My experience with Design the Planet was pretty cool. I got to work on many different areas of Design, from Social Media, to Web Design, to Animation, even Product Photography. I was always working on a project, which meant I always had something to do for the 3 months I was there. It wasn’t the same mindless and boring intern work. Instead they would trust me with real clients. The schedule was also very flexible, considering you could come in any time between 9-10am as long as you made up for it later in the day.
My only concern was that once I started working a project I would sometimes have to hand it off and not see its progress, unless I asked. The hours also had to be very meticulously filed, as we worked on a budget for each client, which made it hard to take short breaks between them, as you had to fulfill 6-7 hour shifts by the end of the day, while at the same time working as efficiently as possible on a project.
However, overall, I would say this was my best internship I’ve ever done, as I got to work in a wide range of design projects and was trusted in my ability to work on them, and at times, complete them. I got to design my own page of a website for one of their clients that ended up going live, which was pretty cool, as it is every designer’s dream to see their best work out in the real world, even if it exists on the internet. I learned a lot, and the team was always willing to answer any questions I had about anything, were it coding, or design decisions.
Interning at Design the Planet was my first experience in the real design world. Fresh out of school, I was green as a clover in the morning dew. I was ecstatic to get my foot in the door of the design world and earn that “required experience” that all employers are looking for. This internship was more than a check in the box for required experience; it gave me new skills and put old ones to good use.
The first thing I learned was good work practice of staying organized. Design the Planet (DTP) has a simple yet ridged filing system they use to stay highly organized. While in school I kept my files organized the way I wanted to because I was the only one using them. Once I started at DTP I realized the importance of a standard filing so everyone in the office can easily find what they need on the server… and I only messed it up a couple times!
Another important skill I learned was communicating directly with clients and printers. It seemed a little daunting at first because I didn’t think an intern would have the opportunity to do so. However, I did. I was able to take full ownership of my projects when I was the one communicating back and forth with clients and printers. It is an essential skill for this occupation and it was important to learn it right away.
I also enjoyed communicating and working as a team within DTP. Before, I would create my work for class critiques; classmates would give advice, but we weren’t working towards the same goal together. While here, we worked as a team to find the best way a project could be executed. It was refreshing to push ourselves to solve problems and reach the same goal together.
While at DTP we were also pushed to learn new skills in our field. I really wanted to learn After Effects so I began to teach myself and take advice from Rocio, the other intern, who had a lot of experience with the program. Adrienne, our Chief Creative Director, noticed we liked to use After Effects so she decided to give us the animation project “10 Things Not to do on Your Website.” This was my favorite project because I was able to put my new skill to the test and work with as a team with Rocio.
Not only were new skills put to the test, but my old ones were too. I’ve always loved photography and took multiple courses at NKU, but never had the chance to put those skills to the test in the real world. When I expressed my interest in photography I was given multiple opportunities to use and refine them. For example I was able to take social media photos for River Road Coffees, food photography for various clients, and an interior pre-shoot for Post Trauma Institute. It was extremely rewarding to be able to put a beloved skill to work.
The most rewarding thing about my internship was seeing my work in the real world. I was given the opportunity to work with The NOLA Jester’s design and marketing director to develop and improve their concepts. When JestersTickets.com went live, it was insane to see my work published on the Internet. I will never forget the time I first saw the Jesters Soccer billboard I designed alive and glowing bright in downtown New Orleans.
Interning at DTP was a tremendous and fulfilling experience that I will never forget. I was given the opportunity to expand and refine my skills as a designer and get my first real world experience in the design community. Thank you Design the Planet!