Gaining experience in graphic design through work experience and internships is highly recommended in this competitive field. Not only will you be able to talk about projects you have worked on and expertise you have gained through these placements in letters of application and an interview, but you will also be able to use your placement supervisor or mentor as a referee.
As a graphic designer, it is essential to build up your portfolio of work, which you can add to from the projects you have completed during an internship. Most placements will offer you the chance to be involved in actual work for the company. Be sure to collect evidence of the work you have done and add this to your portfolio.
Where to Find Graphic Design Internships
Most internships advertised will be at agencies; others will be based at publishing houses, government organizations, media companies, design groups, and tech companies. The best websites to search for current internship opportunities in graphic design are:
A website aimed at connecting, hiring and inspiring professionals and companies in the creative fields. Use ‘intern’ in the keyword search box to find out about current opportunities. Top brands, such as Burberry, IBM, and Walt Disney advertise their opportunities here.
This website, located at www.campaignlive.co.uk, offers a job search function, featured recruiters/employers and career advice for roles in marketing, advertising, creative and media. The only downside of this site is that there is no option to search specifically for internships, so you may need to do some trawling.
Features the latest news from the field of graphic design. The ‘How I Got Here’ section of the website provides insightful stories from professional creatives looking back on their careers, providing some interesting advice for newbies in the field.
Design Jobs Board
This website posts new positions across the creative industry. Use the filter function to search specifically for internships. Most positions posted here are based in London.
Design Week Jobs
Another job search website focused on the creative field. Here you can search jobs by type and location but there is no specific filter for internships, so again it will take you a while to look through all of the available options within a sector to find these. There is, however, also an option to upload your CV to the website in order to connect with potential employers.
A London based recruitment firm supporting people looking for positions in design. They have partnered with many organizations in the field, including ITV, Conran + Partners, DesignBridge and jkr. There is a job search function available. Alternatively, contact the agency directly to see how they may be able to support you to find and secure the right internship.
Rate My Placement
This website provides an opportunity for you to read feedback from students who have undertaken placements at various design companies. Top reviews on the site, for graphic design internships, are for the role of Intern Designer at Adobe, Homeware Design Intern at Marks & Spencer and Graphic Design Intern at Free Holdings.
As with other industries, you are strongly recommended also to contact companies directly.
Graphic Design Internships Abroad
Many graphic design students may dream of working in New York, Milan, Tokyo or Paris. Most of the top graphic design jobs around the world are based in large, vibrant cities, much like the UK, where many of the roles are based in London. Competition for graphic design internships in these cities will be extremely high, but if you have your eyes set on working for the top companies in the field, then applying for these internships is highly recommended.
There are, however, many worthwhile opportunities available in other cities around the world, and they may be a little more attainable, and affordable while you are there. Cities, such as Berlin, Cape Town, and Rio are upcoming cities in this field. Think carefully about the experience that you want to gain and how it will help you to achieve your future career goals before embarking on an internship abroad.
The best thing about graphic design internships is that they are available in a range of companies all around the world and they are, generally, pretty flexible. The placements last typically from 2-6 months. In terms of working hours, you can often choose to work part-time (from as little as 10 hours per week) or full time (40 hours per week). There are also opportunities for paid internships in graphic design globally, though salaries will differ depending on location.
Some international internships in graphic design allow you to gain work experience whilst also gaining academic credit to contribute to your studies. As with all placements, you will be growing your professional network, developing your skills and gaining crucial experience to support your later job applications. If you are interested in working abroad after graduation, then an international internship may be the right choice for you.
Where to Find International Graphic Design Internships
A website specializing in offering internship placements in creative industries in London, New York, Hong Kong, and Berlin. Available for those currently enrolled as a student or recent graduates (within the last 12 months). This company requires payment of $2950 to provide internship placement, personalized coaching, travel support and a ready-made network of professionals to help you on your career path.
ELI Abroad is a not-for-profit organization that helps thousands of young people travel abroad each year for internships and placements. The company offers internships in multiple locations around the world, including Kenya, Morocco, Bali, Nepal, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Mexico, and Peru, as well as several European countries. To take part in their ready-made internship programs, there is a cost. This differs depending on the country you choose to work in, and details of this can be found on their website.
Undergraduate Internship/Co-Op Program – Cartographer, Editor, Graphic or Interactive Designer
CIA is invited applicants to participate in its Internship/Co-Op Program available in the field of Cartographer, Editor, Graphic or Interactive Designer. This position is full time, paid and based in Washington, DC. All interested candidates should be full-time students pursuing an undergraduate degree in an applicable field. This intern will be responsible for conceptualizing, designing and producing visual solutions for a wide variety of formats and dissemination outputs.
Provided By: CIA
Graphic Design/Brand Internship
Zoom is glad to inform that it is now offering students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field of graphic design through its exciting internship. The program is open in San Jose, CA. During this internship, interns will work closely with the marketing team to evolve the consistency of the brand across a range of platforms.
Provided By: Zoom
Graphic Design & Communications Intern
Lockheed Martin is currently accepting resumes for the vacant position of Graphic Design & Communications Intern. This is a part-time position based in Bethesda, MD. The applicants who are majoring in a course of study related to design, marketing, communications or similar are invited to apply. In this program, interns will work closely with the Asc. Manager, early career workforce operations to translate messaging concepts into marketing materials.
Provided By: Lockheed Martin
Virtue Graphic Design Intern – Summer 2019
Vice is now looking for bright, passionate and hardworking individuals for its Summer 2019 Virtue Graphic Design Intern program. This paid position is 10 weeks long in duration and is based in Virtue Brooklyn, NY. In order to be part of this opportunity, you must be enrolled in an undergraduate program in a related field or equivalent work experience.
Provided By: Vice
Duration: 10 weeks
Graphic Design Intern – Summer 2019
Spark Group has an amazing opening for the position of Summer 2019 Graphic Design Intern. The position is located in New York, NY. The right candidate should be well versed in the Adobe suite, specifically Photoshop, illustrator, and design. In return, you will gain valuable experience and training in the world of digital marketing and design for business.
Provided By: Spark Group