How to Get a Graphic Design Internship

– Hey, guys! So today, I want to talk about how to go about getting a
graphic design internship. If you’re currently in college, you’re career center
will probably be having info sessions where they
outline the entire timeline of what you should be doing when. You should totally go to those, but maybe your school doesn’t have a great career center, or
you just want a refresher. So, I did two internships
when I was in college. One, the summer after my sophomore year, and one, the summer after my junior year. Those are really the two key times to be doing internships. After freshman year is great, but a lot of places tend to look for students with a bit more experience. So, if you can’t get one at that point, don’t beat yourself up over it. Okay, so the day I’m posting
this is November 1st. Besides starting your NanoWrimo novel, what should you being doing, right now? The first thing, is to get your résumé and your portfolio together. Take your résumé to your
school’s career center, or one of your professors, and ask them to take a look at it. I did that when I was a sophomore. When I got it back, it was covered in notes, and writing, and arrows, but I just learned so much about how to write a good résumé. Make sure your website is updated with all of your best work, and put together a PDF of your portfolio, with nice big images and descriptions. So that` if someone’s in a hurry, they can quickly scroll through that, rather than clicking
around your entire website. Some of the big tech
companies, like Google, might start hiring the
interns in November. But most places won’t really start looking until January or February, so hold off on actually applying until the new year when things have settled
down after the holidays. But okay, maybe you’re
watching this in January, and it’s time to start applying. One of the first things
you need to figure out, is if you can afford to
work just for school credit with out getting paid. Will you be able to live at home? Or, do you need to rent an apartment? Will your parents pay for food, and gas, and bus tickets? Or, do you need to cover that yourself? Paid internships will
be a bit harder to find, and a lot more competitive to get, but it’s not impossible. If you see a listing for an internship that’s perfect for you, but isn’t paid, apply for it anyway. Just mention upfront that you would need some sort of stipend. If they like you enough,
they might be able to figure out a way to make it work. If not, at least you’re on they’re radar for when you get out of school, and they might be hiring for a real job. Similarly, if there’s a dream company you would love to work for, but they don’t have any
listings for internships, email them anyway. Just something like, “Hello, my name is so-and-so.” “I really like your company “because of blank and blank.” “I’m a student at somewhere.” “I’m looking for a summer
internship, and I was wondering if you had any
positions available.” “Here are my résumé and portfolio “if you would like to take a look.” Bam, done! So, one thing that I
really want to emphasis is to be organized. Keep a Word document, and copy and paste the job description and
contact information, for every place you apply for. It sounds obvious, but
I didn’t always do that. Sometimes, I’d have to go scrambling back through the archives to figure out what the listing was
that I even applied to. Another thing is to be unique. Do your research on each company, and even if you use a
standard cover letter, for each place that you apply for, include a few sentences that are unique to each place. So, they know that
you’re really interested and not just blindly applying everywhere. Try to show them your skills, rather than just telling them. Be sure that your résumé and website are really well-designed, so that they become unofficial, extra
pieces in your portfolio. When I was a junior,
applying for internships, I put together this mini-website rather than sending a résumé. It included a video that I made about why they should hire me, and it’s showed everything
that was on my résumé except in a much more
fun and engaging manner. Don’t like mail them
glitter bombs or anything, but do something that will make you stand out and be memorable. Another question that comes up, is how often do you follow up? If you haven’t heard back, a week after you first contacted them, send them a follow up email, asking
if they got your résumé and when you should expect to hear back. If they haven’t responded another week after that, send another email. But if they’re really
not giving you anything, just take the hint and move on. So hopefully, by February or March you’ll have started to hear
back from a few places. They’ll usually want to do an interview, whether it’s a phone
interview or in person. Side note, I can not wait
until I am successful enough to need my own intern,
so that I can finally be on the other side of
that interview table! But hopefully, by April or May you’ll have an offer, and you’ll know where you’re going to
be working that summer. Some places will keep posting listings until late spring and early summer. So definitely keep ’em flying, if you haven’t found anything yet. But to be honest, if they’re not dedicated to putting in the time to find a good intern, is that really a place you want to be working for? Try to gage upfront if
they’re just looking for a human coffeemaker and copy machine, or you’re actually going to be to be working on real projects. Also, throughout the years try to do a variety of internships. If you worked for a huge
design firm one year, maybe the next year, try to find an in-house design team
at a small company. It’s only by having all
those different experiences that you’ll really know what
you’re most suited to do. So, good luck! I learned a ton in both of my internships. It was way better than just like working at Starbuck’s all summer. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if you want to share any of
your internship stories. So, if you’re currently
still applying to colleges, and you want some tips on how to build your portfolio, you can
check out this video that I posted last week. Or, if you’re new here and you missed my halloween crafting series from October, you can check out that
entire playlist, right here. So, thank you so much for watching. I will see you all next time. (upbeat digital music)

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