Internships are often an excellent way for students to peek inside their future career. While some students might be afraid their time will be taken with filing or coffee runs, 2015 graduate Jacob Trana was able to subvert expectations by becoming an integral part of Union Bank & Trust Company during his internship, which became a full-time job after graduation.
Trana first saw an advertisement for the graphic design internship at Union Bank posted in Engel Hall while he was still a student at Union. He started his internship at the Lincoln-based bank as a massive rebranding project was begun. Trana assisted with refreshing the bank logo, which added to his responsibilities when all of documents associated with the bank had to be changed. “I realized I really enjoyed the creativity and projects that came with graphic design,” Trana said. “So I wanted to try to find a job that had both marketing and graphic design.”
His work perfectly aligns with his graphic design minor and marketing emphasis. As a student worker, Trana significantly reduced the workload of the one other graphic designer, so the bank offered him a position after he graduated, turning his internship into a full-time job.
Trana’s responsibilities have greatly increased since then. He manages many of the visual and marketing aspects of the bank. He develops text and visual elements for the marketing department to create brochures, for newspaper ads, in branch screens and signage, design supports for events, motion graphics, video editing, and Union Bank’s’ internal newsletter, Monthly Interest.
As for his future, Trana plans to continue working for Union Bank. He believes he still has much to learn and his work at the bank will help him grow as a designer and help advance his career. Most of all, Trana hopes he doesn’t become stagnant in his work. “I want to make sure I am always growing, adding to my skill set, and learning new things,” Trana said. “As long as I continually try to improve myself I think I will be happy with my career.”
Becoming a good employee in any field requires more than talent and drive. “People skills are vastly more important to a career than I would have ever expected,” Trana said. “Being kind and genuine goes a long way with gaining respect from people.” He is also learning about how to work and communicate with other people, and how to create motion graphics. Trana believes the hardest part of the job is staying on top of different projects and deadlines, and collaborating with the marketing team on a variety of projects definitely helps.
Like most Adventist academy students in the Midwest, Trana visited Union a number of times before enrolling, thanks to basketball tournaments and music festivals. The college is close to his hometown of Shawnee, Kan., which made coming to Union “comfortable and practical.”
For students looking for work after graduation, Trana says networking significantly helps. E-mailing resumes to many business contacts and talking to as many people as possible will open up a variety of opportunities to connect with potential employers in the future. “It might be uncomfortable for some, and totally natural for others,” Trana said. “But it seems to make getting a job a lot easier.”
By Elizabeth Bearden