One of the main reasons I decided to do DPS was so that I could learn about design and experience it in the professional world. I had this fabulous image in my head where I would go work for the biggest and best companies and design studios in the world. Now, that’s all very nice and I think it’s good to dream big, but that’s easier said than done. I slowly realised that I would need to adjust my expectations and that I actually had to get an internship. So, I started applying to everything that came my way. After a while I got an answer from a small company, called The Lagoon Group that designs puzzles and board games (of which I had never heard of), went to the interview and got the internship.
I worked in a small design team with two other designers; Theodore Szpindel and Holly Lewis. During my time there I got to work of different types of design and projects. I designed their 2018 Product Catalogue and got to work on various marketing pieces in digital and print, as well as some product packaging.
I had done a bit of work experience before, but this was the first time I worked in an office where I got to do design work, so I was quite nervous and wasn’t really sure what to expect.
However, Theo and Holly were better than any other mentors I could ask for. They were always happy to answer any questions I had and when I got stuck on a project they would give me advice.
I learned a lot about technical skills like software keyboard shortcuts. This might seem a bit boring, but it really helped me work much faster and more efficiently and made me realised that time is everything.
The company also dealt with licensed products, so they had to work a lot with clients as well. I learned how this is very much an important part of the job as well, because you have to work together to get to an understanding and an outcome that both parties are happy with, which is not always easy.
But, the most important part of it all was that I knew they cared. I felt like they wanted to teach me because in turn it would also help them if I learned more. It made me understand that what is needed for a good internship isn’t specifically about it being a famous company or design studio. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not saying big companies don’t offer good internships. I'm just saying that I don’t think the company itself is what you should focus on the most for an internship. You’ll get something out of every internship and the goal here is to get experience and learn (You can be more picky when you get a full-time job). The most important factor is the people you work with. They’re ones who watch over you, who you work with, who you learn from. I got to learn from some really great mentors, and that to me, is what makes a great internship.