This document is a concise report of the three months of the internship, starting from 25 June to 21 October 2022 that I experienced at Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand Southern. The objective of this internship is to ease students into the routine of a corporate work environment as well as understand the operations performed by the respective company and collaboratively on a major body of work. The document talks about the company, my role as an intern and the projects that have been done. The document contains all immersive experiences, advanced learnings, work ethics and how it evolved as a designer throughout the straight 3 months.

Through the section of this document I Best Apisit Uthakhamkong, a Student of the School of Design, Otago Polytechnic, would like to take this opportunity to extend an earnest feeling of gratitude and a vote of thanks to the following.

Firstly, I would like to thank my lecturer Denise Narciso and the School of Design, Otago Polytechnic for providing me with the opportunity of working and being associated with Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand Southern and also for their underlying support and belief in me during the compilation of the document.

Secondly, I would like to thank my supervisor Kathryn van Beek, Senior Communications Advisor Southern who throughout the period of my internship nurtured, supported and guided me in understanding the functioning of the hospital and helped me learn new skills.

Thirdly, I would like to thank my co-worker Tomas de Silva for being a friend and supporting co-worker. Without Tom, the internship would not enjoyable and satisfying.

Lastly, I would like to thank all my classmates at the School of Design, Otago Polytechnic and the staff at the communications team, Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand Southern whose constant encouragement and support helped me through the period I spent working at Wakari Hospital, New Dunedin Hospital Office and Otago Polytechnic.

I apprenticed as a graphic designer. I designed posters, social media content, digital screens and event signage. Occasionally, I took portrait photos of staff, made a video for social media, and also designed an exhibition (including a poster display and a video) of heritage artefacts unearthed by archaeologists as part of the New Dunedin Hospital build. Additionally, I went through an iterative design process to create a new logo for a team and created an infographic of the highly complex New Dunedin Hospital Outpatient Building. I was new to the corporate environment, though the experience was primarily virtual. My responsibilities increased with every new task I got. I was attempting to complete every task on time and expectations were high.

The internship began by visiting the New Dunedin Hospital office at the corner opposite the construction site that used to be a chocolate factory.

The first meeting with the communication team was an exciting and extremely warm welcome for the first impression. My co-worker and I were taken to the office area for greeting to all strangers, but everyone was welcome and had smiling faces. The same thing happened for the first week at Wakari Hospital and Dunedin Hospital when we visited. Moreover, to be honest, I had never been to the hospitals in Dunedin before, and I thought it would be scary. But at the end of the day, it’s not as scary as it is in the movies and is full of friendly and kind people.

Our internship workspace is based in the meeting room, on the third floor near the communication team office at Wakari Hospital. That means we have to take a shuttle bus from Dunedin Hospital to Wakari Hospital and have lunch at the cafe on the ground floor. The routine seems like this every day and it fits very well. Moreover, the internship is flexible but it is very satisfactory for artists and graphic designers like me because I am able to work remotely from my house, cafe or Otago Polytechnic as well. 

One of the most significant things I have learned throughout my internship is how to establish my personal design philosophy and fully explore it as a professional. Especially, I have learned about how to work from the hospital’s perspective and think about the hospital’s branding, and my concept has to connect to the hospital. I have to fit my ideas into the hospital.

Another thing I learned was how to enlarge my horizons in terms of utilising my skills in various and challenging tasks. I learnt to execute important tasks and decisions enforced upon me by completing them dutifully and with great favour. I also learned how to manage my tasks and accept and deny some works that were received via email from many people and had an ambiguous brief.

Working in the hospital I worked with many people of different ages who worked in different roles, from clinical to ‘back of house’. I learnt that teamwork is important in developing the hospital culture and values.

Exploration is an important part of the academic process, and gaining work experience is a great way for students like the intern to become acquainted with a profession that I want to learn more about. I was very lucky that I have supervisors who are friendly and amiable to answer my questions at any time.

Working for Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand Southern has provided me with numerous opportunities to expand my skills in areas such as graphic design, social media, marketing, and user interface design. I used wide-ranging design skills for example Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Premier pro. I also have to learn to use Cava for working with the communications team. Working with diverse people, a positive attitude, an ability to respond to feedback, an independent work ethic and the capacity to meet deadlines are very necessary.

This internship helped me in gaining a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses. And I’ve discovered that I like graphic design, but my passion is in the area of branding, advertising and marketing. I will, however, continue to design graphics and learn more from any situations in my life.

In the advertising world and branding, I can bring my ideas and stories into the real world. Graphic designing will help me visualise my ideas and might get those ideas to a better platform as well. Moreover, I wanted to have the experience of working with people, and the hospital is a place where I could bring my skill and perspective to help people and the community.

All in all, my learning at Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand Southern helped me to make my internship successful without any difficulty.