“As a kid I was kind of nerdy and into art all the time. I was always sketching pictures of birds; that’s where this whole art thing came from. But I drifted away from art for a while until I went to high school. I got back into it eventually but my work was total crap compared to what I was doing at the start of middle school. I wanted to advance more.
So I heard about the internship here at Rêve Academy and met up with the staff at the time. I brought my laptop, showed them around my portfolio, and they brought me in.
I had never really had a job before this, aside from caddying at a golf course. The pay was unpredictable and I couldn’t make a living off it. So I was like, ‘Okay, I need to switch it up and find something that applies to what I want to do in my life, in my career.’ And I’ve been here ever since.”
// Thoughtful, creative, friendly
// A student at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
// Becoming a graphic designer who also works in fine arts
Working with Digiteers Carmen and Mike to learn about new career paths and fine-tune the client’s website.
“Before Rêve Academy, I was just creating work to put in my portfolio. Here I’ve had projects where I contributed to a logo, or a brochure, or a poster, and that was really nice because I hadn’t done graphic design specifically for a business. Rêve Academy gave me the opportunity to finally do that, and it helped me realize that the majority of the graphic design community is doing work for businesses, not just for fun. So I’ve decided to pursue the marketing aspect of graphic design a lot more.
Reve Academy gives me motivation. My drive to create has grown stronger. The other senior interns inspire me to do more graphic design and try new things—I’ve learned so much about technology here, just as one example.
As a senior intern, I can teach others things that I learned, whether it’s recent or in the past, and they can take that knowledge and put it into their own design. I see that and I’m inspired to create another design. It’s a back-and-forth process and it’s really nice to see what other people share out to the world.”
Avery and his project team pose with their client, the People’s Movement Center.
“I’m always gaining ideas from the people that surround me. So for example, I can just draw out a logo, do the initial design, and think that it looks cool—but I’m not getting feedback from anybody but myself and it’s probably not my best work. My peers here at Rêve bring out the best of me by giving advice and feedback.
It’s also been engaging to work with my client, the People’s Movement Center. I didn’t know much about web design but I got to learn about it this summer and then teach my team. Coding is super difficult; it’s like an entirely different language. It gets stressful but the end product is so satisfying. You’re constantly searching the top and bottom of Google results trying to find an answer and when you finally do, it’s so rewarding.
I’d also say I’ve become a more open-minded person. When I was younger, I didn’t like talking to people all that much. Rêve Academy has helped me be more talkative and open with others. Whether it’s sharing my emotions or getting feedback on a project, I’ve been trying my best to do more of that because other people bring you further.”
Avery gained both technical and professional skills in his internship—and he didn’t have to pay a cent. In fact, we paid him a fair wage for his work each week, while he learned:
// Project management
// Agile development
Rêve Academy’s student interns of summer 2017.
Become a digital volunteer and help our interns as they work on real-world projects. Or show our kids what an ordinary day looks like for a working professional. There are lots of ways to get involved, so don’t be shy—we can’t wait to meet you!