Student Spotlight: Abby O’Keefe ’24

Graphic Design major Abby O’Keefe and her design internship with the O’Brien Center at Merrimack College
Headshot of Abby O'Keefe
Headshot of Abby O'Keefe

During the Spring 2023 semester, VPA student Abby O’Keefe held the position of Graphic Design Intern for the O’Brien Center for Career Development. We got to chat about her experiences, what she learned, how she grew, and any advice she has for other graphic design students.

Mack Off The Rack Logo
Mack Off The Rack Logo

During the semester, O’Keefe was tasked with creating multiple design-based promotional materials for the O’Brien Center. Besides posters, banners, and social media posts, she was asked to redesign a lot of old elements that the department used to freshen up their brand. In addition, O’Keefe created the logo for the Center’s new program, called “Mack Off The Rack,” which provides Merrimack students an opportunity to borrow some professional clothing for upcoming interviews and job fairs. 

Through this experience, O’Keefe strengthened her understanding of working in a professional environment while learning how to work in a team. “I learned how to take constructive criticism, and follow directions well,” O’Keefe comments, “working closely with supervisors to brainstorm ideas and work off each other’s designs.” She calls  her internship interesting yet challenging.

Regularly, O’Keefe was restricted with working within Merrimack’s Branding Kit. This kit limits the amount of colors, graphics, and typefaces a designer can work with. “For almost everything I did, there were certain colors I had to use and fonts… though this makes everything cohesive, it made it difficult for items to look original. I had to think outside the box to make every piece feel and look different.”

Though challenging, the most rewarding part was seeing her work displayed around campus. “Though some of the work was small 8.5 in x 11 in flyers… they were still hanging up everywhere. It was a really fun experience to step back and think ‘wow… I did that!’”

One piece of advice she has for other students is to find something you will have fun doing. “Don’t just look at the title and see ‘graphic design intern’ and automatically think it will work. If it isn’t something interesting to you, it’s going to be boring.”

With her love of Merrimack College, she found her internship an extremely rewarding experience, and would push those internship-hunting to find one that would find them the same amount of happiness.

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