We sat down with Longwood Senior, Austin Berry, to hear about his Graphic Design internship experience that has now lasted just under a year. Berry discussed with us how he has grown from the experience, how Longwood University’s Graphic Design department prepared him for the real world, and some tips he now has for fellow Lancers.
Could you give me a brief description of your internship experience?
“Yeah, so I am an intern at a marketing agency in Richmond, called Epiphany Studio, and my job there is design work. I work with the art director and I help design logos, brands, business cards, websites, all that stuff. I started winter break of my junior year, and I’ve been interning there ever since”
What did you do to prepare for this internship?
“I don’t know that there was anything I specifically did to prepare, a lot of the preparation I got that made me feel as if I was ready for this came from working in my major. We have a program in the design department called Design Lab, and it is a student run design agency. We take jobs from all over and build logos and websites for them, it is very much a professional design agency, and working in that environment very much prepared me for working professionally in a true agency environment.”
What cover letter or resume advice do you have for someone applying for the same kind of job or internship?
“So, obviously if you’re a designer, your resume needs to be well designed. You can’t say, ‘Oh hi, I’d like to be your designer, here’s a resume I typed up in Word.’ It kind of has to showcase what you do. But, the biggest thing that I always think about are the differences in employer preferences. When my friend was hiring people for a designer position, he asked them, ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ and normally somebody would answer, ‘I’d like to be manager in this agency,’ but he hired the girl who was extremely honest in her answer saying, ‘I want to be a pop star.’ So, it’s tricky.”
How did the programs at Longwood relate to your internship?
“Well, I used to be the layout editor for The Rotunda, and that really helped prepare me when trying to manage people. But the biggest thing that helped me was the way the Graphic Design major is set up. It has a big focus with the real world. It’s about, how can we apply these things professionally?”
What do you plan to do after graduation and how did this internship prepare you for it?
“After graduation, I hope to go back and work for the same company. But they’ve really prepared me for the real world too. They gave me a good sense of what day-to-day is like outside of college. But if I don’t go to them, I do feel comfortable going to any other agency. It’s a small agency, it’s just five people. What’s good about that is you get really close with your coworkers, and we all go to things like escape rooms together, and we have a lot of inside jokes.”
What has been your greatest accomplishment in this internship?
“I think my greatest accomplishment is the fact that not only have I proven myself to the point where they want me to come back, but, if they have a client who has a job that’s too small for them to do, like changes made to their website, they feel comfortable referring them to me as a free-lancer.”
About the Author
Julia BogdanDigital Marketing Intern - University Career Services Class of 2020