Bruton Stroube Studios

Student Intern at Bruton Stroube Studios – Summer 2013

Kelly Boruff, BA [MAJOR] '13

Kelly BoruffWhen did you begin applying for your internship at Bruton Stroube Studios?

I started contacting Bruton Stroube in February right after I met a representative at the Center for Portfolio Development's 2012 Internship Expo. I set up a meeting with the studio manager, and a month later I was all set to start interning come May.

When applying, what did you do to prepare and/or set yourself apart from other candidates?

I emailed constantly (but not obsessively) to get in contact with the right person. Once I got it, I was always calling. Even if Bill (the Studio Manager) emailed me with a list of questions, I would call him back and say "Bill, how are you? I got your email; do you have a second to chat?" I felt I could be more personable talking on the phone than I could exhibit via email. I felt it put me one step closer to having an internship before even stepping foot in the studio.

What are your main responsibilities as an intern?

Everything. I'm the go-to for any shortness-of-hands around the studio. Some days I'm assisting a food stylist or a photographer; other days I'm helping to build sets for a motion shoot. I have driven to the grocery store to pick up food or put away props no longer in use. Today I got to play barista and make coffee for all the clients in the studio. There is no end to the list of duties as an intern. At Bruton Stroube, there is also no end to the thanks I am given for helping out around the studio.

What is the most valuable new skill you've learned since beginning your internship?

Managing clients. At school, you don't get exposed to real clients (although sometimes your professors may try to simulate a client, they cannot possibly do them justice). Clients, at times, are impossible to please, but you have to figure out a way to make them happy. I've learned that sometimes, you have to let the clients see the mistake before they'll believe you. I've learned (or rather, I've witnessed and internalized) the best ways to politely tell a client "its not happening." And of course, I've learned the obvious lesson: clients are never wrong. If they want cookies, "We don't have cookie dough" is not an answer. You say, "Let me go pick some up." And you make cookies. I thought, at first, the way they go out of the way for these clients, was ridiculous. But I learned that it's not ridiculous; it's the exact opposite. It's good customer service. This keeps people coming back. And it's part of why Bruton Stroube has been successful for so long.

What has been your greatest success?

Getting asked to come back as a freelance assistant has been by far my greatest success, and more than I ever expected out of this internship. I am so excited to be a part of this team in the future.

In five or fewer words, describe the work environment at Bruton Stroube.

Welcoming. Talented. Fun. Caffeinated. Family.

In what ways has your internship experience been different from what you initially expected?

I never expected everyone at Bruton Stroube to be as close as they are. It is weird for anyone here to leave for lunch; everyone eats lunch together. The people here truly enjoy being around each other all day, everyday. It really gives the workplace a positive environment.

In what ways has it been exactly what you expected?

I expected to learn a whole lot about being a photographer from my experience here, and I learned more tricks-of-the-trade during my short time here than I ever have from anywhere else. There are so many tricks involved in food photography

What's next for Kelly Boruff?

I will be finishing off my last year at Webster and freelancing at Bruton Stroube. When the funds eventually presents themselves, I will be moving to LA to find work in television.

 

Webster University - School of Communications: The Center for Portfolio Development and Internships
Leif J. Sverdrup Building, Room 124 | contact: Mindy Berkowitz | Phone (314) 246-7614, Fax (314) 246-8274 | mindyb@webster.edu