Hello Zine Readers! Sad to say it, but my time interning with the amazing graphic design team at Go Media is coming to an end. I am super jealous of the students that get to intern with them in the future. That being said, here are a few guidelines for the new batches of design interns out there to check out as get ready to work! Whether you are designing with Go Media, interning elsewhere, or beginning a new job, these tips might be just what you are looking for:
1. Absorb Everything.
As you start out as an intern, it is important to remember that everyone around you is a source of learning. Pay attention and soak in as much information as possible. Be a sponge!
2. Constructive Criticism
You are an intern to learn. Everyone understands that (trust me, they’ve been there too). Your employers/mentors are there to give you feedback and to help you become a better designer. Make sure you know that critiques are a crucial and valuable source of knowledge and are not an attack on you personally. Everyone knows you are learning and they want you to succeed. You can’t become a better designer or student without being able to swallow some pride and take advice from the best.
3. Write Everything Down. And Practice!
If you are anything like me, you might make for a very convincing victim of short term memory loss. I need to write everything down! You never know if someone will give you instructions and then you have to come back to that project later in the day. Write down everything, from the simplest of instructions to the most complex tutorials. Not only will this help you out while working on a project, but having a reference to look back on months later when you want to replicate a technique is comforting.
Just writing the info down might not be enough, so make sure you practice the concepts and keep it fresh in your mind! Like the old saying says, practice makes perfect. Trying new things is the only way to truly learn how to execute them!
4. CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!
Before going into the work force, the only person dealing with your files is you. You know where everything is in a chaotic mish-mash of your own “organization” (that of course makes sense to you, and no one else…). However, you look back on an old project and your layers are a mess! Nothing is worse than being confused by your own work. Except maybe having someone else’s muddy files and needing to sort out their thought process.
The best way to make things nice and easy is to get organized. Clean up your layers and find a system to stick to that is clear and easy to follow. Your colleagues will thank you later! Remember, working for a company means you aren’t the only one using the files you worked on. And be sure to get into the habit of creating a clean file naming system for your own work.
5. Continue Learning
Whatever you do, don’t turn your brain off after the internship is over. Keep designing on your own time and learning from the designers you met during your internship. And don’t be afraid to keep in touch with the people you meet. Networking is super important, plus you never know when you might need an extra set of eyes to look over your work.
One really cool aspect of Go Media is the Zine. Through the blog you are able to continue learning and getting inspired! I plan to keep up to date on the Zine posts and I highly recommend that others do as well.
Learn outside of design! Trying new things, picking up a bit of reading material, or just being around other people forces you to learn more about the world around you. Plus you will learn more about yourself and what truly inspires you!
6. Don’t Forget to Say THANKS!
It’s always nice to thank those who take the time to be mentors and teach you. It’s only appropriate that my goodbye blog post includes a big, sappy, THANK YOU to everyone at Go Media. I had an awesome summer! I’ve learned so much from the team here and I can’t wait to continue my education at Miami University this year. I know everyone will be sharing experiences from their internships, but I highly doubt any will top mine. My internship here has most definitely prepared me for the possibilities of what lies ahead.