Internship Advice

Hello Graphic Design Forum,

I am starting an internship over my Christmas break from college and I am seeking some advice on how to be a “good little intern.”
The person I will be interning for works with a homeschool organization that brings homeschoolers together and puts them on different sports teams they prefer. This spans from junior high to high school.
I have already received a small portion of a brief about what I will be doing with him, however, my question to the forum is as follows, what would you recommend me doing in order to get the most out of this internship as well as impress the person I will be working for?
To add to this, if you have had any interns yourself or been an intern anything you learned from either experience would be awesome as well.

Thanks so much!

Is the person you will be working for also a designer? Someone who can act as a mentor to you? That is the most important question to ask to determine what you’ll get out of an internship.

I’ve had interns here and there that have run the gamut from overly enthusiastic to deadwood. The best ones have a good amount of self-direction but not to the point of going too far down the wrong road before asking questions. I’m always open to questions before the mess happens rather than after. But I work in a production environment - not so much design, but a whole lot of doing, LOL.

Ask questions. If you don’t understand something, or don’t have a clear path, ask questions. If you don’t know a process, or don’t know your media specs, ask questions. Yeah, the internet is there, but if you have a mentor, make use of them. They’ve been-there-done-that. No sense in reinventing the wheel.

If you don’t have a mentor, the best advice I have is “Think Finishing before Beginning.” Always know what your final design goal is and get all the information you can on how to do your work to bring about the most success in its final presentation.


PrintDriver has given you some incredibly solid advice.

In the event you don’t have experience in your presence, expect a bit of a bumpy road. Not every piece is going to be precisely what the employer requests, whether it be not-yet in your wheelhouse or skill set yet, or the employers inability to communicate his/her wishes effectively.

Just be open about what can, or cannot be done. Communication will be very important.

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This. Hopefully you have a supervisor who can provide design expertise, and this isn’t a situation where a company is just looking to get some stuff designed for free. Internships should be a meaningful extension of your learning experience.

Additional advice: always show up a few minutes before before you are scheduled to start, don’t leave until you are scheduled to, and don’t start screwing around with your schedule. Be consistent and reliable. The worst interns are the ones who give off a vibe that they have other things they’d rather be doing.


Yes, the person I will be working for is a designer I am someone who seeks out someone with more experience to learn from to just go out there to a business with no one to lean on.

Also, I really appreciate your tips and advice from your experience. Thank you very much.

Fortunately enough I will have someone by my side with A LOT of experience in his field. Very much a “hardened veteran” in his area haha. I will most definitely be learning a lot from him.

The unfortunate part is due to COVID restrictions my internship has been deemed to all virtual. I will still be consistently zoom’ing and having meetings on what needs to get done but for the most part I will be on my own. I know this is not the norm, however, I am excited about it as I love working from home and find it easier to accomplish better work.

I did get lucky to find an internship in the sports sector of design which I am very excited to dive into so I will not have to worry about giving off anywhere close to that vibe. I will for certain keep that in mind whenever I do come across projects in the future where I find myself veering from them.

Thank you for your insight as well!

Hopefully you’re internship is a good learning experience as they should be. It could open doors for you and hopefully you get to know some of the people you work with.

I had an internship once and they came back to me as a paying client.

What is the old saying? Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!

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