Graphic design is a field that is both exciting and challenging. With the growing demand for visually pleasant and more digitally engaging content, the area has become an increasingly popular career choice for young people. Moreover, high school students interested in this career path benefit significantly from gaining more experience through internships in the field.
Such opportunities allow individuals to develop their skills and learn from more professionals in the industry. This article will explore the top 5 best graphic design internships for high school students. Whether you want to explore the visual design field or become a professional within, these options will provide you with valuable insight and opportunities to grow.
What Does a Graphic Design Intern Do?
In summary, the graphic design creates visual content to display and convey communicative messages and interpretations. It is a craft and is an art that demands creativity and patience. Designers use a wide variety of software to create their designs, ranging from simple ones to more complicated ones demanding experience.
Regardless, studying it and learning those skills on your own is feasible. However, proper practice in a workspace allows you to integrate and apply what you have learned. That is why many choose to pursue an internship in graphic design.
As a graphic design intern, you will get the chance to be part of a creative process that brings ideas to life! You would work alongside designers, allowing you to learn novel tools and techniques.
Some aspects involve designing logos, flyers, posters, or even websites. However, the best part is that you could be faced with a new daily challenge and task. Below is a taste of what you might do as a graphic design intern:
- Brainstorming: as you work alongside a team of designers, you will be tasked to come up with fresh and innovative ideas for projects. You can stretch your creative mind this way and see how you can transform your ideas into actual designs.
- Designing: here is where the magic happens! Some summer graphic design internships will guide you through utilizing different software like Adobe Creative Suite. You can turn your innovative thoughts into beautiful creations to capture your client’s vision.
- Collaborating: part of being a successful intern is collaborating with others, whether they are teammates or clients. You can communicate design ideas, get feedback, and make modifications. This allows you to pursue your dreams and learn to be professional and persuasive.
- Learning: of course, part of the process is learning. You will get the chance to bring out your ultimate best. Mentors and designers will surround you, so your safest bet is to ensure someone guides you through the process.
- Growth: of course, this is the chance for you to grow your graphic design skills and boost them to the next level. With each successful project, you will gain knowledge and experience. You might even get a graphic design internship salary for the hard work you’re putting in, approximately around $17 an hour.
5 Best Internships for High School Graphic Design Students
Finding one of the best graphic design internships for high school students can be challenging. Unfortunately, only some companies will take in a student who has yet to graduate and has minimal experience. Hence, we compiled the top five highly-regarded internships for high school students interested in graphic design.
Remember that you will not find a list of company names and institutes. Instead, this guides you to see where and how to apply and look for one.
Local design agencies
Instead of hustling and looking for one specific internship, you might find what you are looking for through local design agencies. Many will offer you a position, even if it is not listed on their website. Hence, in such a situation, you should ask the design agency of your choice if they will take you in as an intern.
These internships will allow students to work in an office, explicitly targeting designing, and gain experience in various aspects of graphic design. Those will include layout design, branding, logos, and advertising.
If you already have some prior knowledge about graphic design, then a beautiful idea would be to reach out to non-profit organizations. These often need graphic design services to assist them with promotions and advertising.
Many will also offer internships for high school students interested in pursuing this field. This would be an excellent opportunity for you to develop your skills while positively impacting society. However, keep in mind that the chances of you receiving compensation would slip.
In-house design teams
Larger companies with separate teams have in-house design teams willing to offer internships. You would be working with the individual design team in a larger organization. This would be an excellent way for you to have a mentor and closely work with other people who have gained more skills than you over the years.
Online design courses
Many offer courses, camps, and internships online. There are websites such as Indeed and SimplyHired that allow you to explore your wide range of options. However, consider enrolling in a comprehensive online course instead of an internship.
However, a remote graphic design internship or workshop can be an excellent way for you to build your portfolio. Some of those will allow you to collaborate closely with professionals in the comfort of your own home. Other courses will award you with a certificate upon completion.
Many design competitions offer high school students the opportunity to showcase their art and skills. This will also allow you to gain recognition regionally, if not worldwide. Some also provide internships and other opportunities for students to work with designers and build their portfolios.
These design competitions are an innovative means for students to learn about the latest trends and techniques. It will also challenge you as many contests have a specific theme you must follow. Info Designers can provide you with a few competitions you can join.
How to Get a Graphic Design Internship: 5 Tips
Before diving deeper into the tips for getting a graphic design internship, let us briefly cover the things you should look for in said internships. Below is a short list to guide you:
- Consider the type of company you want to work for. Look for one that offers learning and a chance to grow.
- Location is critical; consider the stipend or compensation and whether you want to commute and spend money on transportation.
- Consider what type of project you want to work on. Is it external or internal? Will you be designing, such as branding or advertising, or simply learning?
- Mentorship is essential. Look for a place that will provide you with a mentor who will give you guidance and feedback.
- Culture is important. Is it a creative and laid-back atmosphere? Or is the office going to be professional and structured?
Now that we considered those factors, it is time to do our research on how to get into a graphic design internship with no experience or few skills.
Build a strong portfolio
You will be asked to highlight your skills and see your expertise level. Make sure the portfolio is easy to navigate and well-organized.
Networking is a fundamental part of any job success. Hence, ensure you attend local design events, join online communities, and reach out to professionals.
Apply for internships everywhere
Finding art internships for high school students can be challenging. However, once your goals and interests align, it becomes more straightforward. Tailor your cover letter and resume to each position to avoid any complications.
As mentioned earlier, some companies will not have open positions. However, you should still ask whether they will take you in as a mentee.
Prepare for interviews
Similar to a job, an internship often demands an interview. Be prepared to discuss your portfolio, design skills, and experience. Research the company before the interview, and we encourage you to prepare your questions.
Wrapping Things Up: 5 Best Graphic Design Internships for High School Students
Finally, internships may be an excellent method for high school students to obtain hands-on experience in the graphic design business, create portfolios, and learn vital skills and contacts. There are various graphic design internships available for high school students, whether you want to work for a design firm or a non-profit organization.
Consider aspects such as the type of organization, location, project types, mentoring possibilities, corporate culture, and remuneration while looking for a graphic design internship. You may set yourself up for success by researching your options and selecting the best training.