This document is a concise report of the three months of the internship, starting from 25 June to 21 October 2022 that I experienced at Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand Southern. The objective of this internship is to ease students into the routine of a corporate work environment as well as understand the operations performed by the respective company and collaboratively on a major body of work. The document talks about the company, my role as an intern and the projects that have been done. The document contains all immersive experiences, advanced learnings, work ethics and how it evolved as a designer throughout the straight 3 months.
Through the section of this document I Best Apisit Uthakhamkong, a Student of the School of Design, Otago Polytechnic, would like to take this opportunity to extend an earnest feeling of gratitude and a vote of thanks to the following.
Firstly, I would like to thank my lecturer Denise Narciso and the School of Design, Otago Polytechnic for providing me with the opportunity of working and being associated with Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand Southern and also for their underlying support and belief in me during the compilation of the document.
Secondly, I would like to thank my supervisor Kathryn van Beek, Senior Communications Advisor Southern who throughout the period of my internship nurtured, supported and guided me in understanding the functioning of the hospital and helped me learn new skills.
Thirdly, I would like to thank my co-worker Tomas de Silva for being a friend and supporting co-worker. Without Tom, the internship would not enjoyable and satisfying.
Lastly, I would like to thank all my classmates at the School of Design, Otago Polytechnic and the staff at the communications team, Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand Southern whose constant encouragement and support helped me through the period I spent working at Wakari Hospital, New Dunedin Hospital Office and Otago Polytechnic.
I apprenticed as a graphic designer. I designed posters, social media content, digital screens and event signage. Occasionally, I took portrait photos of staff, made a video for social media, and also designed an exhibition (including a poster display and a video) of heritage artefacts unearthed by archaeologists as part of the New Dunedin Hospital build. Additionally, I went through an iterative design process to create a new logo for a team and created an infographic of the highly complex New Dunedin Hospital Outpatient Building. I was new to the corporate environment, though the experience was primarily virtual. My responsibilities increased with every new task I got. I was attempting to complete every task on time and expectations were high.
The internship began with a visit to the New Dunedin Hospital office, situated at the corner opposite the former chocolate factory, which is now the construction site.
The first meeting with the communication team left an exciting and warm impression. Upon arriving at the office area, my co-worker and I received a friendly greeting from everyone with smiling faces. The same welcoming atmosphere was experienced during our visits to Wakari Hospital and Dunedin Hospital in the first week. Surprisingly, despite my initial apprehensions, the hospitals turned out to be welcoming places filled with friendly and kind individuals.
Our internship workspace was set up in the meeting room on the third floor, near the communication team office at Wakari Hospital. This meant taking a shuttle bus from Dunedin Hospital to Wakari Hospital and having lunch at the ground floor cafe. The routine worked smoothly, and the flexibility of the internship allowed me to work remotely from various locations, including my house, cafes, and Otago Polytechnic.
Throughout the internship, I learned the importance of establishing my personal design philosophy and aligning it with the hospital’s branding. It was essential to integrate my ideas into the hospital’s vision and concept.
Another valuable lesson was how to expand my horizons by utilizing my skills in various challenging tasks. I learned to manage tasks effectively, prioritize responsibilities, and handle ambiguous briefs from multiple sources.
Working in the hospital provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with people of different ages and roles, ranging from clinical to ‘back of house.’ This experience reinforced the significance of teamwork in shaping the hospital culture and values.
The internship allowed me to explore different areas such as graphic design, social media, marketing, and user interface design. I utilized a range of design tools, including Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, and Adobe Premiere Pro. Additionally, I had to familiarize myself with Cava for working with the communications team.
The experience helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses better. While I enjoyed graphic design, I discovered my passion lies in branding, advertising, and marketing. I will continue to develop my graphic design skills while pursuing opportunities in branding and marketing.
In the advertising and branding world, I can bring my ideas and stories to life. Graphic designing allows me to visualize concepts and present them on various platforms. Additionally, working with people in a hospital setting has been rewarding, knowing that I can contribute to helping the community through my skills and perspective.
In conclusion, my learning experience at Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand Southern made my internship successful and rewarding. The guidance from friendly supervisors, the exposure to various design disciplines, and the opportunity to work in a team setting have all contributed to my growth as a designer.