Ranch House Designs, Inc. – Melissa Grimmel

What do you do when you’re offered an internship with the company you’ve always dreamed of working for? You kindly accept, click “end” on the Skype call, and jump on your feet to clap and scream with excitement.

I found out about the Ranch House Designs, Inc. Summer Internship from their website at http://www.ranchhousedesigns.com. They also offer fall and spring internships, which consist of social media work, writing and helping with various tasks in the office.

After applying in December 2014, the CEO of RHD, Rachel Cutrer, contacted me to set up a Skype interview. She had noticed my freelance graphic design work through my Facebook, and instead created and offered me another internship to help with graphic design projects. This is a perfect example of the importance of being open minded during interviews – something even better can come out of them! From December to June, I completed my duties as a Design Associate from Kansas.

Once summer break began, I traveled to the RHD office located in Wharton, Texas, which is an hour southwest of Houston…depending on traffic. RHD is a full service marketing and communications agency that serves thousands of clients. Their roots were founded in the agricultural and livestock sector, and they have established a reputation as the leading livestock communications firm worldwide. Today, the agency represents clients from all sectors and industries.

To complete my tasks, I used the Adobe Creative Suite to design promotional materials including logos, print advertisements, business cards, and more for clients primarily in the livestock and agricultural industries. During weeks with heavy workflow, I also worked with clients in other industries.

Being a graphic designer, you learn to read and accept harsh feedback from clients. You get clients that love the logo just as much as you do, are extremely detailed in their feedback and are exceptionally nice. On the downside, you also get the clients that hate the logo you send, are extremely rude in their feedback and do not want to give you a second chance. I have grown thick skin through this internship. Harsh feedback does not hurt my feelings, but it motivates me to create something amazing in the next proof.

RHD has two full-time graphic designers in the office. Being able to work next to them, ask questions, and receive tips and tricks from them improved my work tremendously. They are some of the top designers in the industry, so it was truly an honor to work beside them and receive helpful advice.

RHD was an amazing place to work, with even more amazing coworkers. I did not witness any competition – every coworker is there to encourage and inspire each other. I would recommend this internship to someone who has an interest in graphic design, social media, and the livestock and agricultural industries.

At first, I was nervous to move to South Texas to say the least. At 8 a.m., I would open the front door and my glasses would instantly fog up from the sticky humidity, I had snakes and lizards as pets in my backyard, and I was 23 hours from home where I spent every summer in the past. Instead of dwelling on being far away, I took advantage of this and did a lot of traveling on the weekends. I traveled to Corpus Christi Beach, San Antonio to see the Alamo and River Walk, Houston to eat amazing Mexican food, went shopping at boutiques I usually shop at via online, and even toured V8 Ranch. I loved learning about Texas and visiting places I’ve never been to before.

It is critical to take advantage of the area you live in and to make the best of it. You may miss out on things you do every other summer, but the adventure is well worth it. Go outside of your comfort zone. Brush away the nerves, take a deep breath and just do it! “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”