Graduate looking for an Internship


I have noticed that many of the job listings for internships are primarily aimed towards undergraduate students. I just graduated however, and unfortunately I don’t have much field experience, which is why I’m not trying to jump straight into a junior ID position.

Does anyone know if it harder for someone who has graduated to find an internship? Or maybe should I just try applying for some Junior level positions? I feel like my skills are adequate, and school has prepared me somewhat. But without actual experience, I am very hesitant to start applying for a real position.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Hey Nyle_Miura,

In my experience, larger corporations seek interns that are still in school, while smaller consultancies don’t pay much attention. If anything, I’d say smaller consultancies prefer someone who has graduated or is close to graduation so that they can train you then hire you. Nike is one of the bigger exceptions I’ve seen where in design they seem to prefer graduated students (conversely, they only accept current students in departments outside of design).

What sort of companies are you looking to join? It’s worth mentioning that you’re going to have a difficult time if you’re only reacting and responding to formal listings. I recommend making a list of 3-5 companies that you want to work for and be proactive in trying to open doors with them. People are much more willing to respond and react to your work when you pick them as a company you want to work for, rather than you picking the job listing and competing with thousands of other applicants flooding their inboxes. This route may take longer to find a job, but I think the upfront research of looking for companies will lead to a better fit for you and your future employer. On the topic of Jr. level vs. Intern, apply for both, it sounds like you’re open minded which is a good mindset to have!

Hope that helps,

I will echo what Aaron said, and I would be curious if the intern after school is common in the footwear industry. I only say this because someone who I graduated with got an internship at Puma right out of school, and went onto getting hired.

Hey Nyle_Miura

I totally agree with everything apowers said above. Most firms in San Francisco / Bay Area prefer to take people on as intern-to-hire, especially if you’re coming straight out of school with limited to no prior internship experiences. What’s great about this relationship is that you’re able to feel out the firm before fully committing, visa versa.

That being said, have you had prior internships? That will be a deciding factor if you should be going after full-time versus internship openings. From my personal experience and industry knowledge, it’s rare that a place will take someone on full-time without at least an internship or two under their belt.

Another great way to get your name out there is to post your portfolio on the forums here or create a Behance account. I was able to land an internship at frog, which turned into my first full-time gig, through Ditullo after posting my stuff here shortly after I graduated. Honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made in my career post graduation, haha…


Thank you for the reply!

Yeah I’m pretty open-minded! I can’t afford to be too picky at this point. Ideally, I would probably be most comfortable at a small-medium sized consultancy. But I also would take the chance at corporate if someone offered!

And yes! I have made a small list of companies I wanted to reach out to. My portfolio isn’t quite ready, but I’m currently working on it while doing some graphic design work for a friend’s company. How would you suggest I reach out to these other firms? E-mail? Linkedin? (I’m not too familiar with Linkedin etiquette).

If it helps, here is my website as it stands currently. Like I said, it isn’t complete, but these are the projects I’m working with at the moment.

I recommend getting rid of the shorts section and putting all 5 projects on the main page. Only having 3 projects, and one says “coming soon” is just not really enough content to judge the portfolio. I also recommend adding a resume.

No I haven’t had any real ID internships. I have been working at a friend’s company for a little while doing graphic and packaging design. But honestly I was hesitant to put it on my resume because of how ugly the website is. I’m basically the only person there who has any design experience, and although I want to help them out as much as possible, I want to leave soon in order to do what is best for my career.

Looks like I’ll be primarily focusing on finding an internship first! If you or anyone else is curious, I posted a link to my website above! It isn’t complete, but that’s what I have been working on in my free time. And I’m hoping to start sending out applications and work inquiries as soon as I am happy with it.