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Old Aug 30, 2006, 04:32 AM   #1
ATD
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Design Intern

I'm going to lecture at a local university tomorrow, while I'm there I might look into taking on an intern. I was never an intern and I have never taken one on but I thought I would get it a shot. Lately I have gotten so busy I'm turning down work, I could use the help. The one thing I will be looking for is the right candidate, someone who is moving in the same direction and can some skills to the table. I'm not looking at this as a position that needs to be filled, I want it to work for both parties.

Have any of you been an intern or hired one? Any advice? Stories?


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Old Aug 30, 2006, 08:03 AM   #2
tobefirst
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I interned for a small advertising agency in a smallish city in Missouri. Internships are really all over the board and can consist of pretty much anything the agency wants them to be.

For me, I spent probably 15 hours per week there, and only my billable hours were paid, and at a very low rate. My work consisted mainly of comps which the main designer (singular...very small firm) would use to create the finished product. I think that I personally got to actually design 2-3 pieces over the semester that were produced the way I designed them.

I also went on a couple of photoshoots and watched how that process goes.

I'd say mine was a decent experience, and helped me get familiar with the day-to-day job of designing.

But really, ATD, it can be anything you want it to be...or anything you and your protegé decide on. Keep in mind that some of the time you spend productively now will be spent helping the intern get adjusted to his or her surroundings– answering questions that you know the answer to because you've used the printer before, you know the filing system that you've created...as well as technical questions that the intern doesn't know simply because of lack of experience.

I honestly wouldn't expect to be able to take on all that much more work, especially at first, and maybe not more than one or two pieces over the course of the internship. However, I think the experience will be most valuable as a way to give back to the design community, and as a way to learn more about yourself in the process.

Good luck, and, judging by your portfolio, your intern will learn a ton about great design!
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 10:31 AM   #3
ChicoWeb
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I've looked for the same things myself. I guess it depends on what school is near you. I've made applications available at some near by schools for internships and I really never had anyone come in that had enough talent or even a foundation for it. I just look for contractors now and I still have a hard time finding them. I do have someone who does content population and misc things that took my design time away...Could be another idea for you.
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 12:35 PM   #4
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I did a 2 month internship, professionally it didn't help me very much just cuz the company wasn't really busy and thus I didn't have much to sink my teeth into.

However educationally it was insanely useful. I learned more in 2 months there than the previous 6 months of school
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 12:50 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies guys. I sure I will have to put in a good deal of time into to bringing someone along. I have hired grads fulltime in the past when I was the Creative Director for a design studio and I did have to spend time with them. I would like to hire someone but my workloads are bit erratic still. It's that Catch 22, I can't grow my business without getting help but if I get help I'm going to have to find work for them. I'll give the Intern thing a shot and see if it's workable.


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Old Sep 2, 2006, 06:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATD
I would like to hire someone but my workloads are bit erratic still. It's that Catch 22, I can't grow my business without getting help but if I get help I'm going to have to find work for them.
I get the impression that you'd be better off going into partnership with someone, rather than trying to take on either an intern or a grad at this moment in time.
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Old Sep 2, 2006, 12:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by iGav
I get the impression that you'd be better off going into partnership with someone, rather than trying to take on either an intern or a grad at this moment in time.

In the long run you are right, talks are on the table for that as well. But I'm willing to try this once. What I do is very specialized, I would have to train someone either way. I have taken on talented designers from the general design pool but I'm getting a little tired of paying a full wage AND training people. I took on a fresh grad with no work experience about 10 years ago (when I was at another studio) and trained him, he's now creative director for a large design studio. It can work. One of the firms in my area has been snagging interns/grads for years from the school I graduated from and lecture at with very good success. I have only had my own shop for 3 years now, I was freelancing or fulltime for all the years before. I want to lock down my client base better before I go changing my business model in a big way. I have seen way too many crash and burns.


How's the type collection coming? If I get a intern and they have nothing to do I'll send them your way


Last edited by ATD; Sep 2, 2006 at 12:38 PM.
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