Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Loyola Design Student Lands Facebook Internship

Patrick Burtchaell speaks at Loyola’s Design Forum about his Facebook internship on Oct. 26 2016. He discussed his application process, Facebook’s design dynamics, and gave advice to fellow students. Photo credit: Caleb Beck

One select Loyola student set their goals high in the last year and was rewarded with an internship at social media giant Facebook.

Patrick Burtchaell, a graphic design sophomore, applied in August 2015 to Facebook’s call for product design interns for the following summer. After a lengthy interview process, Burtchaell was selected as one of only six hundred applicants from thousands and relocated to Mountain View, CA in May of 2016 to work within Facebook’s Bay Area headquarters.

Burtchaell emphasized how key visual design is to Facebook’s sleek, ever-evolving appearance, an element that facilitates the site’s staggering 1.7 billion monthly active users.

“Product design is meant to tell, not show, and should be objective. Without standards, Facebook would look pretty wacky,” Burtchaell said.

Burtchaell and his team worked upwards of forty hours a week to streamline aspects of Facebook’s visual design, working in a cluster of pods within the largest open office in the world.

“My team was responsible for designing holiday celebration banners and friend anniversary designs. The question we had to ask ourselves at every step was: ‘How can we make users understand that we care about them?'” Burtchaell said.

Patrick explained how he grew a lot as a designer, a programmer and a person over the course of the summer.

“When I got there, I was anxious to share my work with professionals, but I learned to show what I was capable of and came to realize that Facebook selected me for a reason. I had to show beyond my skills that I cared about the company and the culture,” Burtchaell said.

The success of this high-profile internship came as no surprise to Daniela Marx, design department chairwoman.

“Patrick is an ambitious student and a very strong designer. We usually encourage our students to do an internship in the third or fourth year of their studies. Patrick applied for this internship after his second year. I encourage all design students to set high standards and apply for an internship at their dream job, and he did just that. We are very proud of him,” Marx said.

Sierra Lyman, a graphic design senior, explained that Loyola’s design program sets a strong conceptual foundation for achieving job opportunities like these.

“The design department encourages students to seek internships like these by giving students confidence in their design skills. They do this by focusing on critiques, project execution and having a concept behind a project before even starting it,” Lyman said.

Burtchaell aims to continue interning with the company for summer of 2017, after gaining valuable insight from his summer experience with the website.

“I now have more knowledge of when to use my design and for what purposes. I encourage other students to be open and bold in their pursuits, and make sure when you explore, you really explore,” Burtchaell said.

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About the Contributor
Caleb Beck, Wolf Editor
A lanky, beach-wandering fool, Caleb crash-landed in New Orleans at Loyola University's campus after spending his high school years on Destin, Florida’s white shores. Magnetically drawn to the city’s unique culture and vibrant music life, he spends his time exploring the city, seeing live music, eating everything, editing the Wolf magazine, and remembering his past as Life & Times Editor. Contact: [email protected] or @calebbeckirl

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