Every summer, we hire three interns to run Famous For Meats, a working agency within and under the guidance of Fresh Produce. Famous For Meats turns 10 this year and we’re using it as an excuse to talk a little bit more about the internship program. To start off this two-part blogpost, we asked our 2018 FFM writer, Max Hofer, to ask his cohort a few questions. Here’s how they chose to respond.
Before jumping into this tough, mind-bending interview, let’s stretch those muscles. Here’s a tricky one: If you made plans to go out with your friends, but suddenly your other friend shows up with a pet salamander in its hands and says, “Hey could you watch her for the night while I go out and party?” What would you do?
Jordan Otta: Um, let me think… I’m going to quickly craft up a portable tank into a necklace. I’m going to put on that sucker and take the salamander downtown with me.
Tenley Schwartz: I would probably tell them I can’t deal with their salamander that night, but I’d give them a phone number of someone who could handle that task.
Max Hofer: I would put the salamander in my Barbie princess dream house and let it go to town. Then, I would call my friends and say, “I’ve got a Salamander”, which is already code for “Want to chill at my place?”. So then, we’d chill at my place.
If that was a competition, I don’t think any of us won. Okay, down to business. What got you interested in the FFM internship?
M.H: My mom used to work for Fresh Produce a few years back and thought I’d have a good time. So I applied… three times. I didn’t get chosen twice, then finally made it on my third attempt. It seemed like a great creative outlet, so that’s what kept me applying.
J.O: The culture of Fresh Produce. It felt like an artsy, free-thinking agency. I knew that the way the internship was structured [as a working agency within FP]; they really trust their interns and that I’d grow a lot.
T.S: I think the atmosphere of Fresh Produce and the work that I’d seen them create. It seemed like an environment where the work I was doing would make sense.
Keep applying. Just because you don’t get in the first time, doesn’t mean you won’t later!
What did you look most forward to doing/learning?
T.S: I looked forward to doing work in an environment with a lot of creative people and getting feedback from them.
J.O: I wanted to see what the actual day-to-day looked like in the account service world, because in school you only study it on paper, but the opportunity to live it for 2 1/2 months is much more exciting.
M.H: Learning how to flex my creative muscles. Like, whenever I do anything creative, it’s on my own time. Now, we have to do it on the clock, so it was cool learning how to adapt to being creative when you need to be.
I’ve had to learn not only how long I need to work on a project but also how long it takes the writer and designer to work.
From the wide range of projects, which one did you really enjoy working on? What was your favorite thing about Famous For Meats?
M.H: I’d have to say working on Green Thumb Commodities [a specialty seed supplier] was pretty fun! It was a great opportunity to give them a new look and voice, and help them stand stronger and more confident as a company. I’ve enjoyed the freedom and trust in getting things done. Whether it’s writing taglines, coming up with ideas to promote a company, giving old body copy some flavor, at least for a writer, that stuff is pretty fun!
J.O: Brewing Independence. This project gave us the opportunity to give back to the community and help students with disabilities. Famous For Meats helped me make connections with other people in the industry: whether that be my fellow interns or the full-timers.
T.S: I’ve been challenged to not just work with my first idea, but push the ideas I have further and make them stronger—that’s what I’ve really liked. I’ve especially loved working on the campaign for Last Stop CD Shop. I got to incorporate a lot of hand-drawn illustrations and then mess around with adding color gradients, which felt like a pretty natural fit for my sketchbook-centered design process. It’s been cool to design things that reflect the culture at Last Stop. I also got surprisingly into the research portion of our Green Thumb Commodities branding refresh project.
It’s really special that Ipso is a part of the interns’ experience.
What part/s of projects challenged you the most?
J.O: Timelines. I’ve had to learn not only how long I need to work on a project but also how long it takes the writer and designer to work.
T.S: Having several clients meant there were a lot of different design directions I was working on at once, and figuring out which project to prioritize was probably the biggest learning curve. A really specific challenge that surprised me was working through logo revisions. I’m used to creating something “good enough” for class assignments, but these are real clients, and I can’t just zip through and call it good.
M.H: Probably keeping in touch with the theme. Like when we worked with Last Stop, we had to find a way for the stories to encompass one main theme instead of two ads being too different that you couldn’t tell it was from the same brand or campaign.
What did you think of your Ipso Gallery experience?
T.S: The thing that especially stands out about working on the Ipso show is that I learned a lot about the naming process. We had some intern meetings where we kept listing possible titles, and it got pretty out there. This show could’ve been named Crunchy Crunch Crunch if we hadn’t calmed down! I think that was a pretty rare opportunity, and it’s really special that Ipso is a part of the interns’ experience.
J.O: Ipso much fun! (lol, get it—it’s so much fun) But for real, helping to organize an art gallery was such an amazing opportunity. No other internship in town trusts their interns with a project like this.
M.H: I’ve never experienced helping out with an art gallery and there’s a lot of work that goes into it. It’s trying to find that right theme/message that translates to an audience and gets them intrigued. It goes a lot more in-depth than I originally thought.
A quick piece of advice for future applicants?
J.O: Whatever your resume or application is, just make sure it shows who you are. I think it’s more about showing your character and personality than showing your GPA on a piece of paper.
T.S: Be honest about yourself and don’t try to show things that you think people want to see, but show the things you’re actually passionate about and actually demonstrate your personality.
M.H: Keep applying. Just because you don’t get in the first time, doesn’t mean you won’t later!
We’ll be sharing a case study of all the projects Jordan, Tenley, and Max worked on this summer. If you have any questions about the Fresh Produce internship program, or if you’d like to schedule a visit or portfolio review, please email Katrina Lehr-McKinney at firstname.lastname@example.org.