Graphic design students, you are on the cusp of leaving college for the wide world of designing brand logos and making article templates. But it may be disappointing to learn that lectures, homework, and exams are not enough to guarantee a fulfilling, lifelong career in the graphic design industry. If you want to bump your chances from a “maybe” to an “absolutely,” it is in your best interest to take up an internship.
But how do graphic design students get themselves an internship? What internship is best for graphic design students, and how can they gain experience and make connections to turn that internship into time a real job?
In this article, we will teach you where you need to go and what you must do to secure the best graphic design internship.
What is Internship Like for Graphic Design Students?
While you are likely taught a lot about how to design images or utilize tools such as Adobe Photoshop with gusto in college, the graphic design industry deals in the practical and technical understanding of the crafts. When you are working in the field, you will need to know how to kind produce and sell a product that your company or a third party can market.
You will also be taught the basics and concepts behind such white-collar work during lectures and through projects with fellow classmates. Still, you will never quite understand what it means to use these ideas unless you go through it yourself.
Student internships are exactly what you need to establish yourself. Graphic design internships, much like any other form of student internship, are a good way for you to start your future career in the business. Graphic design internships for college students temper and apply the technical and practical skills they picked up in class and establishes them as figures in the industry. While you will hardly be creating brands or starting your own company, you will learn how to start and where. You will turn what you learn in school into something concrete and apply your graphic design knowledge to a professional outlet.
The real meat of an internship is securing one for yourself. But a question may be burned into your brain after reading this: do you needan internship to be a graphic designer? How important is a student internship for you to succeed once you finish college?
Do You Need an Internship to Be a Graphic Designer?
In the future, it will not be easy to find the right job or have your own graphic design portfolio get off the ground solely on a bachelor’s degree alone. You do not necessarily need an internship on your resume to be a graphic designer, but it’s like how you do not need to eat your vegetables to satiate your hunger. Taking an internship, however, expands your palette and has your graphic design career become healthier.
Internships are helpful in two ways: First, they allow you to accumulate experience in the field, and second, internships allow you to network and interact with people within the industry and build rapport earlier than most.
And that is what an internship is–an opportunity for more opportunities. They are temporary jobs and gigs that you take so that your career in the future will become more lucrative and fulfilling. With the right internships, you can start your job before you even finish college; getting your degree at that point is more like icing on a delicious cake.
For what opportunities do internships give to graphic design students? What will they give you for completing them?
Career Opportunities for Graphic Design Students
As you may know, graphic design runs a whole gamut of different subjects and career choices, including:
- Designing brands and labels for companies to advertise,
- Knowing how to design and layout an article so that it can be something appealing and attractive to others,
- Making what you are designing to become more palpable and understandable to potential viewers and customers.
Graphic design students have much to look forward to in their careers.
Paid graphic design internships are rare but offer the best of all worlds. Internships that pay should be a top priority for any student, as you would get a taste of what it really is like to do work instead of doing essentially unpaid labor. Finding the internships that pay on top of granting you experience and network opportunities is the best possible opportunity you could take.
Regardless of what or where you are looking for in an internship, simply taking one will open a host of opportunities for any graphic design student. But where would you go to get these internships, anyhow? Are there any good, high-profile companies that a student can look into?
3 Companies that You Can Apply as a Graphic Design Intern
Many companies are dabbling in hiring for graphic design jobs for students, and there are few bad choices. There are, however, competitive choices. You should look into these three companies when applying as a graphic design intern.
Interning with Apple
As one of the most popular and fundamental brands on the planet, Apple is known for its highly successful graphic design through its instantly recognizable Apple logo and how to sell and market that brand to millions of people across the globe.
Students who want a good, well-rounded mix of experience and networking in their internships should pursue an internship with Apple. But be forewarned that many students think the same thing. Apple internships are competitive and difficult to get into. But once you do, you are practically on your way to getting a comfortable, well-paying position with Apple!
Interning with Intel
For graphic design students looking for an internship in a highly technical part of the field that deals a lot with computer science and engineering, Intel is a great option. Intel grants interns an opportunity to brainstorm solutions for products and present their ideas to other people involved in the business.
Students looking to gain substantial experience and understand graphic design on the technical and business side of things before graduating will not go wrong with going for Intel.
Interning with The Washington Post
Students, if you are looking for a career in a more journalistic setting, where your graphic designs are less about making a snappy and eye-catching design and more about informing the reader about a subject and getting them interested in the paper, then an internship at the Washington Post is a good use of your time.
The Washington Post is one of the more lucrative national journalistic newspapers and sites in the United States, so landing an internship with this company may be difficult but rewarding if you are looking for somewhere to network in a crowded and essential industry.
3 Tips to Get a Graphic Design Internship
But just because there are companies who will take interns doesn’t mean you can just waltz up and say, “can I have a free internship?” No, you need three general but useful tips to secure that graphic design internship you’re considering getting.
Be an Enthusiastic Candidate
Employers want interns that look good and are ready to work for them. Regardless of your opinion on an internship, the position, or the company you are working for, it would serve you well to bring a sense of enthusiasm to your application. A positive attitude not only says, “yes, I want to be here,” but also makes it significantly easier to network and corral with other officials and members in the industry. Your enthusiasm and desire to take the internship will rub off on them, and you’ll be able to get an internship and turn it into something much more fruitful as a job.
Prepare for the Interview
Some internships require that the application goes through an interview. As the interviewee, you should be prepared to answer questions an interviewer may ask. It would be best if you wised up on the technical knowledge of graphic design, what specific position you are signing up for, and the details about the company itself.
Treat It as The Job You Need
Internships differ in many ways from “real” jobs, but your employers will still expect you to come on time, do your work, and listen, so you might as well treat it like a job. Indeed, doing so is an excellent way to get an internship, as internships are often seen as prerequisites for getting a real job. If you can show your employer that you can do your job, you’ll get one.
“Treating it as the job you need” includes cobbling together a portfolio or resume that helps you stand out. As a college student looking for internships, you do not have many enticing experiences to pull from. Thankfully, the standards for internships are lower. Overshoot your chances by boosting your portfolio with personal projects such as concept art, brands you’ve been making yourself, and whatever you’ve been able to cobble together, thanks to lectures, homework, and exams. There is no such thing as being “overqualified” for an internship.
Wrapping Things Up: What Internship is Best for Graphic Design Students?
In this article, we have made clear:
- What internship is best for graphic design students.
- The various career opportunities and advantages one might gain from taking an internship,
- The kind of companies you should take when looking for an internship,
- And finally, how to best secure a good graphic design internship.
By the time you’ve gotten here, you should have a strong idea of what you want to do and where you are going. You should be well prepared to take an internship and guarantee that lucrative graphic design career!
Want to read more about internships? We’ve got a range of articles that may interest you.