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designsketch
 
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Joined: September 9th, 2017, 10:01 pm
I'm a recent grad who finally managed to land an industrial design internship. The company said that they *might* be able to hire me in a few months, depending on how things go.

Does anyone have any advice about how to be a great ID intern / a valuable coworker? This company seems like a really cool place and I want to do everything I can to try and stay there. Thanks in advance for any tips you have!

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yo
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When I was at frog I brought Quinn Huffstetler (https://www.behance.net/quinnhuffstetler/collections) on as an intern. I had an inter opening, he had been out of school and working at a firm but applied anyway. I told him I couldn't make any promises about it turning into more and he told me he didn't care, just wanted the opportunity to prove himself. A few weeks in it became evident that he was worth his weight in gold and I began the process of politicking hard to convert him to full time. Before the 3 month span of the internship was over I was able to bring him on full time.

What did he do that convinced me so quickly to do this:

1) took every possible task as an opportunity to over deliver no matter what
2) got to work early, left late
3) took the time to get to know leadership and understand what we needed

All of these things made it easy to convince the company to open up a headcount for him

I also recommend you be clear with your expectations. Ask for a review at the 3 or 4 month mark and ask for the opportunity to be made a full time employee at that time. Putting in a little extra isn't bad as long as you get what you need in return.

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bepster
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Michael is offering great advice.
Being on the job and hungry is important and you'll find that the designers around you will gladly share their skills and experience if you are showing willingness to learn.

What I would also like to add is to find a balance.
Let the prospect of a fulltime hiring motivate you but not paralyze you. It can feel daunting. It certainly did for me.
The important part is to just push through that and to show that you fit well with the team.

For me and a bunch of other interns at the agency that hired me after an internship, it was the fact I "won" a project.
In other words, my concept was selected by the design director and the client.
If that happened during your internship, it usually meant you were being kept on.

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yo
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Good point. You don't want to be overly aggressive and turning everything into a "see, you should hire me" moment. You don't want to be a happy dog barking at their heels. Just do more than is expected humbly, check in, and try to fit in as part of the team.

When I have been assessing people in these situations I look for what I call "new guy smell". I worked with a designer for years who never shed that "new guy smell". Other designers came in and clicked and just got how we worked and he was still asking where the bathroom was. If you can shed that ned guy feeling as intern that would be a huge step.


Good advice from Han:



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