Katey's Tips and Tricks to a Successful Internship | AJ Ross Creative Media
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4 weeks Ago By / AJ Ross Staff

Katey’s Tips and Tricks to a Successful Internship

“Ahh you’ve done it! You’ve got your dream internship. You’ve been working towards a career in design, and this is one step closer to your goal. But wait! What if you fail? What if you can’t do it?”

As I stepped through the door at AJ Ross Creative Media, I had so many thoughts racing through my head. I was excited to get started and learn, but quite nervous about what was to come. I had taken classes and studied design on my own time, but I had never had any “real world” experience before. I didn’t know what to expect as an intern…

Let’s fast forward to eight weeks later. I have gained so much knowledge and experience already in such a short period of time, but to be honest, I have only scratched the surface.

Here are some important tips I’ve learned throughout this journey so far:

1. ASK QUESTIONS!

This is probably one of the most important things to remember in an internship and in life in general as I’m sure everyone has heard this at least once or twice. Pretending to understand what is being discussed or what is being asked of you is not beneficial to your growth as a person or as a designer. Asking questions is the only way to learn and improve yourself and your work. It helps you understand the information and the task at hand more thoroughly. Even if you think your question is stupid, ask it anyways. Teachers used to say, “There is no such thing as a stupid question,” and I believe that to be true especially in this type of environment… I mean how else are you going to learn. My current internship has provided me with a constructive and positive learning environment where it is okay to ask questions no matter what the question may be. Once I started asking more questions, my work and my understanding of design has improved immensely. Even if I have to ask the same question more than once, as long as I am able to comprehend the current content and successfully complete my assignment, I am very happy and start to gain more confidence in my skills.

 

2. Ask for feedback

I know this is very similar to the first tip, but I feel like these 2 tips go hand in hand. As you are working on a project, I think it is very important to take a step back and ask a co-worker for feedback and advice. Is there any place for improvement? How can my project become the best it can be? Asking for feedback helps make the most out of your experience and your project as you may have missed an important detail. It will help you become the best designer you can possibly be.

 

3. Don’t get discouraged

When mistakes are made or a project isn’t your best work, it is very easy to be hard on yourself. I’ve struggled the most with this in my journey as an intern. This is an internship… you are here to learn, and mistakes are the best teachers for learning. Going into this experience, it is important to remember that you are just starting out with little to no experience in the “real world.” You are here to gain skills and experiences, learn from your mistakes, and improve yourself as a whole. Making mistakes is a part of the experience of being an intern.

 

4. Get involved & be proactive

As an intern, there may be times when you will feel like you don’t want to overstep your boundaries. Even though the company wants you to take an initiative, sometimes it can be terrifying to suggest a change or an improvement of the company website or a current project for a client. Let me be the first to say, even though you may be scared, do it anyway! If you have ideas, don’t be afraid to share them with your co-workers even if it takes writing them down or creating a rough draft in Adobe first. As you are hashing out your ideas, it will be very important to keep checking in and relay your process with your creative director in case you may be headed in a wrong decision. All of these factors will show that you are invested in the improvement and success of the company.

 

Keep these tips in mind as you start your own internship no matter where it may be. Even though I am currently at a design internship, I feel that these tips are universal and will help you make the most out of your experience as an intern. Even though there are times where you may want to quit or things may not go the way you expect, I encourage you to keep going and keep pushing forward. You will end up learning a lot about yourself and your goals especially if the internship you are currently at is something you are very passionate for. The skills and knowledge you will gain will benefit your future in a multitude of ways, and you will have a better understanding of a “real world” work environment.

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