Every now and then, Fox&Co invites a very special person to become a woodland critter and do an internship with us.
Michelle was our intern from January to March 2016. She studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, doing a Bachelor’s Degree in Art. After completing most of her credits, she had some time left before graduation. So Michelle came up with a plan…
How did you become an intern at Fox&Co?
I found a programme (Live New Zealand) that would help me find an internship abroad, and I chose New Zealand because it’s crazy gorgeous. They helped me find Fox&Co and set up an interview with Fox for me. I had to look up what motion design was, but once I had it figured out, I was interested. I had just taken and tutored for a 3D modelling and animation class, and what Fox&Co was doing was closely related to this.
How was your first day at Fox&Co?
I took the lift up to only one floor instead of taking the stairs, I was so nervous. Luckily I didn’t have too much to worry about; everyone was very friendly right away. I think it was on the first day that Fox had me read a book about motion design. I read through most of it in a bit of a blur, assuming they were just trying to figure out what to do with me. My co-workers told me later that they were actually jealous I had the time to read through it, as they were trying to do the same.
What were your tasks and responsibilities at Fox&Co?
I did a lot of writing, which was fun! I was actually happy that’s what I was asked to do most; although I am an Art major I get horribly nervous doing art in front of people. I put together the first drafts of our home, services, and about page. I spent way too much time on thesaurus.com. I also struggled through Adobe Illustrator to start to flesh out our company guidelines. I think the project I had the most fun with, though, was making the fur texture for the squirrel. He looks so happy!
What did you learn during your internship?
One of the things that struck me most was how much of a team everyone was. I’ve never really worked on a team before - I’m usually in fend-for-yourself types of environments. Even working with people was new for me, as I work primarily by myself at home. But Fox&Co is such a cohesive group, and while it wasn’t difficult to learn to work that way, it was definitely new for me.
I learned quite a bit about what it takes to start and run a business. Although Fox&Co was already pretty well established when I started, I got to see them gain popularity over the short period of time I was there. It was really encouraging to see a start-up be that successful, and I think it was because everyone was on the ball.
I also learned about motion design of course. It was interesting for me to see and play with the 3D software, Cinema 4D, which Fox&Co use. I was trained on the open source software Blender, and trying to work with and figure out a new programme was an enjoyable challenge. Watching them bust out 3D models in a few hours was inspiring as well.
What made your experience at Fox&Co different to previous work experiences?
They create and present the whole persona of Fox&Co as being run by woodland critters. Usually, the personalities companies broadcast are so dry, but I think motion design is a field that’s starting to change that. You want to hire people who are serious, but also relatable, fun, and down-to-earth. The critters exemplify the fun and down-to-earth, and the work shows that they mean business. If I ever start my own business I want a fun business presence like that.
What was the highlight of your experience?
This is less work related, but before I left the team took me to this fun, semi-sketchy mini golf course called Carlucci Land. The whole course is made of recycled materials repurposed into crazy sculptures. For about ten minutes I was okay at mini golf, which was new. I’m sure that’s not the highlight, but it was a highlight nonetheless.
Has your experience influenced your career choices?
Oh definitely. For starters, I have to come back to New Zealand because Wellington is the best city I have ever lived in. I’m not sure if I will try for a career in motion design, but I am going to keep practising and playing around with it because I enjoy it. We’ll see where that leads!
Why would you recommend interning at Fox&Co?
They are some of the most talented, funny, and friendly people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with. Fox&Co is gaining more attention every day because they’re first-rate artists. It’s a great environment to work in, (plus they’re located above a bakery so there’s never a lack of pies, which is a plus).
And finally, did you have an animal “alter ego”?
I didn’t, but if I were assigned one I think I would probably be the awkward, fluffy house cat that wandered deep into the woods one day out of curiosity, and all the woodland critters thought I was kind of silly so they kept me around.