American Paint Horse Association Internship- Nicole Woods

This summer I interned for the American Paint Horse Association as a Graphic Artist. My internship began in May and ended in August. The final week when applications were being accepted, my laptop crashed and I didn’t have all of the materials that APHA was requesting, however, I still applied.  I was first contacted by Art Vasquez, the Creative Director, and was asked if I’d like to intern with APHA. I accepted the invitation and two weeks later I was off to Fort Worth, TX.

            My first few weeks at APHA were kind of stressful but after I got acclimated from being completely on my own I really started to like my job. I loved that I had creative freedom and was given a clean slate each time I was handed a story that needed to be designed. The process for getting to design was, I would have to check a tray each day and then I would have to go where files were located. Within the file would be all of the necessary pictures and the story for me to import on to the pages. I used InDesign and Photoshop the most, however I was also taught how to do a little bit of web design for their new website.

Most of the designs I did for APHA were for three publications, their racing journal, the Paint Horse Connection and the Paint Horse Journal. These magazines reach about 60-70 thousand people worldwide. This was a great opportunity for me to get work published and seen around the world. Some of my other duties were to assist with internal projects that needed completed. A few designs I made were for the Youth World Show and even some for the Open Amateur World Show. I made flyers, banners and large checks that were given to winners in particular classes at the Youth World Show. I was also in charge of building client ads that went in all three publications.  Some of my favorite projects were building fresh client ads and also making four page spreads. Another thing I liked is I got to work in color, versus like in the newspaper industry everything is mostly in black and white.

While I was at APHA I was also involved with the re-constructing of the company. I was involved with giving my outside opinion about the company and also any changes that I would make if I were in the company. By going to meetings I got to see how different areas of the company worked together to make the company function and complete internal tasks.

What I learned most was how to be a team player. I also feel very blessed because I got to experience something that I have dreamed of since I was a child. Being involved in this company showed me what it would be like to work a full-time job and try and do things outside of work. I also learned that it is important to meet someone more than one time before you start to live with them, even if they are family. I am also glad that I was able to confirm that I have chosen the right career path for me. By working hard and persevering I feel that I was able to complete a task that I was told for a long time that I couldn’t do. That feeling is always rewarding.