Where are they now? SND Intern finalists, class of 2006

The Blog made a lot of new, energetic designer-friends last fall in Orlando. And after a busy summer of internships, fellowships and job offers, it seems timely to check in with some of them and see where they are today…

The five finalists for The Orlando Intern competition were (left to right): Nina Mehta, Stephanie Guigou, Carrie Hoover, William Couch and Billy Kulpa. Hoover, Kulpa and Couch were the finalists that competed for internships, fame and glory (finishing in that order).
So where are they now?

CARRIE HOOVER (above right, shown here in the aftermath of the Orlando conference with the San Jose Mercury News‘ Martin Gee and 2006 Merc intern, Michigan sister and roommate Ashley Dinges) won the first ever SND Intern competition and chose the Merc’s summer internship position.

BILLY KULPA: After completing the Poynter Summer Fellowship, Kulpa worked as a design intern at The Orlando Sentinel. The word on the PR wire this week is that Billy has just accepted a job back at The Poynter Institute where he’ll be working on the redesign of Poynter.org. Perhaps ironically, Kulpa (shown above with the summer program tee he designed) has also just signed on as a contributing correspondent of The Blog.

WILLIAM (“BILL”) COUCH also completed the Poynter Summer Fellowship and then landed a full time gig at The Orlando Sentinel as a multimedia producer. In a further twist, fellow semi-finalist for The Orlando Intern Tory Hargro (posing above in a yes-we’re-from-the-future-and-we’re-bad moment with Couch this summer at Poynter) also landed a gig at The Orlando Sentinel as… wait for it… yes, a multimedia producer. (The Blog is beginning to sense a Florida conspiracy… where are the hanging chads when you need them?!)

NINA MEHTA is back at IU this fall after summering as a design intern at The Indianapolis Star (she’ll graduate this December). She spent the spring 2007 semester working at a Parliament magazine in Westminster, London. While there she did research on London design trends and studied British politics. “I did a little traveling in India and Europe before my internship at The Star. I was mostly at the features desk and did some Metro and Graphics designing as well,: she said.

STEPHANIE GUIGOU interned on the features design desk at the St. Petersburg Times this summer. Her favorite moment came a few weeks in when she helped direct a photo shoot for a page she was designing (left), it was all about S’mores. She also worked in the news art department with illustrators for the last two weeks. Now she’s back at Bowling Green as the design editor for the BG News. She’ll graduate in 2008 or 2009 — she took some time to study in France last year after SND. “Three months in France followed by three months in Florida! Sweet!” (A-HA! See? There IS a Florida conspiracy!)

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Be sure to check out the newest batch of The Intern candidates at SND Boston — and see tomorrow’s industry leaders this fall in Boston! Are you student? Didn’t make it into The Intern? Don’t dispair… there’s a whole program planned to help students get a leg up. Details here, register NOW!

BONUS UPDATE: Check out The Intern recap video from Orlando over on Facebook. Everyone all pressed and dressed, JoKirk minus his signature hat, Collins crackin’ funny (a-wearin’ his Couch pin), and that heinous 4 a.m. wake-up call… good times!


3 thoughts on “Where are they now? SND Intern finalists, class of 2006”

  1. Funny, as Tory, Billy and I were bowling on my Wii at my apartment downtown Orlando last night, we thought, “Hey, remember where we were a year ago tonight?”

    So incredible what’s happened since. A thanks to everyone…

  2. Great job all around for this intern class. I am so proud of all of you!

    An update from San Jose: Carrie Hoover has been doing a terrific job for us here at the Merc. We extended her internship into the fall and are hoping (fingers crossed) that we can find a way in our budget to make her a full-time designer very soon.

  3. Just amazing!

    Our hope with this competition was that it might open a door or two for an unknown high-potential student designer. That all 10 of them landed such sweet gigs is a testament to how special this group really is! Where the other four are:

    * Barbie DeSoto is the lead designer at the Salt Lake Tribune after completing an internship at the Virginian-Pilot.

    * Joey Kirk was also tapped for the Poynter Fellowship, but not before accepting a full-time sports design job at the Arizona Republic.

    * Tiffany Schwartz landed an internship at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and is now a designer at the Tuscaloosa News in her hometown Alabama.

    *Tawanna Sikes has been working for an ad agency in Chicago before returning to Florida for a full-time ad job in Tallahassee.

    Take a bow, everyone. And good luck to the Boston finalists!

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