Sylvia Rybak, is a polish student at our Campus Berlin. She is studying Photography, right now she completes her internship semester. We met her and asked her some questions about her studies at the University of Applied Sciences Europe.
There are a lot of art colleges in Germany. Why did you choose Campus Berlin of the University of Applied Sciences Europe?
I was looking for a university that would teach me all of the skills to become a professional in my field. I also did not want to limit my education to purely the field of photography, hence I was intrigued by the fact that I could also choose electives from different programs offered by the school (eg. communication design).
At the University of Applied Sciences Europe, there was always something going on: e.g., semester abroad, internships and departmental projects. What experience had the greatest impact on you?
I think my internship semester has had the biggest impact on me. I have the opportunity and time to help out with some projects, which I find fascinating and very different from what I have been doing up to this point. It’s great to explore the art world from the backstage and meet interesting people.
OUr students chose a slogan: “Create your story. Inspire the world.” What experiences did you have during your studies that supported you in forging your own career path? What inspired you to take this direction?
When I began my studies, I was quite unsure about the type of photography I would be interested in. I had the experience to try different types of this medium eg. documentary, fashion, staged. It helped me choose what I truly enjoy and am best at, but also provided me with a fundamental knowledge of every field.
What made you enthusiastic about working on your projects? What about them makes you particularly proud?
What makes me particularly proud is the progress that I see I am making from project to project. I don’t think anyone is ever fully happy with their final result, but I do notice a difference in quality within the works I produce over time. I feel that university is still a time to experiment and develop your ideas and having this freedom is still a large source of excitement for me.
You are in your internship semester. Tell us about your duties and responsibilities in your company. Why did you choose this company?
I am working at a foundation supporting artists in sales and connecting them with gallerists and patrons. They do this by organizing large vernissages around Europe, where the artists can exhibit for free and be in direct contact with people interested in buying their works. I chose this foundation, because I remember going to one of their vernissages a few years back and was very impressed by the variety and quality of work they presented - so I decided to send them an email. My responsibilities include cataloging the artwork, running the website, photo documentation and sometimes even hanging the artwork. I get to work closely with a curator and learn about how the art industry functions, which is very valuable.
Tell us about a situation during your studies where it was worth it to leave the well-trodden path and stretch beyond your own boundaries. What supported you in that situation?
I remember when I had an assignment to recreate an image of a famous photographer, which was in a completely different style of photography than I had done before. I remember that I had to retake that photograph at least five times and in the end I managed to create an image with the same feeling as the original. I think what mainly supported me in that situation was my persistence.
Where do you go from here? / What are your dreams? Where do you want to be in ten years?
After finishing my studies I’m planning to pursue a Master’s degree in Visual Arts or Set Design. In ten years I would probably like to be running my own studio, where I could do both commissioned and artistic work. I’d also love to start an art collective and magazine one day.
Do you have tips for current students? What should they make use of at the school? What should they pay attention to, when it comes to their development?
Definitely make use of the studios! I think it’s also very important to use the opportunity of being in contact with teachers, who are professionals in your field, as much as possible and never hesitate to ask for advice and critique. I feel that a lot of people forget that how much they develop depends purely on them and how much effort they put into their development themselves.
Describe your studies at the University of Applied Sciences Europe in three terms!
stimulating, encouraging, broad
Here you can see some of Sylvias artistic works: