With an experienced design eye and a problem-solver mentality, we're excited for Arya to join the Swarm as our newest Spring 2022 Design Intern. 

We embrace our collective nerdom at Firefli. As part of our award-winning workplace culture, we encourage our team to pursue their interests, look for what’s “new” in our jobs, and always keep learning.

For new intern, Arya Meade, a place that promotes “always learning” is a dream opportunity. With an experienced design eye and a problem-solver mentality, we’re excited for Arya to join the Swarm as our newest Spring 2022 Design Intern.

Arya (she/her) is currently pursuing her B.F.A. in Graphic Design at Virginia Tech. Phil and Kelly recently sat down to get to know Arya, hear about her design journey, and introduce a future star to the world.

Q: Introduce yourself to the world – Who are you?

A: I’m Arya Meade, I am from Richmond, Virginia. I’m currently a junior at Virginia Tech majoring in graphic design and planning to graduate in 2023.

Q: What made you choose Virginia Tech and the Graphic Design program?

A: I really liked the large campus feel at Virginia Tech when I was touring schools. The graphic design program is really small though. But to me, that’s nice because you get to know everyone, including the professors, which you only get from that smaller program environment. With the program being small it feels less competitive for classes, internships, and more but you also get a unique learning opportunity.

Q: What inspired you to do design?

A : When I was little I really liked art and was really into drawing. As I got older and explored more art, design, etc., I started shifting my interests into design because I feel it’s more intentional. With traditional art you make something and maybe it has meaning but with design, it’s very intentional. Everything is made for a specific purpose and in a way is interactive with a lot of problem-solving to get to an end result.

Q: What is your favorite kind of project to work on?

A: I’ve really enjoyed getting to work on UX design. I especially like designing for the web better than designing for apps. Particularly I like doing web designs and coding interactions for User Interfaces. I’m currently minoring in computer science so I like bringing those skills into my work sometimes.

In a course that I took with John [Cornthwait, Firefli Partner and Vice President of Products] at VT, I got to do a web project based on a guilty pleasure. I chose to do a website based on my love of coffee! I had never coded a website from scratch so that was really cool and I got to incorporate a lot of self-made illustrations into it also so I really enjoyed that.

Q: Why did you choose to do an internship with Firefli?

A: At the end of the semester, John asked me if I was interested in doing a design internship with Firefli. I had gotten to hear from a lot of people at Firefli when they would visit and talk to our class and I was able to get a feel for the culture and the vibes there. I felt like Firefli had a wide range of work within UX and design and I really wanted to gain more experience in that so I accepted the offer!

Arya’s work in my class at Virginia Tech highlighted her exceptional work and ability to solve complex problems with smart design. It was a no-brainer to ask her to intern at Firefli.John Cornthwait, Partner and Vice President of Products at Firefli

Q: What do you hope to learn during your internship with Firefli?

A: I would love to get more into UX design and research since we haven’t been able to touch on it in class much. I really believe it’s such an important aspect of design.

I also really would like to get more time with WordPress. I can do things in that content management system but would love to get better at that.

I’m also getting to collaborate with Sarah (also a current Firefli Design intern from Virginia Tech) on projects for Firefli like mood boards, branding ideas, designs, and more!

Q: What’s next after graduation?

A: I’m not sure yet. I’m a junior, but I’m thinking about wanting to do something in UX design for an agency or be an in-house designer at a large company.

Q: What brands do you admire from a design perspective?

A: I really like Target’s house brand “Good and Gather”. They have a nice logo with a really fancy G and all of the packaging is really appealing. I noticed they reinvented their brand over the past few years and I like the current iteration much better.

Q: Who are you outside of work? What do you like to do when you’re not designing?

A: I really love raising and caring for my plants. I think I have like 15 plants currently in my room that I’ve managed to keep alive. That’s more than ever before. My favorite plant right now that I have in my room is my Monstera!

Besides designing and keeping my plants alive I really like to run. I’ll go through phases sometimes, but when I’m into it, I really enjoy it.

We’re excited to see the work Arya brings to the table and continue sharing our Firefli culture with students from local universities and colleges. Check out Arya’s portfolio on Behance!

For more information about joining the swarm full-time, click to view current job openings.

March 30, 2022 in Article