I am a college student majoring in Fine Art, painting, looking for an intership. Do you
know where to start?
Yep. When you want to find a bear, you go look in his cave. And you accept the
challenges of doing so. (This approach works for art majors, business majors, etc.)
Sit down and make a list of organizations that use skills like yours. These will range all
over the place, from advertising firms, to museums, to photographers, to magazines -- you
get the idea. Then, starting with the ones that excite you the most, call them and find
out whether they have an intership program.
Better approach: talk to everyone you know in the arts, and everyone in businesses you
know that use artists. (For example, go talk to the illustrations/art editor at your local
newspaper.) Ask them to refer you to people who are responsible for hiring new grads with
your expertise. It's better to be referred than to call "cold".
Best approach: pick out some target organizations (identified same way as above) and call
the person in charge of the art department. Don't ask for a job. Ask for advice.
"It's hard to transition from an academic art environment to the real world. I'm
trying to learn what makes an artist valuable to an organization. I realize you're very
busy, but I'd like to ask you for a few minutes of your time -- your advice would mean a
lot to me. I'm a good artist. I want to become the kind of artist an organization like
yours would want to hire. Can you spend half an hour with me? I'd be in your debt."
None of these approaches are easy. But they all involved learning from people who have the
kinds of jobs you want to have.
I wish you the best. Don't get discouraged. There are a lot of artists looking for work.
You need to be smarter about your job search than all of them. And you need to be more
persistent and enthusiastic even when you've been turned down.
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