Gillian Malloy came to Penn State believing that an engineering major was her career path. Halfway through her undergraduate studies, she realized that graphic design and photography were her true calling. She changed her major and had to start from scratch. Her decision paid off big time. Malloy, a senior in the Integrative Arts program with studies focusing on photography and graphic design, was awarded a prestigious internship with the Hearst Corporation Studio D in New York City for the spring 2013 semester.
Hearst Corporation internships are highly competitive and demanding. Studio D is the in-house photo studio that creates digital photography for the Hearst Corporation’s different print publications. Clients include well-known and popular publications such as Seventeen, Marie Claire, Esquire, House Beautiful, and Bazaar. Since January 2013 Malloy’s schedule has been rigorous in creative and fast-paced environments. She works closely with professionals who organize and conduct photo shoots, including freelance photographers, stylists, and technicians. Part of her responsibilities include assisting photographers with lighting and equipment set-up and break down; picking up and delivering products; and maintaining the studio and equipment.
“I was recently assigned to a photo shoot for Seventeen magazine that was focusing on make-up looks for the summer. Editors, hair and makeup artists, a model, the photographer, and his assistant were all there, which showed me, from start to finish, the process that goes into taking the photo from the set to approval by the editors.”
One valuable lesson that Malloy has learned from working in Studio D is the career steps necessary to become successful in design publications, including starting an apprenticeship with a working photographer to gain the day-to-day, hands-on experience demanded by clients. Many of the professionals she works with were once interns with Studio D.
Her advice to people interested in photography and graphic design is to go ahead and take the chance. “Once I decided to make a change, I followed my interests that have really always been there for me. It wasn’t the easiest of transitions, going from a science major to one that is art focused, but I did it and landed a highly respected internship with a world-renowned company. It just goes to show that it is never too late to make the right decision when it comes to your future.”