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Intern experience goes International at FIT

Alex Pina and Ines Paetkau (Heilmaier project manager)EDPA has been a major supporter of the FIT Master Degree in Exhibition Design program. Upon completion of the program, each student must complete a 6-8 week internship with a practicing company within the industry. Many EDPA member companies have offered this priceless opportunity to graduating students over the past nine years.

EDPA member companies are not just located in the USA but globally as well. EDPA has exhibit supplier member companies from 18 countries. The first EDPA international company to take on an FIT intern was Heilmaier Messedesign from Munich, Germany.

While attending the EXHIBITOR show in Las Vegas and visiting the Exhibit Design Education booth, the management team at Heilmaier offered FIT student Alex Pina the opportunity to serve his internship in Munich.

“Before accepting an intern, I strongly recommend visiting the campus or meeting the students in person during the annual EXHIBITOR show in Las Vegas,” said Stephen Benedetti, director of International projects at Heilmaier. “This chance to meet the students in person, view their portfolios, and feel their enthusiasm is what ultimately convinced Heilmaier to select Alex Pina. Heilmaier has hosted student interns over the past 10 years, but Alex was our first international intern.”

During Alex’s six-week internship, Heilmaier tasked him with creating a pre-event marketing campaign for the 2012-ZLF, Germany’s largest agricultural fair and one of Heilmaier’s oldest and most important customers. The plans and ideas that Alex came up with involved merchandise advertizing (t-shirts, caps, etc), promotional advertizing (posters, taxi branding, etc), and interactive experiences ( a modular road show to take to schools, shopping centers, parks, etc) all designed to create a buzz to increase the event’s public profile with its most desired demographic: school-age children.

“It’s funny how I always start off the design process thinking about one thing and then that thought evolves into something completely different,” said Pina. “As I look back, I realize the real impact of the many cultural differences I was exposed to in such a short time. This was an experience I will never forget.”

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