As an aspiring graphic designer who has just completed the degree, you might be thinking about your next step to fulfil your dream as a respectable graphic designer. Of course, you can apply for a full-time salaried position with staff benefits at your favourite companies or agencies, but it is no guarantee that you will get the job. Rather than complaining about it, why not try another option like an internship program to secure your place as a full-time position? In this article, I would list down a few ways of what you can do to get a graphic design internship. But before that, let’s go into details about what is a graphic design internship.
What is a graphic design internship?
A graphic design internship is a temporary work where you get to observe and involve in various design projects, learn the tactics from your supervisor, manage different clients and participate in client meetings under the supervision of a more experienced designer. Other than that, you might be involved in gathering the materials, research and analysis, and producing the reports, among other things. Please bear in mind, either paid or unpaid, it is still a great way to get entry-level exposure to this industry and build some connections that might lead to full-time job offers. Here are some of the best ways of how to get a graphic design internship.
Get a good education or well-respected program.
Of course, education is crucial to help get you noticed by a potential employer or client, whether applying for a job or an internship. A good degree from an outstanding institution or a certificate from a well-respected program would increase your chance of getting an internship program at your favourite companies or agencies. Besides boosting your confidence, it might give a good impression about your achievements to future clients.
Ask for guidance from the professors or advisors.
If you are in college or university, why not use the resources at your place to improve your chance of securing an internship program? I bet your professors or advisors might be able to guide and assist you as they have more detailed and specific ideas about the internship programs and the graphic design field. Of course, they certainly have a long and solid experience from the previous students who applied for the internship programs before you. Besides that, they have been acquainted with your work and know your abilities well enough to advise which agencies will likely take you as their intern. In addition to that, you can ask them to write letters of recommendation or put a good word to the design agencies as they may have a connection with each other.
Create a strong design portfolio.
When you are in a creative field, the thing that matters the most is your portfolio. By creating a sleek and professional portfolio, it shows your strong enthusiasm and interest in this industry. Your future employers or clients will be amazed at how you organize and present your work, which eventually leads to securing a place in the internship program. It is best to incorporate your unique style and personality into creating your portfolio to represent who you are as a designer. Try to use a clean layout to make your designs appear more outstanding and describe the case studies carefully with story-driven narratives. In addition to that, include only 10 to 20 of your most impressive designs and let them be the main focus of your portfolio. Here are some of the best illustrations that you can use as inspiration for creating an outstanding portfolio with impressive designs:
Attend the college or university career fair.
Well, I bet you all have heard of the college or university career fair. It is a great place to build connections and network with the active recruiters and managers of design companies or agencies. Furthermore, you can find many design companies and agencies in one place and make your task easier. Why not try your luck and submit your portfolios to them while attending the career fair? Since they are actively looking for students to hire, grab this opportunity and show them your enthusiasm and persistence quality. If they are interested in you, you will get a reply about the interview and the possibility of an internship after the fair is over. Keep in mind, try to submit your portfolios to different design companies and agencies to increase your chances of getting into an internship program.
Build connections with the seniors.
Perhaps, you have a friend or know someone who is a year older or more than you in your college or university, why not ask them about the internship program and their experience as they have already gone through this process before you. They might offer some great advice or encouragement that may be beneficial to secure your place. However, if you are in an online program, try to join the social media groups for professionals or graphic design students to get valuable insight into the internship application process. Or perhaps, you can try to approach or keep in touch with previous students who succeeded to enter the program and follow their steps.
Carefully research the potential program.
Yes, we all agree that submitting proposals to many different design companies or agencies will help increase the chances of getting into the internship program. However, bear in mind to not simply send the portfolio to any companies without doing research. By researching the agencies beforehand, you would understand the requirements and skills needed of the potential intern and whether this position suits you or matches your style and latest skills. Besides that, expand your search if you are willing to relocate. By doing these, you will filter only those specific companies and agencies that suit you best and maximize your chances of getting into the program. Other than that, do your very best to research whether those companies or agencies will likely hire their interns once they complete the internship period. In the end, our goal is to be a full-time employee so, it is always a good idea to find out which companies or agencies could provide that opportunity.