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Samantha MainieroSamantha Mainiero ‘ 12 (Communication Design) has a leg up on most college seniors graduating this spring. She won’t have to spend hours searching for a job.

Mainiero spent the summer of 2011 interning in Kohl’s marketing department. Kohl’s was so impressed with her work that they offered her a full-time job after she graduates. Mainiero recently accepted.

“I worked really hard on the group projects and showed my skills,” Mainiero said. “They gave us a really complex topic. I stepped up to the plate and took it on.”

Mainiero spent most of her time working on a group assignment with the rest of the marketing interns, creating a hypothetical campaign for a product. Teamwork and communication in the workplace were among the biggest lessons she learned.

Mainiero will follow in the footsteps of many MIAD alumni who have gone on to work in creative departments at Kohl’s. Marisa Seguin ’11 (Illustration) interned in home product development during the summer after her graduation and was hired by Kohl’s after completing the program. Fellow 2011 graduates Renae Bastar (Communication Design), Abi Shaw (Illustration) and Jade Watring (Illustration) were also recently hired in the same department after completing Kohl’s internships.

The recent hires will see many other MIAD faces at Kohl’s, including Heather Jacobs ’05 (Illustration) and Brian Bowles ’01 (Communication Design). Jacobs also works in home product development. Bowles works in marketing as Kohl’s assistant creative manager and also teaches Professional Portfolio/Practice at MIAD. Both are advocates for MIAD students at Kohl’s and promote internships to MIAD students. In Bowles’ area, many students intern as interactive web designers and marketers, who are also often hired after graduation.

Jacobs said students from the college have gained a strong reputation due to the impressive work of prior interns, and that Kohl’s relationship with MIAD’s Career Services department has been very valuable to both groups.

“We have very strong relationships with many businesses within the metro Milwaukee area,” agreed Duane Seidensticker, MIAD’s director of Career Services. “There really isn’t a firm or agency that doesn’t have an established internship relationship with MIAD.”

“The most important thing to remember is to start a relationship with us in the Career Services office. Each of their years, students can develop and grow with our office,” said Seidensticker. “The more we know about them, the more we can offer.”

The department offers services related to pursuing professional goals, from the beginning of a student’s academic career, through graduation and beyond. Opportunities go beyond internships, including part-time freelance and exhibition possibilities.

Marisa SeguinSeguin said, “It was eye opening to learn that large companies employ in-house art departments, instead of just hiring freelancers. I hadn’t thought of that as a career path until I did the internship.”

One of the bedspreads Seguin designed will debut at the store in summer. She appreciated the opportunities to further develop her technical skills and work alongside professionals in the field, who often have advice to share. Seguin feels that her assertiveness during the internship was one of the reasons Kohl’s hired her.

“I wasn’t afraid to ask a lot of questions about anything involving the business side, or the artwork I was creating,” said Seguin. “It was a really good learning experience.”

Click here to learn more about MIAD’s Career Services department.

Click on the department titles to learn more about MIAD’s Communication Design and Illustration departments.

Top image: Samantha Mainiero
Bottom image: Marisa Seguin