ArtBound Initiative

ArtBound Initiative


ArtBound Initiative is dedicated to emerging creative professionals. Our mission is to encourage connections between participants, industry leaders and global companies. Strengthened by our network of over 200 companies, ABI provides the opportunity for personalized work experiences in highly insular industries. Placements are currently available in New York, Berlin, and Hong Kong.

10 days left to apply for Summer internships in New York!

Secure your creative internship in New York this Summer!
Application deadline: FEBRUARY 15, 2021.
We know that plans can change during these unpredictable times due to the COVID-19 situation. That’s why the ArtBound Initiative program is flexible and will allow you to postpone your program if needed with no additional fees.


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Yes, I recommend this program

After working in the fashion industry for a few years, I was re-evaluating my values and wanted a career change. It was a difficult situation as an international student, but thanks to personal mentorship and guidance by Laura and Ginda, I was introduced to strategy positions and the diversity of NYC-based agencies. I'm so grateful that even during this tumultuous year, ABI did their best to connect me with PI&C - a creative agency focused on brand empathy and values. It was an amazing position that allowed every day to be a learning experience, and I'm so excited for my future at the company! Additionally, the New York ABI crew was so welcoming (s/o Gerardo!) and I've made so many new creative and inspiring friends for life! If you are an aspiring creative who sees themselves thriving in New York, ABI will exceed all your expectations!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Going into a a new creative field and career was very nerve-racking and I constantly questioned my abilities, but I just took it day by day and used all my past experiences and skills I learned at school and my previous jobs and it was such an amazing and insightful experience!
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Yes, I recommend this program

I am so happy I decided to join the ABI program in my last year of college! As an International student, we do not get the same opportunities and have many restrictions. ABI was one of the only programs that fully catered their services to the International student body. I interned with reflexgroup, a boutique creative agency focusing on luxury fashion beauty and lifestyle brands. Through this internship, i was able to get a great deal of experience working in advertising as a creative strategy intern. I was so lucky to have an internship in the middle of a pandemic and it taught me a lot about communicating efficiently both virtually and in person.

I would love to give a special shoutout to Laura Bennegadi the CEO and Ginda Pamela the program coordinator for being my pillar of support and strength. They were always available whenever I needed them and guided me throughout the process with utmost love and kindness.

Having the opportunity to work as an Ambassador for ABI was truly an amazing experience as it gave me the chance to interact with other participants on a more intimate level and truly expanded my horizons on alumni engagement and business development.

I will always remember my experience with ABI and reflexgroup! If you're thinking of a great global internship look no further !!

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Yes, I recommend this program

I absolutely loved my experience in London! Although my internship was disrupted by COVID-19, ABI provided amazing support and the agency I was doing my internship with let me complete it remotely from Australia. The few weeks I did have in London were awesome, I loved working for the events agency Kit & Caboodle and I think ABI have some great connections with really outstanding creative agencies. It was so wonderful regularly catching up with my ABI contact Caroline as well as some ABI alumni, especially because my first time in the city and not really knowing anyone.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing I saw was a marching band practising outside while I was on my way to work.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I always wanted to move to Berlin but I often felt unprepared and unsure. Through my university, I found the Artbound Initiative which fit perfectly. I had a program that would help me find footing in a completely different city and I could often go to them for help, whether for my visa or advice on how to go about my internship. I can't imagine how stressful it would've been to have done it on my own. Now, I have a production company that looks after the people they work with and that has been invaluable.

What would you improve about this program?
There was a lack of connections with film-related companies in Berlin which made finding an internship somewhat difficult but they eventually pulled through and with time, their film network can only grow.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I recently had the pleasure of going to New York with the Art-bound program. Art-bound is a fantastic company that secures internships for people seeking a pathway into the creative industry. They coached my professional skills, help organised my visa, found my accommodation and ultimately sourced an internship placement in the TV industry at the heart of New York. While I was there they organised events, constantly checked in and supported me and overall ensured that I was having a meaningful experience. I highly recommend this program to anyone in the creative industry looking to find a pathway in. You won't find a more supportive and helpful internship program around!

Thank you to Laura and the Artbound team for all your help over this program!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don't be afraid to get stuck in and talk to as many people as you can in your internship company. As long as you do it respectfully most people will love having someone interested in their work!


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Elena Kay Herren

Why did you choose this program?

I'm enrolled at the Art Academy of Cincinnati to earn my BFA. I chose ArtBound Initiative because a few people from my school had gone through them and had really good experiences. I was also considering another Study Abroad program, but chose ArtBound Initiative because I decided I wanted to spend my summer working towards being an artist than just as a student.

ArtBound Initiative, as the name suggests, is a program centered around the arts and works to connect young and emerging artists into the creative fields which are generally very insular. I felt that this program would allow me to access opportunities I would have difficulty finding otherwise.

I chose to go through the 8-week New York program ArtBound Initiative offers, because at the time that I was applying, I hadn't been in school long enough to be eligible for the Berlin or Hong Kong programs they offer. I really wanted to go through and have this experience so I went to New York for the summer. ArtBound Initiatives offers an 8-week and 12-week internships. I chose to be in New York for eight weeks due to familial concerns, but upon reflection, I would highly recommend going for the full 12 weeks.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My university had directed me to ArtBound Initiative and provided me with information concerning how to earn college credit over the time I was to spend in the program.

The ArtBound Initiative representatives were very hands-on in helping me organize the portfolio and resumé that I was to submit to them and that they would then be passing on to my potential internship placements. ArtBound Initiative also provided counseling sessions that helped narrow down what kind of internship I was going to have. These sessions enabled me to realize that I wanted to work with a studio artist with them in their studio.

ArtBound Initiative offers many different internship placements so I felt that the counseling sessions were very helpful. Through them, we were able to customize the experience to what I wanted and thought was best for me. ArtBound connected me with two studio artists who I was going to be working with, giving me their contact information. I contacted the artists, discussing the logistics of the internship, and then debriefed ArtBound about what was decided.

ArtBound Initiative also assisted me in finding housing for the summer. The representative sent me a few listings of apartments that were available near where my internship sites were, and I went through them and decided what would work best for me and my budget.

I went through the New York program and thought about how to get there as well as how I was going to get around the city during my stay, and how I was going to eat. Because I'm from Ohio, I drove into the city with a family member who helped me move into my apartment and then left.

For me, the process of traveling to and from the city was relatively painless. The day after I arrived in the city, I met with an ArtBound Initiative representative who debriefed me on New York City life in general and some of the events that they were organizing throughout the summer.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Have a good idea of what you want to get out of your internship, but also feel free to go and explore everything that's going on in the city you are in. Going for 12 weeks gives you more time to really get involved with your internship and the city.

I spent the first two to three weeks in New York getting used to the pace of the city and the artists I was working with. After that, I was able to have a lot of fun and find some really interesting things and meet some really great people.

Also, don't be afraid. Go full boar, jumping straight into the thick of things, and see what happens. For me, this meant trying to go to gallery openings every night there was one, and talking to the people there, or going to an event and stay after things start to wind down a bit just to see what happens next.

Part of not being afraid is going and getting lost in the city (which I did multiple times). Getting lost is honestly the best thing you can do because it’s during these times I found the most interesting things and learned the most about the city. I remember one time, I got lost to the point of tears, but I did find my way back and was surprised by the general goodwill of people.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The average day/week looks different for every participant. My days/weeks involved a combination of studio work (like preparing canvas, mixing paints, and taping off edges), administrative work (organizing project files, sending out emails, organizing contact information, and researching grant and residency opportunities), along with doing some legwork and trying to find new clients and galleries for the artists I was working with. This is what I did, but a friend I made in the ArtBound program had a different experience with what she was doing because she took an internship that was more involved on the arts administration side of things.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear in life is heights, so I didn't wander over to the edges of roofs on tall buildings and look over the side.

Kidding aside, going into the internship, I was afraid of having to talk to people I didn't know and going to work with the artists I was placed with in their studios. An artist’s studio is a personal place where an artist formulates his/her ideas. Walking into a studio is like walking into someone else's mind, and that's a hard thing for me to do because I don't know if I'm welcomed there or not, and I wanted to be an asset to the artists, not an impediment.

Part of me overcoming my fear of being a nuisance was just jumping right in and getting the work done that I was assigned to do and trying to stay busy so that things ran smoothly and progress was made. I tried my best, and I think it worked out alright because the artists and I got along.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Ena - Meghan Lefeber

Job Title
Program Advisor


After Studying Graphic Design and Communication Design at Suffolk Community College and Glasgow School of Art, Ena began her Berlin internship through ArtBound Initiative in January 2018. Upon completing her internship with the gallery, Bernheimer Contemporary, she has decided to make Berlin a more permanent home. Ena has now become involved in ArtBound Initiative as a Program Advisor, introducing the program to incoming participants.

What is your favorite travel memory?

One of my favorite travel memories was studying Water color painting in Thailand. My old teacher was a retired professional Thai Dancer and he taught me to paint through movements and rhythm in a way I had never learned before. He combined smiling and laughter and integrated them flawless with craftsmanship and seriousness.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

My personal and professional growth since I began working for ArtBound Initiative has been leaps and Bounds. We are a close nit team, even though we are spread across the world. The founder inspires confidence in all of us and goes out of her way to connect with us. I found that since I have joined ABI I am more focused, more dedicated and more passionate about the work i do then I have been in a long time This is because of the great services we provide our participants and the hard work of the team.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I am still new to the team, so I do not have a story yet from a return student, but I do have a favorite memory of the current participants. A great part of ABI is that we will all meet up occasionally for dinner and more. One day we all got together for a light dinner and then went to an outdoor movie together. We were able to discuss the cinematography as well as all the different artist techniques and plot falls while laughing over popcorn. It was both informative and fun for all of us.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

For this question its not if I could... because I already have. Just before I became the program Advisor, I was placed in an internship in Berlin through ArtBound Initiatives Berlin program. It was exciting to experience another art capital first hand as a local. ArtBound initiative made that happen for me and made my transition into Berlin's Art-scene and lifestyle seamless.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

The support you get from the company is genuine. What makes this company unique is their dedication to their participants. The founder is active and supportive with every participant and employee. We purposely keep our numbers small so we can guarantee that each participant gets the time, resources, and support they deserve to launch their career. And we continue to support and connect them after they are finished with the program.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Our dedication and our Global reach is one of the biggest factors to our success as a company. I have mentioned our dedication to our participants in a previous question but we are also dedicated to maintaining strong connections with the companies we pair our students with. We are always looking for and connecting with top tier companies and actively maintaining our connections, for our current and potential participants. Day in and day out, country by country we do the leg work, to insure their success.