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5 in 5! with Zach Patten, Project Manager and Traffic Coordinator at iperdesign

October 2, 2012

iperdesign logo

Iperdesign is a creative branding and digital design studio that brings together the unique perspectives of experienced advertising, multimedia, programming, copywriting, product and interior design professionals.

Since joining the iperdesign team in April 2011, Zach Patten manages several clients and communicates new project requests and revisions directly with the studio design team. During his undergraduate studies, he worked as a section editor for Campus Philly, which he credits with teaching him the importance of a quality internship program. As a result, Zach overhauled iperdesign’s program and has continued forging new partnerships with local universities to ensure students get the most of their time in the iperdesign studio. When he’s not marking up PDFs and keeping the server organized, Zach enjoys volunteering at a local non-profit and dreams of earning his license as a helicopter pilot. Iperdesign is currently hiring a graphic design intern.

1. How did you get started in the industry? How can someone who is interested in your work get started?

Zach Patten, iperdesign

Zach, Project Manager & Traffic Coordinator

I’m one of the project managers at iperdesign, where we specialize in branding, website design and mobile app development. Personally, I started with a background in copywriting before making the transition to the project/account management side. It might seem a little tough to get started in this industry, but it’s all about finding the right internship and honing your skills. I actually started at my current position as a junior project manager intern, recommended to me by a friend who was working for the company. I tried to do the little things everyday to make me stand out as an employee and after a few months I earned a full-time salaried position. My best suggestion for people looking to get involved in the industry is to network and really involve yourself in the industry. Always try to make a favorable impression and get all your work completed on or ahead of schedule, but also know when to relax at the right times.

2. What’s the future of your industry or job?

The design industry is booming, especially the web design and app development side of it. The number of people with smartphones is staggering, and apps are providing a boom somewhat similar to that of the dot-com explosion in the 90s. With all the mobile devices out today like iPhones and tablet computers, the demand for well-designed apps is ever increasing. Frankly, I don’t think there has been a better time to break into the industry.

3. What do you look for when you hire an intern or entry-level candidate?

When I hire an intern, I always look for a positive attitude. I don’t expect applicants to show up for their interview in a three-piece suit, but I expect them to be punctual and passionate about design in general. Everybody has a niche, and I always like to hear stories about how that niche was found.

4. What is one thing an intern can do to make a favorable impression?

To make a favorable first impression, interns should arrive prepared and on time. Tardiness is something that always sticks out in my mind. To leave a long-lasting impression, I always like to see interns become proactive about handling new projects. Asking for additional responsibilities will always cast an intern in a positive light, and it’s something that looks great on their resume/cover letter later on.

5. Can you share a positive intern story and an intern horror story? No names needed…

We’ve been lucky enough to have several successful intern stories here at iperdesign. Many have gone on to land full-time design positions at a wide range of companies all over the northeast and we keep in touch with several of them to this day. It’s always a welcome sight to check my inbox and find an email from a past intern! The only horror story that comes to mind is from a copy-writing intern who had a pretty bad attitude, called out frequently, and tried to forge her hours total for her college’s internship requirement. To all current and future interns — never assume that your supervisors aren’t tracking your hours!

Interested in interning with the iperdesign team? They’re currently looking for a graphic design intern! Apply now for the iperdesign graphic design internship.

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