Blog . Summer Internship: McKenna McEachen - Lake Erie Crushers
McKenna McEachen is a rising senior studying Animation, who took on a summer 2021 internship with the Lake Erie Crushers. McKenna discusses her internship and time at CIA.
How did you learn about the internship with the Crushers?
I found the internship while searching online job boards. I applied through TeamWork Online and was contacted about a week later to set up an interview. The interview was really easy and more like a conversation than anything. I think I asked more questions than my interviewer! I accepted the job about a week later.
What are you working on with the Crushers?
I was hired as a graphic design intern, but since I’m planning to specialize in motion graphics, I’m getting to do some animations for the team too. So far I’ve made an animated transition for the broadcasting interns to use while cutting away from live feed, a new product announcement for the snack bar, and some social media GIFs to announce wins and exciting plays. Graphic-design wise, I’ve made a lot of flyers and advertisements, but I’ve also gotten to work on some pretty cool stuff like the July 4th jerseys for the team, t-shirts for the team store, and most recently, a Boy Scout patch for “Scout Night,” where the kids pitch tents on the baseball field and stay the night.
A typical day at the office starts at 10. There’s usually at least one dog at the office, although there’s four who come and go regularly, and they are definitely the first coworkers I greet! My boss will usually have a project waiting for me, or I’ll finish up whatever I was working on the day before. Mornings are the time to work on urgent deadlines if there are any. Afternoons usually involve making gameday announcement graphics to post on social media, once we’ve received both teams’ rosters and/or the Crushers’ lineup.
I also get to work from home occasionally (3-4 days each month), which saves me from a pretty long commute. It’s a flexibility that I probably wouldn’t have if not for COVID-19.
What drew you to study Animation at CIA?
My dad went to CIA back in the 90s and taught Industrial Design as an adjunct professor at CIA in the early 2010s. Unlike a lot of my peers, I always knew that art was a viable career option, and pretty much decided at age 8 that I would go to art school.
I grew up visiting the campus once or twice a year with my dad, and back when Animation majors were in the combined Animation/Illustration studios, he would take me up to visit. I fell in love with the work I saw pinned up on the Animation desks. They were the studio I always wanted to go back to. I applied to a few different art schools, but I ultimately chose CIA because it was close to home and offered me the chance to take classes at CWRU. I love history and science, so I’m trying to take courses there whenever I have the time, just for the fun of it.
How's your experience at CIA?
I’ve enjoyed most of my classes so far. Obviously COVID-19 made a huge impact on my college experience, but I’ve tried to spend as much time as possible in the building anyway. I love working in the studios, especially when it’s finals week and it’s full of people.
There are definitely a lot of challenging courses, especially when we’re learning new software, but my professors are great about answering questions. Steven, our technical specialist, is also a huge help when it comes to figuring out how a program or a setting works (and if he doesn’t have time to explain things, he usually has a link to a video that can!). My absolute favorite class (so far) was Drawing for Animation. We got to draw from live models, both nude and in costume, and we went to the zoo a few times to make studies of animals and the way they move. It really helped me to learn how to draw efficiently.
Outside classes, I visit the library a TON. The librarians are the best, and it’s a great place to read a book, write a paper, or do your life drawing homework.
Was Foundation year beneficial to you? Why?
I loved having figure drawing during Spring Semester. I came into CIA with pretty strong drawing skills, but besides being good practice, figure drawing was just plain fun. I also learned a lot of software skills from the Digital Color/Digital Synethesis courses. It covered the basic “This button does this, this button does that” questions that I would have struggled with on my own. One of the things I really appreciated was the chance to make friends with people outside the Animation major. It’s really interesting to see what other majors are working on.