I am an spanish guy who finished university a couple of months ago. The point is that I would like to do an Intership but here in spain you need an agreement between University, you and Studio where university pay a part of your contract, kind of insurance or something like this. In spanish the part that university pay is called “seguridad social”.

I would like to know how it works in the other countries and how should I ask to the studios to have an intership? Till two months ago I worked for a whole year in an Innovation Lab as an intership in Barcelona and now I am really interested to see other ways to work in a studio and get experience as industrial designer.

So, what should I need and do to get an intership? Is it necessary to study at the same time or with a finished degree is ok?
I hope you can understand what I mean. Looking forward your answers. Thank you so much.


If it’s tied in with school, it’s usually called a coop and you get credits for it and sometimes (but not always) get a little money. If not then intern (sometimes paid but sometimes not). At least the ones I’ve seen, you just apply like a regular design job.

From my experience, internships are generally for people still enrolled in school, or those that are planning on going back. It isn’t uncommon however for interns to be graduates as well, so education shouldn’t matter that much. However, if you’re a graduate CO-OP isn’t an option.

Most internships are paid however much (usually not much…) and you’ve gotta be careful to tread around the delicate subject of unpaid internships. They can be a great way to get experience with a firm that can’t afford to bring anyone else on, but in my opinion, and most in the industry, they are frowned upon, devalue design, and could be illegal.

Here’s an interesting article from the New York Times that may have been posted elsewhere discussing that very subject.

I’ve learned my lesson…I will never have anyone do an internship or co-op without paying them…no matter how much they want it.

There is not only a reward for work rendered that I believe is fair, but it is leverage. You can’t give someone grief for crappy work, or not working hard enough if they aren’t paid. Basically, I believe all work has value.

To answer the original question, our company pays the student for the work. We have to conduct periodic reviews with a University liason toensure they are doing suitable work because they get credit towards graduation for work rendered.

hot topic. I have done three internships, 1 of them paid. Pretty well actually. This was for a consultancy in the US.
The other two, one in the US and one in the UK, sprung a metro card and maybe lunch and were in the furniture studio segment.

There is no doubt, an intern who works well and on par with the fulltimers should be paid but that is not the reality of the furniture/ milan style design business, while for consultancies this is common practice.
I see your point regarding leverage but honestly if an employer has to put the screws on an intern to get him to work better through money, that intern doesn’t seem too interested in his career. It should be in the interest of the intern to do as well as he possibly can. Salary or no salary.

Time is also a factor here. If you are interning longer than 3 months, yes, I think payment is a must.

first thank your for your help.

then, I’ve done also one intership for an year and pretty good paid aswell. However, was the company who came to my university to pick up one student and I was the lucky one. So, now I am in a different situation. I have finished Uni (that as I read is not a problem to get an intership) and also it’s me who is looking for. But the thing is, I’ve read one nice document about internships:

Here it’s says about send some examples about my work. What is better, send just a Cv or send the CV with kind of website or link where i have my portfolio? I am not so good with dreamweaver or flash. So what are the better ways to show my portfolio? Coroflot? send a pdf? issue? or is better to do not send any work and just have the interview with my print portfolio?

Thank you so much. I’ll consider all your advices.