We understand school is time and energy-consuming; however, if you have enough time left over after you complete your daily schooling, an internship while getting your Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design is a wonderful idea and well worth any time you invest. Education alone will not give you all of the valuable tools like an internship can provide to you. Anytime you have a chance to add hands-on experience to the equation, it is a “win-win”.
What do employers want to see when they hire a graphic designer? Your future employer will want to see an example of your work. A portfolio is a book, or it could be an online portfolio that you will have filled with your best work. If you do not have this type of work through an internship, you will only have school projects to show at your first interview. You should also look at this as a chance to see if you like this type work or if you should go another direction with your college studies.
Employers also like the fact that you learn several new skills while at your internship job that will help you compete at a higher level than someone fresh out of college. College courses will only give you an idea of what to expect while on the job. If you are not taking advantage of the internship experience, you miss out on the opportunity to work with a team to complete quality products, learn the lingo, and visualize the whole process. Being able to do your internship in graphic design will also open doors through new mentors that may have been doing graphic design for years. It is essential when you start in a new field that you have mentors that you can call up and ask questions.
You can be paid while doing your internship, although the pay is reduced some as compared to experienced designers with more experience. How much salary you earn depends on the location or state the job is in and who the employer is. You can expect the pay for an internship position to be in the twelve dollars per hour range. The good that comes from working through an internship also bleeds into the fact that there is a good possibility this company you intern for will hire you in as a member of one of their graphic designer teams. If the time comes and your internship comes to an end, and your company does not have an excellent open position ready for you, as long as you have done an exceptional job for the company, you have a perfect stepping stone in place. All this together will make a great looking resume when you go for that next interview.
Graphic design internships are out there and not that hard to find. First, you may want to check with your college-university to see if they know of internship positions in the local area around the college. Some colleges have established relationships with local companies and can help. We found several open positions for graphic designer interns just by looking on internet job boards.