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I spent the Summer before college interning for openbox9, making me the 14th member of this dynamic team. Having just graduated high school this position was formative, especially in learning how to work not as an individual, but as a member of a team. Like a machine, each cog and screw, regardless of how small, is crucial for function.

Over the three months I worked here, I learned that my days were divided into 5 sections. No matter what work I was doing that day, I was always practicing the following: organize, support, learn, create, and reflect. These rhythms made me more efficient and each day more enjoyable.


As an intern, my number one priority is to assist the team in keeping the commitments we make to our clients! This means beginning each day by reviewing everyone’s calendars and to-dos so I can structure my day around them and our clients’ needs.


I must always be ready to jump into something. Whether that is taking out the trash, ordering supplies, or preparing files in response  to client feedback, the life of an intern is anticipating and responding to tasks so that the rest of the team can keep working, reducing distraction to bring focus and improve the working environment for creativity to grow.


As the youngest and least experienced designer, I have a lot to learn. Not only Adobe shortcuts, but how to be efficient with my time, how to care for our  clients, and which DumDums are the best flavors (it’s peach mango). Openbox9 is a very conducive learning environment, eager to answer the many questions I have and generous with their experience. 


In my opinion, interns get the most fun jobs. From cleaning gutters and painting the front porch to illustrations and masking on Adobe, each day looks different and challenges me in a new way. In just one month at Openbox9, I got to do a ton of different illustrations like designing stickers for UMD’s Reformed University Fellowship, painting the cover of HECHO’s Case Study, lettering for ob9’s neighborhood food pantry, being active on our instagram community, and drawing our July 4th artwork!


As an artist, it is amazing to see how my skills can translate to a career and contribute to a team of creatives and our clients’ diverse project types. The biggest transition coming from high school has been learning to work for and with a group of people rather than for myself alone. It has been so formative to get to learn from them and work toward a shared goal of equipping our clients with great communication tools!

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Carlee Schafer
Carlee is a new designer, dedicated to learning and using her love for art to make a difference alongside ob9's clients.