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Kyle Bianchi, a Graphic and Information Design / Art History major, is currently on co-op with America’s Test Kitchen in Boston. We sat down with him to learn how his co-op has been going so far, and how he will be able to use it as a stepping stone in his future endeavors. 

What drew you to your area of study?

Since I was young I’ve always had an interest in expanding my creativity through art, whether that was with drawing, painting, photography, architecture, or the 2D Tools course at Northeastern that introduced me to Adobe’s Photoshop and Illustrator.  After going through a semester of one of Northeastern’s architecture studios, I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to study for the next four years. The brief introduction from the 2D tools course was all I needed to say that Graphic Design was what I wanted to study, allowing me to draw, animate, create, and solve problems through my work.

How has your co-op helped you grow so far?

With a company that focuses on print production, social media, photography, web content, and UX/UI design, I’m in an environment that allows me to learn from and work with different professionals on a daily basis.

What is your co-op and what is your position?

I work at America’s Test Kitchen which is located in the Seaport District of Boston. I work for them as a graphic Designer – specifically a designer for social media content

What are some of your responsibilities?

My responsibilities for my co-op are to create content for social media posts, produce digital ads and print material, and maintain content to be uploaded to the web.

What are some of the projects you have been working on?

I have a lot of projects that I work on throughout the work week. I create animations and gifs for social media posts, which is really important because ATK’s Instagram page has nearly 175K followers. I also create ads for web and print production which includes producing an invitation for PBS and other stations to visit ATK’s kitchens and office. I also do maintenance on our websites and social media by uploading photos for daily homepage updates and creating thumbnails for YouTube and Amazon Alexa videos

What are some courses you have taken at Northeastern that have influenced you?

The three most influential courses I have taken so far in my time at Northeastern are Graphic Design 2, Information Design, and 4d Tools (After Effects!).

What was the biggest surprise at your co-op?

I’m one of the only designers at my co-op who has a large understanding of After Effects, so the majority of animation projects have come my way. After showing other designers my animation work, I’ve been asked to lead an After Effects tutorial to the design team at America’s Test Kitchen.

What has been your favorite part of your co-op so far?

As someone who loves food, America’s Test Kitchen is a great place to work, especially because of the take home fridge that they have there where all the leftover meals and ingredients go for the staff to take. Additionally, it’s a dog friendly work environment which always cheers the employees up when the dogs walk around!

How did your classes help prepare you for your co-op?

The studio courses I’ve taken at Northeastern where I’ve presented to and received feedback from classmates have helped me in presenting my work while on my co-op, as well as considering the audience in my designs. This has also helped with being able to take constructive criticism and apply it to my work. At my co-op we have weekly meetings where I’m able to show what I’m working on to the design team, and due to many critiques in class I’ve become comfortable with receiving comments about my work.

What has been your biggest learning experience?

Having several projects to work on at once has tested my time management skills. At my previous co-op I usually focused on one project at a time, but this round I’ve had 3-5 projects at once. It has been a challenge knowing that I have to meet deadlines and nothing can be turned in late like in class sometimes, but having co-workers and a supervisor who want to help me has made the experience more manageable.