Brooke Braswell, a Graphic Design Technology student at OSU Institute of Technology, is spending her summer gaining work experience with a local media productions company, XALTER Studios (formerly Steelhouse Productions).
For more than 20 years, internships have been a staple for a student's learning experience at OSUIT. All students enrolled in a technical discipline will complete at least one internship as part of the curriculum.
Braswell was looking for experience not only in graphic design but wanted to expand her skills to include motion graphics.
"Our interns work on real client work, so having a team that leans into one another and has a voracious appetite for learning and growth is important," said Kevin Breeding, COO of XALTER Studios. "We work in a fast-paced world and need staff who thinks quickly on their feet and is never frustrated with a relentless pursuit of continuous improvement of ourselves and our work."
XALTER is a creative studio of storytellers and visual artists who blend the mediums of live-action, motion design, character animation, and virtual reality to engage audiences and build brands. Founded in 1999, XALTER has grown into a collective of distinctive artists and technologists sharing their voices individually and in concert to create content for a spectrum of mediums and formats.
"I am thoroughly enjoying my experiences here," said Braswell. "I've had the opportunity to create the logo for their cybersecurity simulated escape room, and I am also helping with some of their other production projects to learn more about the industry."
Internships provide a steady stream of eager, educated, and motivated prospective employees with skills in current technologies for industry partners. Since most internships last an entire semester, the company and intern have 15 weeks of mutual exposure.
"XALTER is constantly looking for new and different talent across a spectrum of disciplines," said Breeding. "Of course, we are interested in natural talent, but more than that, we look for an attitude of being willing to learn, stretch outside their comfort zone, being curious and eager to learn new things without being afraid to try something new and always learn from things that might go as well."
XALTER has worked alongside OSUIT for many years and has employed numerous interns and several employees who are graduates.
"Each intern and graduate brings a fresh sensibility about design, art and technology," said Breeding. "OSUIT produces work-ready individuals who impact and expand the team's capability on Day One. We welcome fresh ideas and a new way of seeing solutions for our clients."
Braswell expressed that her education at OSUIT has given her the confidence to be successful during her internship and in the workforce.
"I feel like OSUIT and the wonderful faculty and staff went above and beyond preparing me for the work field," said Braswell. "I was intimidated coming in thinking I may not know enough, but when I started working here, I realized that the instructors had pushed us so hard for a reason. It wasn't always easy, but I'm grateful for their help in my education. I feel confident having the knowledge and basic understanding to complete the tasks assigned in my daily work."
Expected to graduate in fall 2021, Braswell says she's unsure what career path she will follow.
"I don't know if I will end up staying in production exclusively after graduation because I've always wanted to be in advertising," she said. "I have, however, just started here, and I think this is something that seems fun and prospective and will open doors in my future."
In addition to the relationship around internships, XALTER is also OSUIT's exclusive production partner for Extended Reality (XR) and Virtual Reality (VR) curricula development.
"We currently have six XR projects in development that will be released over the next 12 months spanning across various OSUIT programs," said Breeding. "I think the relationship is deepening now, more than ever. We hope to build dozens if not hundreds of XR-centric curricula modules and make OSUIT the leading workforce development university in the country."