In 2022 there are so many different ways you can start, learn and grow as a graphic designer. Many are self-taught, some get a lucky gig with their mum’s friend’s uncle’s agency or you go through the classic university route. I fall under the latter, which is still the majority in terms of career progression and a very good head start for employability. In this blog post I cover how I got to this point as an intern at Make Studio, what I am getting out of it and what my plans are for the future.
I’ll keep this first bit brief, as although very formative in my passion for design, my two-year A-level course in Graphic Design ended in a Covid train crash and was seen as only a stepping stone to get into university. I applied to Arts University Bournemouth because of the quality of the course, the location and the welcoming atmosphere the campus radiates. My application was soon accepted and I moved to Bournemouth in September of 2020, which timed perfectly with the lifting of lockdown restrictions. However, we quickly went back to square one and I spent the second lockdown inside a 14-story building during the majority of winter (an experience I wouldn’t recommend).
Once things returned to normal my university experience improved and I started to have an amazing time– meeting new people, working in the studio and sharing new ideas felt like what I signed up for, helping me recover from the awkward transition stage of my first year. Curriculum wise, my second year focused on getting us out of our comfort zones. We were encouraged to work in groups to improve our teamwork skills, have client interactions and respond to live briefs, learn motion graphics and present our own branding projects and campaigns.
Throughout the year our course leader Alice Stevens was a great mentor in sharing insights in our career options– showcasing both local and London agencies and making us ask the question… “where would you see yourself being?” At the time I didn’t have an answer, but after researching the topic and attending career events I found myself gravitating towards a smaller design agency. I felt there was more opportunity to contribute when in a smaller team, not only as an intern but also as a qualified graphic designer. A lot of people undervalue the skillset students have and I was excited for the chance to showcase what I’ve learnt in a working studio environment.
During a portfolio review event, I met Andy and Sammy from Make Studio. We got along very well and I received some great feedback. After exchanging contact details, I was invited to the studio to meet the founders Chris and Carla, where they offered me a summer internship. I was very grateful for the opportunity and from the get go I felt like a valued part of the team. As soon as I started I worked on live client projects and joined in on problem solving and general research. I’ve been able to see how projects are started, organised, developed and presented in my time being here and it’s given me invaluable experience that I don’t think I would have been able to get this fast anywhere else.
This internship has also boosted my confidence in terms of where I stand as a student going into my third year. As much as success and getting good grades at university is amazing, talking about your work and receiving positive feedback in a professional setting made me feel appreciated as a graphic designer. My experience at Make Studio has got the creative juices flowing and has given me the best start as I enter my third year.
Once I have graduated from university, I will definitely be looking for a similar environment with a tight-knit team where my skills and work are appreciated. An agency where I can grow as a designer and learn more about the industry. I have loved my time here at Make Studio and I’m looking forward to continuing this great opportunity and seeing where it takes me.
Finally, I’d like to give a big thank you to Chris, Sammy and Andy for giving me this great opportunity and showing me the ropes. Another big thank you goes out to Matt, Carla, May, Fletcher, Rosa and Jose for all being really welcoming and helpful during my time here.