What Interns Really Want

Posted by Eliza Williams, 13 July 2010

A recent CR blog post requested advice for new graduates and interns about how to navigate the world of work. But what about advice for employers in return? As part of their final project at LCC, graduates Paul Cooke & Jemma Mackle created Mind The Gap, which includes ten pieces of advice for employers from interns…

The Mind The Gap project saw various design and ad industry figures give advice to graduating students, but its final pages were devoted to a 10 point plan of what creative interns would like from employers. They make for interesting reading…

For young creatives the basics to a good internship are being in a place that allows them to prove themselves whilst learning the trade. Every student wants the chance to show what they’re about and feel part of the team.

Many students would like more insight in terms of being present with designers/creatives when they attend or conduct meetings so that they can observe how people in the industry interact and work with each other.

What interns find really beneficial is if the studio regularly informs them about current projects and spends a couple of minutes updating them and going through work with them.

Always try to get interns working on live projects rather than setting intern briefs, even if the work is sometimes monotonous or simply researching. The most rewarding internships are the ones where students feel they have contributed to something ‘real’.

The question of money is always a difficult one. Covering costs makes doing the internship more possible, but contributing towards the interns’ time will also make them feel valued, resulting in more commitment and a better work ethic.

Young creatives want to soak up as much information as possible, whilst interning they would like the team to be helpful and proactive when they have questions or problems.

Structure in an internship is very important. Students often find working for free offers little reward, but as with college, having deadlines and grades to achieve is rewarding. They feel it would be beneficial to be mentored so that it is clear what they are doing right, and what they need to work on.

To avoid any embarrassing mishaps, interns would like agencies to spell out what is expected of them; what time it’s OK to go home/have lunch etc.

A brief introduction to everyone on the team will make the intern feel much more comfortable and less hesitant to ask questions and get involved.

One of the advantages of doing internships is the opportunity it creates for students to build relationships. Without suggesting the need to hold their hands, students appreciate the effort made to introduce them to other creative professionals and develop their contacts.

For more info on Mind The Gap, visit the blog, at

Source: Permalink


1 Response to “What Interns Really Want”

  1. July 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    nice post. thanks.

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