As part of our Back to School theme, we sat down with WDA intern Marivie Koch, who has been learning on the job since she started work with us this June, and will literally go back to school in 2016. Marivie has creativity in her genes—her parents met in art school, and her dad pursued a career in animation, while her mother was a professional opera singer who now works for the California Shakespeare Theater. Marivie spent her early school years pursuing artistic pursuits; first, dancing for over a decade in a pre-professional ballet program, and later studying photography at Berkeley High School.

When she started college, Marivie knew she wanted her studies to focus on design. Her interest in photography as well as fashion led her to communications courses, which she concentrated on as a student at Cal Poly. With the time approaching to return to the Bay Area for the summer, Marivie started searching for a job where she could gain experience writing in a creative, professional space. As luck would have it, WDA had just posted an ad for a social media intern.

Marivie feels she’s gained valuable practical experience at WDA. She’s been involved in an array of social media, website, and office management projects, including planning the move to our new office in August. Along the way, she’s learned about WDA’s culture and the broader design industry by planning weekly Lunch and Learn events where vendors teach us about products and innovations. She’s also developed technical skills by writing blog posts, sizing images for our website for view on mobile devices, and captioning photographs for Houzz. So far, Marivie has most enjoyed working to order images in a way that tells a story, brainstorming with WDA architects about visual influences during the design development phase of a new residential project, and absorbing the attention to detail that designers pay to interiors.

Marivie has also used her time at WDA to clarify her education goals. Based partly on her parents’ experiences as creative professionals abroad (her mother performed opera in Sweden and her father has worked for an animation studio in China), Marivie realized that she’d like to continue pursuing a fashion marketing and PR degree in an international program. This summer, she was accepted into marketing programs in Australia and New Zealand. Thrilled to be going back to school in March of 2016, she is currently weighing her options and excited about the opportunities she’ll have to work and study down under and beyond.

WDA is grateful for the work you’ve done here, Marivie. Congratulations on your exciting back to school news!

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