Honest advice from an Intern Designer

by | Apr 6, 2021

Congratulations! You have landed your dream design internship.  

Let’s just say that the night before my first day as an intern was nothing short of interesting. It was a whirlpool of excitement, fear, gratitude, and anxiety.  You might be a nervous wreck too, and that is completely normal. But now is your time to show the organisation your potential, agility, and skill.   

Here are a few of my thoughts I would like to share with you and hope it assists you in some way – great or small: 

First and foremost, practice genuine gratitude.  

Understanding that you have landed this opportunity – despite many others applying – will be the driving force behind your work ethic and motivation.  

Be keen to do whatever is required from you.  

Even if the task is not your favourite thing to do. Even if the task is not what you see yourself working on in the future. Each task you receive is a learning opportunity, always remember that.  

Challenge yourself.  

If you do the easy work that you have always done, you will remain the designer that you have always been. Recreating others’ designs for personal practice is a great way to learning, figuring out, and discovering new tools and methods. 

Cliché, but dumb questions do not exist.  

To ask for assistance and advice with confidence is – dare I say – a skill that many of us lack. As interns, we can feel out of place and we can feel like a nuisance when asking for help, but I promise you, your manager and colleagues will be grateful for it. The quicker the problem is solved, the quicker you can all move forward.   

Take a deep breath, take a sip of coffee, and get used to the pace.  

This is a tough one. But I promise it gets easier.  

Get to know your colleagues.  

Ask them about the aspects of their job that they enjoy, the things they do not enjoy and resources they find helpful. These types of conversations can even assist you in making decisions about your future positions and job roles.  

Lastly – Eat a piece of humble pie and accept your role.  

You are new. You have lots to learn and improve on. You are going to face challenges. Embrace the uncomfortable – you will truly be better for it.  

 

I believe that by following these simple (yes, simple) tips and working harder than you’ve ever worked before, you can set yourself up for an amazing internship and tech career. Internships are no longer just an “add-on” on your resume but a pivotal time for you to boost your skills levels in all areas.

Remember, the expert in anything was once a beginner. Learning and evolving as a designer is such a fascinating process to be a part of – own it! 

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