Is a design internship worth it?

May 12, 2017

A design internship is meant to give you experience into the world of design, but is it actually worth it?

My name is Ryan Hayward. I’m a 16-year-old high school student with a huge amount of passion for graphic design. A few months ago I contacted the Light Creative team seeking a five-day design internship, which I just finished.

I’m going to take you through my journey, and answer the question that started this story: is a design internship worth it?

After five days in an uber-cool office with a bunch of passionate people, I realised that you gain so much more knowledge and experience doing an internship than you would ever get in a classroom. Most of my daily routine involves sitting in a classroom, listening to someone talk about something that I’ll probably forget within the next hour. But my week at Light Creative was different. I mean, what classroom has a ping-pong table and a pool table?

The team got me to work straight away. They introduced me to software that they use on a day-to-day basis, and gave me lessons on content marketing. They even taught me their processes when dealing with clients, working with print media, and so many more tips and tricks along the way.

One of the most beneficial things I received from my week working with Light Creative, were the connections I made. Light Creative works out of their very own co-working space for creative professionals. Every day I met someone new. Whether they were a photographer or a web developer, they were someone with years of experience who loved their job, mostly.

Before I knew it, my list of LinkedIn connections doubled!

I’ve done several design courses at my school and am currently doing a VCE design course. But compared to my week as a design intern at Light Creative, my courses seem useless now. At school, they don’t teach you the actual skills you need in a graphic design career. They teach you stuff like how to spray paint. True story.

But back to my original question. Is a design internship worth it? The answer is, without a doubt, yes! The two most important things you need to succeed are experience and good connections. So if you’re thinking of doing a design internship, let me leave you with one message. Use every minute to your advantage, because you’ll learn so much more than you ever would if you stayed in school.

Ryan is a 16-year-old web designer, who runs his own business while studying. He's one to watch! Check out his work here.

Light Creative is a Melbourne-based creative, content, and digital agency.