The University of Tulsa’s Kendall College of Arts and Sciences launched the D’Arcy Fellows Program in 2016 to provide its students valuable professional experience across a range of fields — nonprofits, arts organizations, policy think tanks and business corporations. An outstanding curriculum equips students with advanced critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills that are highly sought after by employers. The D’Arcy Fellowship helps students put such skills to immediate use, enabling them to gain valuable real-world experience, expand networks and explore career options before they graduate.
Funded through a generous estate gift from alumna and long-time TU supporter, Patti D’Arcy (BFA ’49), the D’Arcy Fellowship is a paid internship program that is competitive and challenging with a selective process that matches students with employers to benefit both. Employers have bright, capable and motivated interns for eight to ten weeks in the summer (or a little longer during the academic year) to help with special or ongoing projects, while interns get a glimpse of the workplace and its demands, bridging the gap between student and professional life.
Meet our summer 2020 D’Arcy fellows
Molly Burns is pursuing a BFA in graphic design at TU, with minors in art history and advertising. Her summer 2020 internship was with Mainspring LLC. Burns sought out her internship hoping to gain experience in a different field of design. Initially, her role entailed updating Mainspring’s two websites and setting up a company social media strategy. However, her position quickly evolved into not just updating but consolidating their two websites into a more user-friendly one. Additionally, Burns was tasked with creating content calendars and general templates for their social media pages, including setting up software that ensures posts are consistent in time, verbiage and design.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Burns’ internship was remote with flexible hours. To overcome the challenge of properly scheduling herself, she established a routine and set deadlines. Another skill Burns worked on was communicating ideas in the concept stages of a project: “Explaining my thought process and learning how to back up my choices in order to ‘sell’ them on my favorite design was something I hadn’t really done before!”
Dylan Chilcoat is an English major at TU. His summer 2020 internship was with Living Arts of Tulsa. As a gallery intern, Chilcoat’s responsibilities included helping set up the gallery (e.g., moving podiums and walls, mounting artwork), promoting Living Arts’ education program, writing reports and letters, archiving old material, tracking grant allocations and various other tasks. Previously only having written creative pieces, Chilcoat sought out this internship in order to gain experience in advertising and media writing.
From skills specific to an art gallery to corresponding with organizations and running a social media platform, Chilcoat used his internship experience as a chance to develop useful skills he had not learned yet: “I was almost completely clueless when I came into this internship. Tasks like writing reports, plans and social media content were pretty hard without any prior experience. To overcome these challenges, I had to work with my team!”
Naomi Dunn is an art and anthropology double major with an emphasis in graphic design at TU. She also is pursuing an art history minor. At 108|Contemporary, Dunn served as the facilitating arts intern. Dunn initially pursued this internship because she wanted experience working in an art gallery, given that she would like to work in a gallery or museum after graduation.
Dunn’s internship entailed working mainly on graphic design and some animation. She created vinyl posters, an advertisement, banners for the website gift shop, edited images for the gift shop and animated scenes for two collaborative social media videos. “Through this internship I learned more about the art world through an insider’s look at the day-to-day mechanics of a local gallery,” remarked Dunn. Working remotely proved challenging as it was hard to share designs and collaborate with coworkers virtually. However, she got around this through email, text and voice and video calls.
Lauren Kerr is pursuing a photography major and an art history minor at TU. During the summer, she served as a media and communications intern with Tulsa City Council. Kerr sought this internship as a way to get a better understanding of how media is used for large-scale communication within an organization that has potentially widespread outreach. Her internship entailed a variety of tasks, from attending several live-streamed meetings throughout the week and watching/recording citizen feedback, to creating, designing and establishing community involvement areas within the council’s website.
Through her internship, Kerr was able to learn about the various structures of local government and how to engage with the public on a governmental level. One challenge she faced was the virtual component, which made communication between partners more difficult. “However,” Kerr said, “I think that not being able to meet/discuss things in person results in the whole team becoming more intentional and direct when asking questions or feedback.”
Emma Palmer is an English, creative writing and art major at TU. She is also minoring in art history. Palmer’s internship was with Third Floor Design, which she applied for through Handshake. Seeking to gain more experience in her field, her internship mainly entailed graphic design work, including designs for books, postcards, posters and outdoor signage for a butterfly house.
During her internship, Palmer not only honed her technical skills, she also obtained a lot of practice with something that is equally important in her field: working with people. “Meeting with clients takes up a solid third or so of the process, if not more,” said Palmer. “It’s something that you can only really get good at once you are working an actual job. So, I was grateful for the practice!” In terms of challenges, she cited time management while working from home as her biggest. From navigating Zoom to critiquing work, certain tasks were “a new kind of challenging when done remotely,” yet the internship gave Palmer valuable time-management experience.
Internship Deadlines and Key Dates
The application deadlines for summer 2021 internships are on a rolling basis, starting in February and ending in March. Deadlines are determined according to employer preferences. The application process from the internship posting date to the selection by employer is expected to take an average of six weeks.
Internships will be posted on the Career Development and Professional Engagement website and identified as D’Arcy Internships. Interested students should submit a cover letter, resume and a five to six page writing sample by the posted deadline. After the deadline for material submission passes, the selection process will begin with an initial round of interviews on campus to screen applicants and then move to the next round of final interviews with employers.
For questions about the D’Arcy Internship Program, please contact Kalpana Misra, director of the D’Arcy Internship, at email@example.com or 918-631-2547or Cait Thompson, D’Arcy Internship coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-631-2815.
For assistance with applying for an internship, resumes and cover letters, students should contact the Career Development and Professional Engagement office well in advance of posted deadlines.
Emma Palmer, 108|Contemporary
Naomi Dunn, 108|Contemporary
Dylan Chilcoat, 108|Contemporary
Lauren Kerr, 108|Contemporary
Tessa Copeland, 108|Contemporary
Jessica Dewey, Gilcrease Museum
Hannah Le, New Hope Oklahoma
Layla Mortadha, YWCA Tulsa
Ethan Veenker, Living Arts of Tulsa
Melissa Annette, Tulsa Habitat for Humanity
Haley Ashworth, YWCA Tulsa
Margaret Brooks, New Hope Oklahoma
Jack Dean, 108|Contemporary
Nicholas Hill, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition
Lauren Beatty, New Hope Oklahoma
Caleb Freeman, Tulsa Habitat for Humanity
Megan Hosmer, 108|Contemporary
Chauncy Johnson, YWCA Tulsa
Amelia Som de Cerff, GasTech Engineering
Catherine Crain, 108|Contemporary
Nour El-Sabbagh, Iron Gate
Tara Grigson, Oklahoma Policy Institute
Mikayla Pevac, Tulsa Habitat for Humanity
Daniela Rosales, YWCA Tulsa