Honors student Carolyn McQuillan '15 worked two summers as a graphic design intern for Liberty Mutual Insurance's Web & Communications team.
Following graduation, the Natick resident will return to Liberty Mutual (LMI) and work full-time as an Associate Graphic Design Specialist in Boston.
A graphic designer's perspective
During her first internship in Hopkinton, MA, Carolyn's primary objective was to help the department meet its deadlines for a rebranding initiative. She assisted the team's Senior Graphics Specialist and Web Content Developer in producing graphics for websites and printed content for both internal and external use.
Carolyn's internships provided her a glimpse into a career as a corporate graphic designer. She now has a clearer understanding of the profession and is more confident about her career choice.
"Along with being challenged and sharpening my skills as a designer, the internships opened my eyes to how graphic design is key to building trust and loyalty in a brand, which is applicable to all different kinds of businesses," Carolyn said.
Internship in corporate communication
Carolyn's work ethic and skills in graphic design left an impression on LMI. At the end of her first summer internship, she was offered the chance to return as a second-year graphic design intern with the same team, but at the corporate headquarters in Boston. Her responsibilities included working with the graphic teams for Corporate Communications and Commercial Insurance Marketing.
"Working with Liberty, I've felt very well respected, included, and empowered to get involved with other areas of the company I'm interested in, such as marketing," she said.
Carolyn noted one of the benefits of working at the corporate headquarters was being fully immersed in LMI's networking events. Each summer, Liberty has hundreds of interns in dozens of departments throughout, and hosts events and conferences to encourage making connections.
"What I enjoyed the most out of my experience with Liberty has been my mentorship with the Senior Graphics Specialist. He taught me so much about the design programs' capabilities and best practices, which has helped me both in college and with freelance projects," she said.
Research in advertising and design
Carolyn has spent the past few semesters researching Internet advertising strategies and methods and is currently working to complete 'Ad' to Cart, her Honors Project about Internet advertising,
"I've recently begun collecting my own data by conducting interviews with students, alumni, professors, and professionals in marketing, advertising, and related fields," she said. "I've also been working with Professor Kulick of the Sociology and Anthropology Department to gain a better understanding of the sociological impacts that ad content, marketing strategies, and visual design decisions have on youth."
For her Graphic Design VI Degree Project, Carolyn is creating "Adfluences," a campaign to advise people of different types of advertising strategies used and promote awareness of their potential impacts.
"As a graphic designer, I find it interesting to learn about why advertisements and campaigns are done the way they are, but I also think it's important to be aware of some of the negative side affects of advertising," she said.
Internships lead to success
Carolyn had praise for LMI's Responsible Scholars program, which hosts a social media platform for connecting summer interns from across the U.S. and weekly webinars about sponsorships, skill development, and different departments within the company. She feels the company strives to help interns discover a future career with Liberty Mutual.
It is because of the well-organized internship program that Carolyn feels the company, ranked #76 on the Fortune 100 list, was a good fit for her.
"I strongly encourage others to pursue an internship in any department with this strong, innovative company," she said.