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5 tips for a good internship

Each design student and each growing design studio once comes to a certain point called internships. The quality of these internships can be very different from each other, because many offices often do not know exactly how to care for an intern, or on the other hand the intern often does not know how to involve effectively. But one thing is pretty clear though…for both, the intern and the employer, a temporary cooperation can be very useful as long as they mind some little things. Here are 5 simple tips for the topic internship – useful for interns and employers.

internships

1. LEARN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN

For Interns

You will probably never make as much progress again in your career, as you do within your first internship AND you will probably never get the chance to annoy people with tons of questions about design and business processes that easily again.
Ask yourself what you want to learn and communicate this to your colleagues and supervisors. Because when you once finished your studies, the industry expects you to already know everything it needs from you.

For The Company

Each intern brings in some unique perspectives and qualities. And that is some great fresh input that will spread up your horizon and keeps you closer to the younger generation of designers that will some day own the business. Find out what they know, find out what they can offer – you may need it someday + there is no better future employee than the one you had already checked.

 

2. AN INTERN IS A DESIGNER

For Interns

Most interns make it easy to be treated like interns. That means….if you act like a shy and inexperienced person, most people start to think about you and your work as shy and inexperienced. So you will probably get less important work to do or your work will be regarded as not fully satisfying. Be confident and don’t be afraid to share your opinion and to discuss your colleagues work. Because a confident person that knows how to get involved gains more trust and will receive more interesting tasks.

For The Company

Interns are totally enthusiastic about their first job. And even if they are pretty far in progress, during their internship they will expire that there is way more to learn than they already had within their studies. So let them do real design work within real projects and if necessary, spend some time to teach them how to deal with required software. Because a happy intern brings your more interns in the future. One unhappy intern can be enough to never see another student from the same university again + there is no better future employee than the one you taught.

 

3. PAY AND GET PAYED

 For Interns

Sometimes a good internship position requires some financial effort from the intern. You may have to temporarily move to another city or country or you will have to spend some extra money on public transport or language classes. However, try to see those necessities as temporarily invests, which will come back multiple times later.
Make sure you future employer knows about your effort. It will help you during salary negotiations. Never do a unpayed internship – you work, you earn money and that’s it.

For The Company

Pay your interns properly, since many students can’t effort a living while doing an unpaid internship. Somehow any intern causes costs, that’s true. But if you prepare this repeating period of time properly, you can shrink these costs to a minimum. Tell your interns how to prepare, what kind of software they should check before starting, help them find a flat to avoid long daily traveling… If you won’t pay the interns, somebody else will and will also get a higher quality of applicants + there is no better future employee than the one who knows he will be payed fairly.

 

4. FEEDBACK

For Interns

Ask for feedback after you finished a big project or at the end of your internship. Do not only ask your boss. Ask as many competent colleagues as possible what they think of your work and you as a person. And ask them to be honest. If you are good at something, you should know that. If you suck at something, you should definitely know that too. The most valuable think you can pull out of an internship isn’t necessarily the amount of projects or the actual work experience…it is the knowledge about your progress. If you understand how you became better you will figure out how to evolve even further.

For The Company

Ask for feedback at the end of the internship. Find out how your intern thought about your company at the start and how he thinks about it at the end. Cause it will differ. Ask him how to improve. He sometimes thinks almost the same way as your employees do + there is no better future employee than the one who dares to tell you the truth.

 

5. DON’T DO TO MUCH INTERNSHIPS

For Interns

Yes, internships are important and they show you how everything works. But, even if you do proper work and all your former employers are totally satisfied with, it still is an internship and no match to an actual job. There is a particular moment you need to stop doing internships. If you are older than the most other students, if you have finished your studies long ago or if you already had multiple internships before, you have to stop doing internships for your career’s sake.
Because internships only exist to learn, teach and work on a low cost level and therefore they are not equal to actual work experience. So make sure you finish your internships with everything you need to start as a full-fledged designer.

For the company

Before you hire an intern, make sure this intern really is on an intern level. Because it is just wrong to pay someone an intern salary, if he actually deserves more. This will cause a negative image which you will not get rid of so easily again. Your employees, your clients, your competitors will always remember that and probably spread that + there is no worse future employee than the one who thinks he would do better somewhere else.

 

What is important to you when it comes to internships? Leave a comment and let us know. Stay tireless.

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