Action Envelope on Long Island has been training and hiring interns for more than a year now, and the process has been a huge success for both the company and the students involved.
With help from Briarcliffe College in Bethpage, N.Y., Action Envelope Prepress Manager Cynthia Hirsch has been the dynamic force behind this move to beef up her department, the company’s production while helping local students prepare for a career in graphic communications in New York.
“I thought I was going to get out of college and get a job,” explained Hirsch. “And I found out that wasn’t true. So I became an intern at The Long Island Press in the art department doing page layout and graphic design. After that, it was a lot easier to get a job.”
When Hirsch realized she needed help in her department at Action Envelope, she contacted Briarcliffe College and started the process of selecting interns for the company. The students work a minimum of six hours a week for one semester. Some receive credit from the school and put in as much as 90 hours a semester at the company.
“We interview the students, critique their portfolios and decide what will work for us,” she noted.
The students get the valuable experience of seeing how an office environment works, how a prepress production department runs, what types of workflow issues arise on a daily basis, and some interns even help out in the pressroom as needed.
“Interning at Action Envelope has been a great experience to gain real life knowledge in the work field. Everyone is so nice and willing to help when needed,” said Danielle Besko, an intern at Action Envelope.
While other companies are downsizing, Action Envelope hired two interns last year—Andrew Ritter and Jennie Alberto, both from Briarcliffe.
Lauren Gross, an intern who currently works at the company, said, “I am so grateful for getting this internship. I am learning so much and gaining experience I can take wherever I go. You learn about graphic design in school, but when you actually get to see it in production, you really learn so much.”
Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design Program at Briarcliffe College “have something to put on their resumes when they graduate,” noted Marcy Hurowitz in the career services department at Briarcliffe. “An internship is better than just sitting in a classroom. It’s real experience.”
With campus locations in Bethpage, Patchogue and Long Island City, the college also offers an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Graphic Design.
“I’ve placed students at other printing firms and some local magazines as well,” she said. “Some are hired as permanent employees.”
Qualifications for credit for an internship are: Students must have completed 75 percent of their course work and have an overall GPA of at least 2.5. They must complete 90 hours of work at a company before receiving their three credits, according to Hurowitz.