Telling Stories that Matter

When I (Alicia the summer intern) first learned about Fili Creative, I was fascinated by their mission statement, to fight for the good in the world by telling stories that matter, for two reasons. The first was that it echoed a passage from one of my favorite books, The Lord of the Rings. At the time I wasn’t sure if this was intentional, but I liked it either way. (It turned out it was intentional.) The second reason was that the Fili mission statement matched what I thought of as my career mission. I became a communications major because I’ve always had a passion for telling stories, and I want to tell stories that matter and make the world better.

The graphic I designed (featured below) was inspired by the Fili mission statement. This tree design, known as the white tree, is from The Lord of the Rings. In the book, the tree represents a symbol of renewal and restoration. The words that form the tree represent the many stories that Fili has already helped to tell and will continue to tell.

Working at Fili was my first full-time job and my first job where I didn’t have previous connections to the organization. It was hard to spend most of the day with people I didn’t know, especially just coming from college, where I spend most of my time with friends I know very well. But I enjoyed the challenge of figuring out the dynamics of the organization and getting to know people individually. I think people are one of the most fascinating parts of life, so I enjoyed learning about my coworkers: their different communication styles, what they liked and disliked, what their strengths and weaknesses were, and how the whole team worked together.

My internship at Fili required very strong self-motivation. I was given a lot of freedom to design and complete my own projects, and my work on Fili projects wasn’t closely monitored. As I was homeschooled from kindergarten to 12th grade, I have experience keeping myself on task, but it was still sometimes challenging to keep motivation for eight hours. I don’t in any way think this challenge was bad though. It strengthened the self-motivation skills I had already built.

Below is an ad that I planed, produced and edited during my time at Fili.

Along with challenging my ability to be self-motivated, the freedom Fili gave me enabled me to be creative, to find things I wanted to do and do them the way I wanted to. I was able to complete four videos for a local non-profit during my time at Fili. Creating these videos enabled me to get out in the field and test my knowledge and problem-solving skills. I also made several graphic design projects that I wanted to do because I thought they would be cool. During the school year, I’m so busy trying to complete assignments that I don’t get to do things just for fun, so I valued the opportunity to do that at Fili.

Another area that my internship challenged at times was my ability to persevere. One instance in particular comes to mind. I was tasked with designing a logo for a local construction company’s new development. It took me 16 hours and 52 different designs before we had the final logo. There were definitely times when I wanted to just stop and say, “Isn’t this good enough?” But I appreciate that my coworkers challenged me to keep taking the design to the next level. I learned the value of pressing on to get a final product that I could feel good about sending to a client.

My First Design

My Final Design

In watching the Fili team interact, one of the things I most appreciated is how they thank each other for doing their jobs. I plan to follow their example and try to do this as much as possible anywhere that I work, at home and in businesses where people are serving me. Another thing I appreciated about the Fili team was their willingness to be flexible when working with clients. One time we were supposed to do an interview, and the person to interview didn’t arrive. However, no one got upset. We just used our interview set up for something else and planned to come back another day to get the interview.

The knowledge and ability that I’ve gained during my time a Fili, both in using equipment and computer programs and in working with people, has equipped me to better carry out Fili’s mission. I am now better able to tell stories and fight for the good in the world. Thank you Fili Creative team for this opportunity and for all you taught me!




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