The Importance of Practical Internships: A Q&A with SunSpin Media’s Spring 2022

The Importance of Practical Internships: A Q&A with SunSpin Media’s Spring 2022

A Q&A with SunSpin Media’s Spring 2022 Graphic Design Interns

The internship program at SunSpin Media has been helping students in need of a hands-on experience in the professional world for many semesters. I sat down with our Spring 2022 Graphic Design interns to get a feel for how their experience is going so far, the difference between school and an internship, and advice for future interns entering our program.

K: What has been your favorite part of the internship, so far?

A: My favorite part of the internship has been coming in each morning and working on real-world projects. It has also been great to meet other graphic designers that share the same passion for design that I do. I look forward to getting as much professional experience as possible to prepare me for a career in graphic design.

J: My favorite part of the internship so far has been creating graphics for Your HWHS magazine. Having the ability to create something that is actually being used, while being given creative freedom with each submission is something I feel very privileged to be able to do. Not a lot of places allow you as much creative freedom in regards to the work you do.

R: My favorite part of the internship so far has been being able to take everything I have learned so far through college and personal interest, and getting to apply it. Seeing everything I’ve learned and worked on come to life in a professional atmosphere and being put out into the public is very fulfilling. Also I have to mention the environment, being able to be surrounded by and working alongside other creative people has been a great experience.

T: My favorite part of the internship so far has been getting real life experience in the field of graphic design. Being able to sit in on meetings with clients in a professional setting has been one of the most beneficial aspects of this internship to me so far.

K: What is a difference between campus education & internship education?

A: The main difference between campus education and internship education is not having to juggle multiple college courses. I’m also working on real-world projects at my internship whereas at college I was working on projects that tried to mimic real-world projects. Also, there are no exams or ten page papers to write at my internship.

J: A difference between campus education and internship education is that the things we learned on campus helped strengthen our general understanding of how to use many different programs and art forms, and how to use them successfully, while internship education builds off the skills we were taught on campus by pinpointing specific aspects of these skills, as well as how to use these skills from a business perspective.

R: The main difference I find between my campus education and internship education, is the way in which projects are directed and how skills are applied. In college, projects were more often directed by learning a new skill, and being sure to apply it within the design. Versus in internship education it’s more taking everything you have learned overall and applying what you feel necessary to complete your projects.

T: An internship education is different from a campus education because of the environment. There is more self sufficiency and time management needed with an internship education. There’s also more collaboration with finishing projects in a team setting, opposed to working on your own individual projects in an academic environment.  I get to take all the skills I’ve learned prior and fully apply them to what I’m currently working on, while having creative freedom to execute the projects.

K If you could give advice to or feedback to incoming interns, what would it be?

A: My advice to future interns would be to work on improving your skills as much as possible, even on off days. The more time you put in designing the better you will become. I would also tell them to analyze as much of the design work around them throughout the day as possible to help develop their eye. Analyze the branding of businesses as you walk down the street or typography on the cereal box in the morning. It will help you think of ideas when you are starting new projects and help you better distinguish what is working and what isn’t. From composition to typography, there is a lot to be learned from your everyday surroundings. Think of your brain as a design database. The larger that database is, the more information you’ll be able to pull from it during your design process.

J: Never be afraid to ask for feedback on your work. Having the opportunity to get feedback on your work is important because a majority of the time, it improves the overall quality of your work. Also make sure to pace yourself while doing your work. When you rush through things, the overall quality of your work is sacrificed.

R: I would tell incoming interns to approach it with confidence, and do their best not to be nervous. Come in, do your best and never be ashamed to ask for help or an opinion. I also would give the advice of letting yourself get excited, getting to take this first big step into your career and away from college feels incredible.

T: The advice I would give to incoming interns is to be confident when coming into a new workspace. Be open to learning new skills and take on anything that seems challenging. An internship is a great space to expand your still set while having guidance on projects and working collaboratively.

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