Entering design field for interns

It’s the time of the year when we’ve received thousands of questions about internship program. And we have something to say about entering design field for interns.

We understand: internships are the first pathway to adulthood. It’s the first opportunity for 20-somethings to start out in a professional career after three years of college. You might be rushing due to a tight deadline your colleges give you, but hear us out: there’s a lot to consider when choosing a place to intern.

An internship is an excellent opportunity to start out your design career and learn what years of colleges don’t teach you about, so it should not be treated as just another *class project*. Instead, treat it as a learning experience where both you and your new teammates can learn and collaborate with each other. Therefore, it’s important to find a place that has the culture and team to help you learn in the process.

Before applying to any programs, be sure to thoroughly research the companies you’re aiming for—their area of expertise, experience, and culture. Note that some companies offer programs all-year round, some don’t. You may need to check on the timeline so you won’t miss out on the opportunities. All-rounders are always welcome, but interns with unique point of view and strong critical thinking skills also set you ahead. Again, always do your research about the companies.

In our case, generally speaking, here’s what you need to do before applying to our program:

01. Put together your best & most relevant portfolio

This goes without saying: portfolio is fundamental. Most design studio will ask for one, so make sure that your portfolio is tailored for the target studio. There are a lot of options for setting up your portfolio —digital services like Issuu, Behance and Instagram are convenient and easy to access. You can also send your work through e-mail. Either way, it has to be a relevant reflection of your work, process, passion and ideology.

(P.s. Please just stop with the rating of your Photoshop or Illustrator skills. Thank you).

02. Send a cover letter & resume

Spending time learning design might give you a good grasp on the principles and aesthetics, but keep in mind that there’s so much more to being a designer. Sometimes we come across applications that are unclear, written with complicated language, or littered with typos—these will straight up go unread.

The thing is we want to know exactly why you are applying for and what drives you to do so. A proper cover letter and an updated resume (no junior/high school history, please) will help give a good impression of yourself, so make sure that your application is serving the purpose. Take your time to write one that highlights the best part of you.

03. Have a few internship options

We always try our best to reply to everyone asking, but keep in mind that it frequently takes a few days for us to review your applications. However, we don’t want you to feel at a loose end, so we highly suggest that you apply to as many studios as possible to increase your chances of landing a position. Do not hesitate to send us a follow-up email politely if you have not received a response after 3 or 4 weeks.

We’re keeping fingers crossed that you’ll get your dream internship position. Best of luck!

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