Intern Q&A — Gail Dixon


Courtesy photo: Gail Dixon

Gail and her supervisor, Wendi, pose with one of the taxi toppers they created for the Kitchen of the Year opening night gala.

Gail Dixon

Majors: graphic design, journalism and mass communication

Where I worked: House Beautiful magazine marketing department, New York City

What I did: Designed in-book promotional pages in the magazine, designed and executed marketing and event materials for House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year.

Q: How did you hear about the job? Did you attend the Career Fairs before finding it?

A: I didn’t really hear about the internship, I had to search for it. I was interested in interning for a publication, so I applied to the major publishing corporations, including Hearst, Conde Nast and Rodale. For Hearst, I went to the corporation’s website, found the internship section, and applied. I attended Explore Graphic Design in the spring of 2010, where I received feedback on my portfolio. That was helpful, however I didn’t find my internship through Explore.

Q: Why do you think you got the job? What made you stand out from the other candidates?

A: I believe I was selected for the internship due to my experience with on-campus organizations and my prior internship. I interned at the Meredith Corporation during the 2009-10 school year. At Meredith I gained valuable experience in editorial design and learned what it takes to publish a magazine. During my time there, I worked on a few different home design magazines, so it was an easy transition to House Beautiful. I think my prior experience, professionalism, portfolio, and persistence made me stand out from other candidates.

Q: What was your favorite memory from your internship?

A: My favorite memory from my internship would have to be the entire week of Kitchen of the Year. Kitchen of the Year is an event where House Beautiful builds a full, 1,000 square foot kitchen in the middle of Rockefeller Center. In July, it’s open for a week to the public and there are many events — cooking demonstrations, food tastings, sponsor parties in the evenings. This year Jeff Lewis from Bravo’s “Flipping Out” designed it. For a week I was able to see all the materials I designed displayed and handed out to consumers. It was really great to see everything come together that I worked on.

Q: What was the biggest thing you learned from the experience?

A: The biggest thing I learned from the experience was that hard work pays off. My coworkers noticed how hard I worked, how many hours I put in, and how much I contributed to the department. Now I have my past supervisor as a reference. I also learned that taking a chance, and interning somewhere 1,000 miles from home was worth the risk. The entire experience made me learn and grow professionally, as well as personally.

Q: What advice would you give to student job seekers?

A: My advice to students seeking internships or jobs is to aim high. Apply to your dream internship or job, even if it seems like a long shot. Also, apply to as many companies, firms or corporations as you can and that you are interested in. The more places you apply to, the more likely someone will be interested in you and get back to you.