As a student and expat, the more hands-on experience you can gain, the better! Graphic design internships are an excellent way for students to learn. It teaches you from inside the industry, rather than reading the information in a textbook. You do the work industry professionals perform daily during the internship's duration. It allows you to see how the industry works and gain invaluable knowledge of design work. Students can work together and learn from one another. It is an opportunity to get into the field and gain hands-on experience as a graphic designer.
Students get to network during their graphic design internships. They speak to industry experts and ask questions. The student can work with various departments and learn the intricacies of the industry. And, they can make mistakes without hurting their employer, since a professional is monitoring the work they’re doing. Start filling out your applications for those open internship positions this coming semester. It will truly prepare you for the work you’ll be doing in the industry. You’ll get an insider’s perspective of the work, and ultimately decide if it is the right industry for you!
How Graphic Design Internships Benefit Expat Students
Graphic design internships are highly beneficial for expats, and local students alike. They afford students the opportunity to learn from those who work in the industry. Students can ask questions and receive instruction from the best professionals in their field. And, it allows students an opportunity to make mistakes during training. This opportunity also minimizes the chance they’ll make those mistakes after they’re an employer hires them.
Graphic Design Internship Benefits
A graphic design internship is a tool an expat can utilize to their advantage. Students will work within the industry. The course allows them to learn what the work is like and what they’ll do daily. Students work with tools, equipment, and learn from the inside, rather than reading the pages in a textbook.
Getting credit for college coursework
Most colleges and universities implement an internship or externship program into the curriculum. As a student, the graphic design internships you enroll in will count towards student’s credits for graduation. Students can choose from several companies that work with universities and colleges to teach students how the industry works. Companies benefit in that they’re receiving knowledgeable and energetic students, without having to pay for their work. And, students benefit in that they’re working with a big company and earning course credit in the process.
Working with major employers and companies
Many major corporations team up with colleges and universities to offer internship opportunities to students. It isn’t uncommon for companies like Microsoft or Amazon to provide graphic design internships for students studying abroad. When returning to the US, expats will find it easier to land opportunities with these major companies. Their international experience makes them an invaluable asset to the company.
This experience is a great way for expats to get their foot in the door. It also means they'll possibly meet an executive with major companies. This opportunity might lead to a future job offer with an employer. Even if students don't receive an offer, it allows them to learn from the best in the industry. They learn from the most prominent organizations in the industry and learn the essential skills necessary to succeed. Students can excel in their career and meet invaluable contacts, that will propel their career moving forward.
Gaining first-hand industry experience
This opportunity gives students something to show employers during the interview process. If students have unpaid externship and internships on their resume, it shows their initiative. It shows potential employers that student wants to work in the industry. They're taking the time to learn from those who are experts in the field.
Students are doing the work, rather than reading about it. Potential employers highly value this initiative/drive and are more willing to offer these applicants a position. The best way to learn the job is actually to get out there and do it. This experience is one of the most significant benefits of graphic design internships. Students are doing the work. They are working with a professional who can answer questions and guide them. And, they’re learning the latest updates in the industry, which might not be available in an old textbook.
Meeting other expats and US students
Students will quickly learn they aren’t alone in applying for graphic design internships. The career is booming, and many want to work in the field. This fact also means students are going to interact with other peers on the same level. They can work together to meet objectives and reach specific goals for their externship. Students can learn from one another. Asking questions, and learning different processes, is a great way to develop skills.
Additionally, students can make new friends. It is essential to have the drive and maintain focus in the ultimate objective of landing a job. However, students should have fun in the process. Meeting individuals who also have an interest in the field, can spark engaging conversations. It can help students open their mind to different ways of thinking and doing things. And, it will also lead to gaining more contacts, on a personal level, and a business level. It’s important for students to remember that their peers are also going to work in the industry. So, it can lead to a reference down the road. It’s important to keep an open mind and engage with other students who are also completing graphic design internships. It provides students with another resource and possible career connection at a later point in their career.
Apart from working outside one's home country, there are many global benefits expats will gain during global design internships. The language skills in and of itself are essential for those who aren’t native speakers of the country's language. Some additional benefits include:
- Learning cultural differences between the student’s home country and desired work country
- Learning how to co-mingle with others from diverse backgrounds
- Achieving specific goals and quotas working in a team environment during the internship period
- Gaining knowledge of how different graphic design industries, throughout different regions of the world, operate.
Regardless of where students are from, their graphic design internship can significantly benefit them in many ways. Learning from industry experts and gaining knowledge by performing tasks, rather than book-learning, is highly beneficial for students.
Career Coaching and Mentoring from Industry Professionals
The mentoring students receive during a graphic design internship is unlike anything they’ll gain in class. Some benefits of mentoring include:
- Students work with people who are doing the work, day in and day out, in the industry
- Mentors can teach and offer suggestions, so students can reassess how things work
- A career mentor has the knowledge and breadth many teachers don’t possess
- Many mentors extend themselves to students, beyond the 9-5 workday
Many mentors also went through an internship before reaching their position with their employer. And, many of the mentors might be young and can give students an insight into the industry. Students are more likely to listen to their ideas, tips, and information, knowing they can follow in similar footsteps.
In addition to working with a mentor, interns also have access to the company’s database. This opportunity also means they can utilize online tools and different design tools a company uses. They learn about software, hardware, and CMS systems companies use. Many textbooks are older and don’t have information about these newer programs. Completing the internship allows students to receive instruction in the latest technologies. This instruction also ensures they’ll know what to expect when they’re in the field of work.
Choosing the Right Graphic Design Internships as an Expat
Selecting the first internship from a list isn’t the best approach for students who will complete a course. There are several factors students should consider, before choosing. First off, the location of the graphic design internship is of high importance. This factor is especially true in cases where students hope to receive a job offer after the course ends. Students should choose a location where they want to live/work and will enjoy doing the work.
Company culture, beliefs, and goals are also important aspects of choosing a graphic design internship. For students who have goals in mind, it is counter-intuitive to work with companies that go against them. It is essential to choose a company which has a positive cultural impact. Students should look for companies which are engaging in productive work and design. And, students should look for an opportunity, which works directly in line with their career objectives.
For students who want to land a position with a company, it is essential to learn about opportunities beforehand. Learn about open full and part-time roles. Find out if those companies hire students who’ve done graphic design internships with them in the past. Learn about future opportunities the company has in the future. The more information students can glean from a company, the easier it will be to land a position. And, the more they'll learn about the industry.
Add It to the Resume
Graphic design internships allow students to “beef up” their resume. It is something many college students don’t receive. Students who enroll in graphic design internships show potential employers their desire to work in the field. It also helps further demonstrate the student’s willingness to work in the field. Undertaking an unpaid internship proves to potential employers the student wishes to work in the area. It indicates their eagerness to learn the skills necessary to exceed, without receiving compensation. Employers value this experience and drive when interviewing applicants.
Overall Benefits of Graphic Design Internships for Expats Studying Abroad
Whether returning to the US or staying in the foreign country a little longer, an internship is highly beneficial. Meeting industry professionals is a great networking tool. Learning from inside a company culture gives students an insight into how the industry works. And, the hands-on experience, affords students the opportunity to do the work in the industry. Students will also gain confidence in their abilities and skills to do the job in the field.
Upon returning to the US, expats will find it easier to reacclimate as a graphic designer. Their international experience affords them knowledge US-based students don’t have. Additionally, employers’ value the skills and experience they receive in different parts of the world. Learning from an international standpoint is a great way to further one’s career. Ultimately the internship helps students decide if this is the field they want to pursue. And, if not, they can reassess their career objectives moving forward with the unbelievable experience from overseas studies.