DPS student Alex Robertson asks ‘Why Not?’ while he keeps questioning and reflects on the highs and lows of securing creative placements.
A framed sample print which will be part of the exhibition starting from the 10th of December.
It became clear quickly nothing is handed to you on a plate. Creative internships aren’t the easiest thing to come across, it takes a lot of hard work, perseverance and positivity. You have to prove yourself or know someone to secure something. For me the realisation didn’t kick in until around October. During the summer break I went through the process of applying for the 6 month internship with Apple, I was adamant I had performed well in the interview and I was the perfect candidate for the role. 3 weeks later I received the news that I hadn’t been selected, I faced my first experience of rejection. From then on, I spent every day working from home. Sending emails to agencies and applying to internship roles while adjusting my portfolio as I went on. It started to become clear that internships aren’t the easiest thing to come across, you have to deal with a lot of rejection. It takes hard work, perseverance and positivity. I kept a spreadsheet to keep track of the places I had applied to, when & who I sent them an e-mail and where they are based. After applying to precisely 43 places, I had a phone call interview followed by a formal interview for a graphic design internship for a media company called Mindshare which is in the same building as Google. The interview lasted 2 hours, which was spent just chatting to the head of creative about the internship and my portfolio. I had a really good feeling afterwards but low and behold, the following week I receive the news that they had decided to choose a graduate with more experience than myself. I was gutted, but continued to apply to as many places I could.
I had managed to get the contact information for an employee of Venture Three, Nick Sims. He invited me to come into the studio for a chat, but made it clear that the internship programme there was full for the next few months. I had nothing to loose so I went to the studio just off Kings Road. I met Nick and we went through my portfolio, he gave me some really positive feedback and advice as to how I could make my portfolio better through presentation and explained he is going to get in touch later on next year once they are looking for new interns.
He also put me in contact with a former college of his Drew Coughlan & co-worker Craig Matchett, they both work at Saffron just of Brick Lane. I managed to visit them at the end of October. However they were also in the same situation with no room for interns at the moment, we met and instantly clicked, I enjoyed talking to both of them and after seeing my portfolio they were really impressed. The told me they’ll get a date next year for me to Intern, which was good news and gave me a massive boost in confidence. A few days prior to going to Saffron I was given a similar opportunity to visit Rufus Lennoard and show my portfolio to senior designer Carlo D’Lanno for a possible internship for sometime next year. He had real enthusiasm about my work, but advised me to amend my portfolio to have more context towards the brief and the idea. So I did exactly that, and gave each project a small piece of text addressing the brief and the idea, this gave me more time to talk about the context of each project before showing the solution in an interview situation.
Following this, I went to an interview at Lifeworks in Battersea, I had a phone interview a few days before with a representative from their offices in the states which followed with a meeting with James, the creative director. Who was a really nice guy, we spoke about what I’d be doing on a day to day basis, I presented my portfolio and by the 4th project he decided he could see my abilities which I guess was a good sign as a few days later, I received an email explaining that he was impressed and the next steps will star very soon, so fingers crossed I will hear back this week.
Most recently and finally I had an interview with a freelance company Co-Start-up & Go which I found advised on the UAL jobs board. They are a freelance company which offer start ups creative services at a monthly rate. After meeting the founder in Holborn for the interview she offered me the job & I start on Monday. They employ 19 freelancers, offering flexibility so I can continue to intern at different places over the next year and choose the hours I want to do each week. I’m also working with a local Gallery Don’t Walk, Walk in Deal to create some risograph typographic posters. The concept I decided to use is the phrase ‘why not?’ Because Questioning is important, there is nothing to say you can’t, be positive and do it.
I have taken away a lot from this process; It’s taught me a lot about myself, how important it is to persevere and always try your best and don’t let any opportunities slip away. I’ve had a few interviews now and have found the more I do, the better I get. But even still it's important to remember even if you think it went well, don’t trust anyone, sometimes it’s not meant to be. So I’m ready to absorb, create and progress. Feeling happy and excited for the next few months.