Costume Design Pre Grad Intern Laura Gonzalez

Laura Gonzalez“The IE Pre Grad Internship was really an incredible opportunity. Throughout this process I have had the wonderful gift of learning from an amazing graduate mentor. Learning in such a small class setting where there are just two students and our graduate mentor meant a whole new educational environment. There was an intense focus on not only our strengths and weaknesses but also on the areas we felt uncomfortable. This emphasis was unlike any other class I have taken. The level of focus specifically on me and what I was interested or skilled it, was so incredibly beneficial. I think that this was really one of the areas where I gained the most growth. I learned that its ok to be uncomfortable with certain parts of the job requirements as a costume designer and that I can gain experience and comfort in these areas in my own time. I had been very worried about the fitting process specifically, and how to make my actors comfortable but after talking through that process and exploring how to generate comfort in multiple different ways I feel so much more confident. This specific emphasis on my strengths meant a great deal and really helped me feel more confident in my ability.

Another element of this course has been attending the graduate forum class. This class is an opportunity for graduate students to present and give feedback on their thesis projects. This was an amazing privilege to sit in on as I really understand so much more of what it is like to be a graduate student. This really gave me an insight into the process and the responsibilities. Especially in the Theatre and Dance program, our graduate students have so much that is expected of them and although I have always been able to see the stress they carry with them I haven’t seen why until now. I feel more prepared in my understanding of graduate school than ever before because of this course. I have seen the level of critique, expectation, and commitment from every single graduate student that I had no understanding of before this course. I also feel more prepared for the rest of my undergraduate career. I am planning on pursuing the Honor’s program in Theatre and Dance, and an element of that program is creating my own thesis. I have learned so much about this process through sitting in on the forum class and feel ready and able to complete my own thesis.

My greatest change through the IE Pre Grad Internship was really my understanding of where I am as a designer. I feel so much more confident and comfortable in my ability because of the intense focus specifically on my own growth. It is such an honor and privilege to get this experience while an undergraduate. I think this is what I will carry the most from this course. I will remember that belief in myself is what is most powerful when learning a new skill or expanding a skill I already have. I am so excited to have had this experience and I am a better artist and creator because of it!”