Summer Intern Finds a Wellesley Community Away from Wellesley
It’s a familiar refrain by now—a summer internship canceled due to the pandemic. It happened to Artemisia Luk ’21, a media arts and sciences major minoring in psychology.
Through Career Education, Luk had secured a printmaking internship at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, a community studio in New York City. When it was canceled, Career Education helped her find a virtual internship instead and provided funding via the Sama Mundlay ’20 American Cities Program.
Through a post on the Wellesley Jobs and Internships Facebook page, Luk found an opportunity to be a design fellow with The Tempest, a digital news outlet created by Laila Alawa ’12 for “diverse women to share, feel and claim their voices—and power,” according to its website. The outlet covers topics such as social justice, pop culture, and news. Luk has been working for the outlet remotely from San Francisco—all The Tempest fellows worked remotely even before quarantine requirements.
The internship is a good fit for her. “As an Asian-American woman, it feels very empowering to be a part of a company where the founders, editorial board, writers, producers, and designers are all women or nonbinary, and predominantly people of color,” she said. “It’s almost like a Wellesley community away from Wellesley.” The team communicates via Slack, and Luk said the chat channel is always active with discussions ranging from social justice to birthday shout-outs. “It’s nice to be part of such a warm community, especially during the pandemic,” she said.
“As an Asian-American woman, it feels very empowering to be a part of a company where the founders, editorial board, writers, producers, and designers are all women or nonbinary, and predominantly people of color.”Artemisia Luk ’21
As a fellow, Luk has been learning to use graphic design to engage with social justice issues. For one assignment, she was asked to design a poster readers could use for Black Lives Matter protests. When she noticed on Instagram that people were sharing important information using eye-catching design, she realized that “social media plays a large role in democratizing information and bringing attention to social justice issues.” She said she’s very proud of her poster—a vibrant, clean piece in reds and pinks and dark blue—it translates easily into an Instagram post, one that would likely stop many in mid-scroll.
Luk also has an interest in user interface/user experience (UI/UX) design; she appreciates that it can be aesthetic while serving a purpose. In the spring, she took Human-Computer Interaction, taught by Catherine Delcourt, assistant professor of computer science. “It made me realize that many products are poorly designed, because they don’t fully consider their end users,” she said. “Within these two fields, there’s so much power to improve experiences and systems, or create new ones; this wide potential really appeals to me. You can apply design to any field or social issue.” For her senior thesis, she plans to create an app or game to help people with social anxiety make more meaningful connections—something she has struggled with personally, especially in virtual environments—and she will be applying UI/UX design.
For students getting ready to seek their first internships, Luk has some advice: Start looking at job boards in your free time, before you need the internship. “You’ll get a sense of what type of jobs are out there, what really interests you, and what the skill requirements are for that position,” she said. And be willing to reach out to Wellesley alumnae or people in the industry. “It feels scary at first (for me at least), but they are more than willing to help you out.”