Excerpt: Get to know what it’s like as a Motion Graphics intern! Sharad Bagwat takes you through a day as a Motion Graphics Artist, shares what benefits he receives as an intern and tells you why you should join the DME’s Motion Graphics department.

Sharad Bagwat is an undergraduate major in cognitive science in his fourth year at the University of California at San Diego. When the COVID pandemic began, Sharad started searching for internship opportunities that were still available. He eventually connected with a returning Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS) intern on Reddit. Sharad decided to apply for an internship with the Digital Media Engagement (DME) team at the VA because of his desire to help Veterans access the resources they deserve. He gravitated towards the DME’s motion graphics department because he saw it as an opportunity to practice his animation skills and learn about new tools for his future in video production.

A typical day for Sharad begins by checking the Slack channels for important notifications and new projects. Occasionally, he spends time talking with other motion graphics interns and learning new animation techniques and tools. Then, he starts to work on his assigned projects, which normally include making short videos and presentations with information for the VA’s social media pages. When beginning a new project, Sharad first logs onto the VA’s website to research a topic. He then creates four to five screens per video, outlines the information, creates the animations and pieces everything together to make the video. His favorite project so far has been a video on Veterans using non-drug therapies, like yoga and meditation, to treat their pain because he believes the information is helpful. He also had the opportunity to use new animation tools, which made the project more meaningful for him.

While Sharad admits that managing both the internship and school can be tough during exam weeks, he loves the internship’s flexible schedule. He tries to complete his schoolwork during the day and sets aside time for the internship in the afternoon and evening. Depending on the week’s demands, Sharad can schedule his days to include more or less intern work. Sharad also enjoys that the internship is not a massive commitment – it does not require so much time that he feels stressed, but he still feels like he is making a difference.

The internship has allowed Sharad to not only help Veterans, but also gain many valuable skills. Besides learning about and gaining experience with various animation and video production tools, Sharad has also been able to network and find new mentors through opportunities such as Making Connections Monday and Resume Friday.

Sharad encourages people with a passion for creating videos to join the DME’s motion graphics department because it is a creative way to contribute to the VA. The internship drives each intern to put in the work required to learn and meet their own goals and deadlines. Additionally, Sharad states that the leadership creates a supportive environment that is conducive to great work. If an intern is willing to leave their comfort zone and reach out, Sharad believes they can learn a lot.

Writer: Ashli Lucio
Editor: Julia Pack
Graphic Designer: Mohogany Bridges