How to Get an Internship + My Experience!

This summer has been a season of many firsts for me. Traveling and having new adventures was only half of it. One thing I had lined up for the summer was an internship! In order to graduate from my college, I have to have at least 1 unit of internship credit, and I have to complete 40 hours per unit. I actually ended up completing 2 units this summer, which means 80 hours where I interned.

Where did I intern? 

Since I am majoring in Graphic Design, naturally I searched (for a while I might add) for a place at a design firm. I’m not sure if I am allowed to mention the name of where I interned, so I won’t to avoid any questions or comments. But I will say it is a fairly large design firm compared to others I’ve researched. The environment is very professional, yet casual and very inviting. The buildings and interior offices are perfect to inspire creativity and were clearly created from a graphic designer’s mind. It is an architectural graphic design firm, which means they make signage and directional information for parks, billboards, community centers, etc. Signage is something we don’t think about super often, but it all needs some major designing when it comes to layout and even picking the materials. It was something I didn’t know much about before this internship, so I’m glad I got a chance to peek into this professional world of environmental graphic design.

Tips on How to Get Your Perfect Internship

So I’m going to be completely real with you guys. Getting an internship was not an easy thing. I emailed so many different firms, I probably couldn’t count them on both my hands. However, with all your effort, someone is bound to respond to you. And that’s exactly the mentality that I had. I knew if I emailed enough places and had some patience, I would get an internship sooner or later. And that definitely worked for me because here I am on my last day at the firm! I would like to throw in here that I did have a connection at this firm, which probably helped me some. In most professions, connections and networking play a huge part in your success. Not to say that your effort isn’t enough, but making connections and talking to people will make your job a lot easier. Talk to professors or teachers at your school, they are usually more than happy to help. I know my professors and advisors are always there to answer questions or give advice when I need it. Don’t be afraid to speak up, people want to help!

It might also be good to mention my school’s program that helps students with their resumes and getting jobs during school and after graduation. It is called OSV, Offices of Strengths and Vocation. As students we can go to them for internship, job, and career advice. I’m sure many other colleges have a similar program and it might be helpful to reach out to them if you are struggling finding an internship.

My Opinion on Internships

Honestly, I think internship are extremely beneficial to your future. It gives you the ability to establish connections early on and gives you a head start on your career. My internship was unpaid, which was perfectly fine because the experience was more valuable to me than getting paid. You can get a random job at any point in your life, but getting an internship in your specific field, even if it is unpaid, will be well worth it in the future. Even if your school does not require any internship credit, I recommend searching for one anyways. Take a semester off from working, and get some real world experience. You won’t regret it!

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