As someone who’s looking for jobs as a newly graduated designer, you’re bound to be left frustrated. With each listing, you’re going to see requirements of 2-3+years of experience just to be a junior designer.

I know what you’re thinking, how do I get my foot in the door if I need experience to gain experience. The answer is internships. Every summer while you’re in school, you need to be doing internships. Period.

Internships are not a way to get ahead of everyone, it’s become quite the norm. Nowadays you NEED internships and the experience they provide to the necessary experience to employers.

For myself, I had to do it backwards and do an internship after I had graduated after realizing that no job will have me without any real experience. You see, working on school projects and working with real clients are different in so many ways. Internships show employers you can multitask and work with people around you.

My internship was with a local startup working in house doing design for production in branding schools. This was a paid internship, which is a must unless you want to offer others money for you to work under them. By doing an internship like this, you start to figure out some things. Office politics/drama is part of daily life in a small confine of a building for a startup. You also begin to see what kind of culture and environment you can see yourself in as part of your dream job.

Now that we’ve answered as to why you should get an internship, we will look at a few resources in how you can get that internship.

Getting an internship is very much like getting a job, you hunt on the same websites and you stalk all the firms for an opening.  Some websites I looked at when I was on the hunt were

http://www.creativehotlist.com/

http://www.indeed.com/

http://designjobs.aiga.org/

http://www.barefootstudent.com/

and of course, as a last resort http://www.craigslist.org

On an upcoming post, I will review how to prepare for an interview and how to make the right first impression.

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