As opposed to finding one a lot sooner, like in one’s third year? I am just a bit worried that if I can’t find an internship this summer (I am a 3rd year student) or if I don’t feel ready for one because I don’t have enough good work accumulated, can I postpone it until my last year, right before I graduate? I know for sure, from what I have read online, that one has a better chance of gaining employment if one has had an internship. I was thinking of preparing a portfolio to send out to nab one this summer, but I think that I am not ready.
51 views and not one reply? Anyone?
Get as many internships as you can. The experience of working in a professional environment is invaluable.
Much like the different activities you conduct as part of your design process, internships are NOT and should not be regarded as a box to check off. It is about the learning and advancing your knowledge and practice of your craft. Get out there, get as much work as you can pre-grad, you will most likely learn as much at an internship as you would in 2-3 times as much time in the classroom, the focus will be more real world applicable so balance that with your theoretical and academic development, nut do NOT wait! If you think you’re behind now and not ready, then you will be even further behind if you wait.
Apply for all the internships you can find. Even if you aren’t ready, you will hopefully gain some feedback from professionals on what to adjust in your portfolio to get yourself more prepared.
Most companies want someone in between their 3rd and 4th year. Internships after you graduate are less common because many students are looking for full time employment, but they are there.
You should also consider how much broader your network gets from Internships…
Getting to know people in the biz, gives you a great head start in the hunt for a job, as long as you do your best and work hard while interning.
Thanks guys! That was all very valuable information! I feel that since I am a bit behind in my Adobe and 3d modelling skills (which I have been practicing a lot lately and doing Lynda.com tutorials), I felt I should get better (at least intermediate level) before applying for an internship. That is where my weaknesses lie… my rendering and sketching skills are up to par.
Also, I feel like I have one GREAT project to show for and the others are sorta weak, hence why I also felt I didn’t have enough good work to send away. I guess I can put together a portfolio of a few pieces, including the weak ones and see what happens. I guess I wanted to wait until my forth year because I felt by then, I should have BETTER pieces to show.
On a slightly different, but related, note. It is never too late to get an internship. I got my first internship one and a half years after graduating. I wish i had applied for internships while in college. I had to work to afford college and was miss informed that internships would get in the way of that. Ironically my internship payed better than my college job. Any way the point is get an internship as soon as possible but it is also never too late to find one, so dont give up thinking opportunity has passed you by.
Thanks for relating your personal experience. I thought long and hard about it and since this semester is a busy one and I won’t have enough time to put a portfolio together, I will apply for internships during my 4th year. I will also work on my 3D modeling skills (alias and Solidworks) and also Adobe cs4 during the summer…when I am not bogged down by schoolwork. I have pulled up a few internship postings on Coroflot and they all ask for what it seems to be intermediate skills in those areas, hence why I will wait until my last year when I am more ready.
Your expectations are to WAAAAAY to high!!!
The point of an internship is to learn, not to be the master. Just go out there and do it. Make the coffee and make photocopies if you don’t have the skillz yet.
If you feel that your portfolio isn’t nailed yet, just tell people you want to do admin work and watch how the business works. You’ll learn a HUGE amount, probably make a few bucks…and having some experience will make getting a prestigious forth year internship a piece of cake.
I don’t get it, why wait? Makes no sense to me, just apply. If you don’t get it, you are in no worse shape than you are in right now.
Email all the firms in your area and say your interested in their work. Say you’d love to learn their design process and then (later) mention that you would like to do an internship. Many settled designers are very generous with students. Oh, and get a portfolio website down first.