an honor."
Discovering Passion for Branding Through Graphic Design
Haley Han is our multi-talented graphic designer and TikTok content creator. The Chenango Room burrito bowl lover keeps up with all the latest trends to create humorous videos for BUDS.
"I'll miss collaborating with on-campus employees and interns and filming videos for our TikTok page. Yes, we have a TikTok: it's @bingcampusfood
!" she said.
Han also worked diligently on a range of graphic design projects. In the process, she acquired a passion for branding.
"It's so cool to walk into the dining halls and see my designs on the menu and signs," Han said.
One of her favorite projects was the Bearcat Bakery branding. She loves to see its menus, signs and vouchers — all designed by her!
The road to becoming a dedicated graphic designer required a lot of commitment. Through her internship, Han improved her time management.
"At this internship, your team relies on you to submit projects by a certain timeline," Han said. "If not, things will not be printed in time for an event, for example. It's helped me to become more responsible and plan out my schedule."
If Han could tell her freshman self anything, she would ask her to practice designing as much as possible.
"Get as much graphic design experience as you can," Han said. "This will be the biggest way to learn by practicing with projects!"
Marketing Assistant Gains Administrative Skills
Our Marketing Assistant, Kaitlyn McCarthy, spends her days working on vital BUDS elements. She updates resident dining meal prices, upkeeps Bite App menus and prepares daily menu screens.
"My time at BUDS allowed me to gain experience working in a different type of environment, for instance, marketing," she said. "It also helped broaden my understanding of the ‘behind-the-scenes' aspects of dining services and marketing operations."
McCarthy was thankful everyone around her trusted her to grow professionally and treated her as an equal in the office.
"More specifically, the open and friendly work environment they fostered," she said.
As an assistant, she emphasized the importance of remaining curious and speaking up.
"Communication is key!" McCarthy said. "Whether it be about something big or small, asking questions will never hurt, especially when working in such a detail-oriented position."
Challenging and Rewarding Editorial Experience
I joined BUDS as an editorial intern to pursue my interest in writing and all the great things that come with it. My internship proved to be everything I expected, and I learned plenty in the process.
Composing articles is a lengthy undertaking. Yet Jenny is always supportive and gives me many chances to make mistakes and keep trying. Because of that, I do not give up. I believe I am now a more substantial writer, and I thank my team for that.
As a social person, my favorite part of my job is connecting with BUDS members via interviews for blogs and news stories. The narratives of their work are a unifying snippet of what it means to be a part of BUDS.
In that same way, the extraordinary graduating interns gave me an insightful overview of their time as interns. Each of them produced stories that humanize BUDS using different media. Hopefully, our work makes BUDS an identifiable figure that future interns can recognize and promote to the campus community.