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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Do I really need an internship?

YES!

Real-world experience is very important as you begin your graphic design career path. I think it's ideal for you to do it while you're in school, as that will give you a head start on the competition once you graduate.

"Think about it, after graduation, imagine the swarm of people who will be looking for the same job you're after! But guess what? If you have a little bit more "real-world" experience than your cohorts, you'll be looked at more seriously as opposed to the others. Plus, you've already started building those relationships!"

Most schools have career counselors who will help you find internship opportunities, or even ask your instructors. Another great place to look is your local student graphic design organizations. Get involved - if you're not, others are getting there before you! [Look at the local organization links over on the right side. ->]

Internship can be hard to find, especially depending on when you graduate. Graduations usually happen in May and December. Those are usually when companies are looking to find interns. Good grades, a good attitude and a good portfolio will get you to the front door. But don't forget, it's also about who you know, especially in this business! So mix and mingle and become friends with everyone. After all, you never know who's looking for someone just like you.

Most organizations are looking to have an intern to run their errands, and although this happens mostly in advertising agencies, it's still not a bad set up. You get to see the way things work around the different departments, plus you have a very good chance of participating with special events and parties.

Sometimes, it's not just about running errands. You're there to be helpful, and do the little things other people don't have time for. So what's in it for you? Again, you get to see how things work, the processes and timelines. You get to see how the hierarchy of approvals go, and how to work with clients.

Always be respectful and friendly. They will remember you, and seriously consider inviting you to stay on longer. Try to walk away with something under your name - that means, get friendly with the art director and ask how you can help.

If you're given a project - especially as an intern - don't do half-ass work. Be as thorough as possible, and that includes research. If you have to, take the extra time, even if it's after hours, to work on it. Remember, what you're creating represents YOU and nobody else! Who knows, you may impress someone so much, you'll even be surprised.

It can be a rough world for us graphic designers, and having an internship is a great way to start crawling in the business. It's not unusual to have more than one internship, too. Consider working at an agency, and an in-house art department. Get creative on expanding your portfolio.

Let me know what your experiences have been as an intern? Tell us where you've worked and some tips on surviving!

1 comment:

  1. Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é http://www.provedorcrescenet.com . Um abraço.

    ReplyDelete

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