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Interning at the Madison Art Collection (MAC) and the Lisanby Museum offers undergraduates insight into various museum careers. Intern Kate Harwood interviewed Zach Stultz (Class of 2019) about his experience interning for MAC. Stultz was a graphic design major while studying at JMU and interned at MAC for two years. His internship focused on the graphic design of several exhibitions, including Purity and Power: The Art of Russian Icons (Fall 2019).

 In the following interview, Stultz reflects on his experience and what he gained while interning at MAC.

How did what you learn during your internship transfer to your job now?

“There are a lot of similarities, [the internship] gave a great understanding of how live installations work and I was able to see how a space can come alive. I saw the start and end of a project and how you can make a space impactful.”

What skills did you learn while interning at The Lisanby Museum?

“While interning for The Lisanby Museum, I learned communication skills with clients. Ms. Soenksen and The Lisanby Museum were the clients, and I learned how to talk through the design process. I learned the process of working with others, staying true to the design, and adding my skills to the project.”

What is something you wish you knew while attending college?

“Definitely to get involved in as many things as possible, because the more connections you have, the better. Surround yourself with a bunch of people who want you to succeed, and continue to keep in touch with mentors and professors after graduation, sending regular updates of where you are. Remember that there is a process and flow, life will unravel the path.”

What are some things you would recommend for transitioning from college student to working adult?

“Remember that everything is going to be okay, there is a path, and you don’t have to perfect. Grow and evolve and do what’s right for you. We get so hung up on the idea of being perfect and being a perfect student, but after college, it wasn’t as important. Don’t stress too much; you are a work in progress, and it is a journey.”

What is a quality that is highly respected in the workplace?

 “The biggest thing is how to communicate effectively in a timely manner, be as thorough as possible. Be proactive and be on top of things. When working with a client, make sure you show every step, involve them in the process, showing what you are doing on the clock, while still being as proactive as possible.”

What was your favorite part about interning for the MAC?

“My favorite part was working with Ginny, she let me have a lot of creative freedom as a graphic designer. It was a lot of fun and a great first experience in my professional development. I enjoyed working and maneuvering in a professional manner, working through designs, creatively working through problems. Give this experience your all, because it is invaluable.”

What are you doing now for work?

Having worked with Muddy Feet Graphics during my internship at the Lisanby Museum with college, I was already friendly with the owner and aware of the great work being produced there. So, I decided to inquire about a position as a designer. To my surprise, this inquiry lead to a full-time remote position with the company. Now that I am settled in, my role at Muddy Feet has evolved from just junior designer to an important member of our in-house web development team as well. I am now doing work for many local clients, offering services in everything from rebranding, logo development, vehicle wraps to website and app development as well.

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