By India Goodman
Katie Woods ‘18 has learned to expect the unexpected. The recipient of the Frieda Fehrenbacher Women’s Leadership Fellowship, Woods spent her summer creating an educational animation based on her weeklong job-shadowing experience at Brownstein Group, an advertising and public relations agency in Philadelphia. She will give a presentation about it to Moore students, faculty and staff on November 18, 2016.
Woods, a junior Animation & Game Arts major who serves as president of Student Government, applied for the leadership fellowship particularly to job shadow at an ad agency. Her fellowship at Brownstein Group began last spring, a week after finishing her sophomore year.
“I was really nervous going in because I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “I had sort of a clear-cut idea – I’m going to be studying these people, they’re going to give me these tasks, and this is what I’m going to do.”
To her surprise, Woods ended up not only observing the work of just three individuals, which included Brittany Slopey ’12 – she got to interact with the entire creative team.
“I was able to make far greater connections with the company itself by getting to know so many people from different parts of the creative team,” Woods said. “It also provided me the opportunity to learn about the many different parts of the creative process within a team. I was able to get a fuller education by stepping out of the boundaries that I would have been stuck in if I had only paid attention to the three people I was scheduled to shadow under.”
Throughout the week, Woods attended various concepting meetings to brainstorm advertising ideas for IKEA events. She was also tasked with sizing photographic images for social media platforms and product websites.
“I was shown how to use Adobe InDesign and was taught different tricks in Adobe Photoshop to make this process more efficient.”
Woods said she also had help in putting together a portfolio website to showcase her art from the art directors and designers, and she learned different techniques to attract an employer’s attention.
At the end of the shadowing week, Woods used some of the fellowship money to purchase a Wacom Cintiq to use as a tablet to draw digitally, and to buy subscriptions to digital art programs. She used these tools to create an educational animation about her job-shadowing experience. She will use the remainder of the fellowship money to plan her presentation.
Woods believes she has good advice to offer the sophomore class because she understands the transition that they will soon make.
“I’ve learned a little bit more of how to talk to people and I’ve come to know that you can’t expect anything going in,” she said. "You never know what’s going to happen, and so for other people going through it – even if it’s not exactly like mine – I think I can really help prepare them for coming into this year.”
She added: “I’m really hoping that they just get involved in general and that they really try to tailor what they’re doing to the real world. It really teaches you to see that there’s a bigger world out there – you don’t just have to do that one thing, you can do a bunch of different stuff as long as you’re willing to put in the effort and do it.”
Woods has a new perspective now on her goals as an Animation & Game Arts major. She hopes to work for a company that produces children’s animations and cartoons. “Whether it be television cartoons or animated feature films, 2D or 3D, I really just want to work on an animation team and make some really cute and fun stories for kids.”
Woods discovered she enjoys doing every step of a project.
“When looking for internships, I’ve found that I’m really drawn to opportunities where I get to see and work in the various areas of the creative process. I enjoy doing this instead of limiting myself to a single job. It’s more fun and exciting to me to work, or at least see, a project go through its process of becoming a final piece.”
Woods' future goal is to lead a team project to its finish.
“Before coming to Moore, all I wanted to do was animate. I really limited my way of thinking, but now I’m open to so many more opportunities and experiences.”
See more of Katie's art here.