If you’re reading this article, you’re probably considering a career in graphic design.
You may want to discover if the profession indeed suits you. You might not know what to expect. Maybe you’re a talented designer fresh out of university or college looking to gain real world experience as a pathway to your first position. You could be striving to develop a professional visual portfolio to assist in your job hunting. If this sounds like you, a graphic design internship may be just what you need to kick start your career.
What to expect
During an internship, you may feel overwhelmed at first. You’ll process complex information from briefs. Tasks may be more complicated than simple design projects you’re used to at school or university. With the help of senior designers, you’ll get a good background of clients, brands and best practices. You’ll learn fast. Graphic design is a huge field. Chances are that during your internship you’ll feel confident doing a particular thing, but not another. There’s nothing wrong with that. But working as an intern and being involved in projects for real clients means that you will need to step out of your comfort zone.
The most ambitious graphic designers are never satisfied with their work.
We spend hours tweaking pixels and deliberating over font selection. It’s crucial to have your own design standards. However, the only way to live in peace with your work during an internship is to learn to let go of self-doubt and move on.
Every field of design changes so quickly it’s impossible to keep up with it all. A good supervisor or senior designer will be willing to learn from you and listen to your ideas as much as you do them. The best designers are really no different to you and are always learning, questioning and improving.
Get the most out of your Graphic Design Internship
Interns are often paid little or nothing. Yet, the experience gained can be more valuable than theoretical skills learned at college or university. A good internship will provide you opportunities to collaborate with experienced professionals, gain insight into marketing and client research, try some projects on your own, get valuable feedback and maybe attend the odd pub lunch!
During your graphic design internship, you’ll learn about your chosen career of graphic design in a real environment. And you’ll use real programs like the Adobe creative suite. You may be asked to participate in brainstorming sessions, concept creation and designing social media campaigns. Further, there’s opportunity to assist experienced designers in rolling out artwork based on brand guidelines.
You can undertake courses or read about becoming a graphic designer, but these won’t prepare you for an actual job.
Real-life experience working on commercial projects with professional graphic designers is truly invaluable.
The experience will help your resume stand out big time. Anyone can do a course on the subject, but not everyone has the drive and the skills to land an internship. If you make a great impression, the professionals you work with might even have you in mind if an opportunity presents itself down the road.