Internship Spotlight: Meet Ivan!

Howdy, ‘Runners!

This week’s spotlight shines on Ivan Cisneros—one of UTSA’s many esteemed Roadrunners!

Originally from Brownsville, Texas, Ivan made his way to UTSA as a communication major. This past summer, he interned with Burnt Nopal Creative Studio as a graphic designer here in San Antonio!

“I found my internship through the Students + Student Startups program,” Ivan explained. “Their slogan, ‘internships upgraded,’ is nothing but true. They facilitated the process for interviews via their Speed Interview Night and communicated between the startups and the students.”

Ivan’s internship took place over the course of one busy summer filled with many responsibilities:

“I assisted the creative studio with creation and formatting of graphic design posters for screen printing and social media. I also helped the studio with tasks such as screen printing, social media, and brand activation at business.”

Ivan is an active member in many of UTSA organizations: the Triathlon Club, the American Marketing Association, the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization, and the American Advertising Federation. Aside from these extracurricular activities, he became involved in the Techstar’s Startup Weekend and CivTechSA Datahon throughout the course of his internship.

“The most challenging aspect of my internship was not the internship itself but, rather, the extracurricular events outside of the job. During the summer, I participated in the Startup Weekend competition where my team, ‘Charge Up,’ placed first! The weekend was full of fast-paced learning, but it was definitely worth it.”

Having such a driven mindset allowed Ivan to enjoy many exciting aspects of his internship as well:

“The best part of my internship was the type of work that I was given. Working under Cruz Ortiz, the art director for Burnt Nopal, was a great experience. Cruz is a well-known artist for his ‘Nuevo Texas’ style of art, and many businesses and politicians reach out to him for branding and design.”

Additionally, Ivan shared that one of the most enjoyable parts of his internship journey were his supervisors. “They would check-in regularly to make sure we were learning something new from our internship,” Ivan explained. “At the start of the summer, we turned in an assignment that listed our learning objectives and discussed how we hoped to get there.”

His extraordinary internship experience has surely brought Ivan a step closer to his dream job of having a creative agency one day. “I realized that I want to keep going with my career as a graphic designer in the world of entrepreneurship,” he reflected. “I enjoy the fast-paced environment, the work, and the multiple hats you have to wear in the startup world.”

Ivan’s internship also helped him gain creative skills that will benefit him in this year’s National Student Advertising Competition. “NSAC is a great opportunity for creatives from all walks of life to compete in advertising. This year’s client for the competition is Adobe, so it coincides perfectly with UTSA becoming an Adobe Creative Campus,” shared Ivan.

Want an internship as amazing as Ivan’s? Here is what he recommends you do:

“Learn as much as you can. If you are unsure you have the skills to complete a task, show people that you are willing to learn quickly, and that is what will make you valuable in the eyes of potential employers.”

As motivating as Ivan’s experience is, he concludes his story with a quote he feels best defines him:

“Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.”

Thanks for sharing your story, Ivan! Go ‘Runners!


For more information about the National Student Advertising Competition, check out the Career Center’s blog post, or contact Red Madden at or (210)458-8274.

By Jacqui Cantu
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