How to get graphic design internships!


Hello and welcome back to my blog!

This post is all about how to get graphic design internships. I know it’s that time of year again where there is a lot of deadlines or maybe you have already finished uni and are enjoying a few weeks or months of unstressed bliss before you start your next adventure (I know I did). And I know the last thing you maybe want to think about are internships or what’s going to happen next but, it is worth a thought and maybe a bit of organisation so after you come off you’re well deserved break you’re not feeling left behind or out of touch.

So personally for me I did organise most of my internships over the summer I graduated but, actually didn’t do a lot of them until a few months later. I allowed myself time to travel and have a bit of a break which I think is perfectly healthy, so don’t let people tell you, you’re going to ‘miss the boat’ if you don’t do a million and one internships over the summer because it’s just not true. However, it is good to probably book some of them in over the summer just in case your dream studios have the whole year booked out during New Blood (which is in July). Remember most internships are a month long, so that means only 12 graduates a year per studio unless they’re big enough to house many, not to mention you may be competing against 2nd year students and older graduates like myself. If you want to read about my thoughts and feelings on being a graphic design intern, I will leave the blog post I did here.

So how do you get internships? you may be asking. Well I have compiled a list of a few steps which I took in order to gain experience at some of my dream studios. I am obviously missing out the most important one which is to have a portfolio! But you already probably know this as you have just worked your butt off in order to have one that you are very proud of.


1. Have a Brand.

So at Falmouth University we had one whole semester dedicated for us to brand ourselves and figure out our design future but, I know not all University’s do this or, you may have been so busy you actually haven’t had a chance to do it. But having a brand is very important, it means studios can find you easily amongst the hundreds if not thousands of other graduates and it also can showcase your branding skills.

So what do you need for a successful graphic designer brand?

  • A website showcasing your work
  • A branded portfolio
  • Business cards
  • CV
  • All social media (LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Behance, Pinterest, Facebook Page etc)

Ultimately you want studios to be able to find you easily on all platforms, so that means having the same @ handles, same profile picture, colours and overall branding to be consistent. Because I don’t know about you but when you haven’t met someone in real life (or even have in some cases) and you try to find them online and you’re met with loads of people with the same name, a profile picture that isn’t the clearest or it changes from platform to platform and you can’t quite tell if its them or not, having a brand will solve all of that.

In terms of what your brand looks like, that is completely up to you but, I found the simpler the better, choose a font and colour and keep them the same across everything, voila. I will leave my Behance self branding project here.



2. Utilise Social Media.

In this day and age everyone uses social media, especially studios. The best way to get a studio to notice you is to follow them on all their social media platforms. This not only keeps you up to date with what is going on in the design world but, also lets you know if they’re looking for interns or have a job opening (I have found not many studios advertise openings on websites like Indeed or LikedIn because they’re looking for people with a genuine interest in their studio.) Social Media is also great for the studio because with one click they can quickly see your work on a grid layout for instance on instagram and get a real feel for you and your personality.

The best social media platform in terms of work I would say is LinkedIn. I didn’t have this until third year but I would highly recommend that if you don’t have it to set one up right now. It may seem a bit pointless while still at uni as you’re only adding your peers (but trust me it’s nice to see what everyone is up to when you go your separate ways). But for when you actually start interning and meet designers at events, or interviews or even internships you will start to set up a design community and if you want to get in touch with a certain studio and don’t know anyone there, nine times out of a ten another designer from another studio will know a connection there. What you will begin to learn is that the design community is in fact very small and actually a bit incestual, haha. LinkedIn is also great for keeping in touch with studios you interned at and also to let them know what you’re up to after interning there.


3. Research.

Before even sending out any emails do your research! Make sure you have checked out the studios website, social media etc etc and make sure that it is somewhere you actually want to go and feel you will be a great fit for. I actually have a tab folder of studios that yes I definitely want to intern at and another one of maybes I could give them a go if my yes ones don’t get back to me. It is a waste of your time and the studios time if you’re sending out emails willy nilly with no thought or passion involved, if you want to go into branding and packaging make sure you have evidence of that in your portfolio. If for instance you don’t have any relevant work but would like to try that area of design then explain that in your email. I have probably only sent out around 20 emails since graduating and have had responses from around half and internships from 5 because I focus my energy onto that studio. When I left I was told from previous graduates to send out hundreds of emails as you will only hear back from like 3 studios but to be honest that’s not true, I don’t know what they were doing but obviously something very wrong. All you have to do is do a bit of research and target certain studios, cater towards them, figure out what they will want to see and be specific to them. That leads me onto…






4. Specific email addresses.

Now out of the 20 emails I have sent the 10 that I didn’t hear back from were studios where I sent my portfolio and CV over to the email address which I found on their website. This evidently doesn’t work, my email probably got missed with all of their other emails, went into their spam folder or possibly they didn’t like what they saw and wouldn’t give me the time of day… haha. So I would suggest hunting down someone who works at the studios email address. You could ask your lecturers as they have probably been in the design industry and may know a few contacts, you can ask fellow alumni who are now in the industry. Or if all else fails most of the time you only need to find out their name which you can probably see on LinkedIn and send it to as nine times out of ten that’s the email address they have been given or try different variations of that until the email doesn’t bounce back.

In terms of the people to target, I wouldn’t go for the creative directors or even senior designers as most of the time they will be too busy to reply to you. (This happened to me with Turner Duckworth…) But junior or middleweight designers as they will have the time and if they like you, will show you to the senior or creative directors to try and get you in for an internship.


5. Sending the emails.

Now you have got everything set in place it is now time to send the emails. Like I have mentioned previously tailor the emails to each individual studio, this takes more time but it is more effective. I like to include a paragraph about myself and my design style, a piece of work that I really like that the studio has done and then a closing paragraph about why I would like to intern there, when I’m free and I hope to talk though my portfolio with them in person. Be a bit of a kiss ass but not too cringey, haha. Keep it to about 100-300 words, make sure you attach your CV and portfolio and double check for spelling mistakes! Also sending your emails mid week seems to be better than over the weekend or Monday morning when the studio will have a lot to go through in their inbox already. Being specific and tailoring each email also stops that awful horrible, stomach churning scenario where you send out emails to wrong studios, do not bcc loads of studios in one email, I repeat do not do that! One guy did that in my year and it went wrong, it’s is like committing design suicide. As previously mentioned everyone knows everyone in the industry and it just makes you out to be careless and lazy and you’re name will get around. 

So instead I suggest sitting down and maybe writing one really good email a day or when you have the time. I personally didn’t want to overload my inbox or calendar as I knew I wanted to go travelling so I took one studio at a time and had it organised and booked in before I moved onto another studio. For me this helped the process from feeling way too chaotic and stressful and stopped double bookings. Sending emails, replying to them and going for interviews can feel like a full time job if you send too many or are too over ambitious.


6. The Interview…

Next up is the interview which to be honest can probably be it’s own blog post so stay tuned for that!


That is is for my 5 simple steps on how to get graphic design internships or at least getting to the interview stage. I hoped this helped any new graduates out there who are feeling daunted by the whole situation. Like I said, this process worked extremely well for me as I have interned at most of studios I have had my eye on but, this may not work for everyone, test the waters and maybe you will find your own successful formula.

I wish everyone the best of luck and if you get knocked down, like we all do, get back up again and keep trying. Ask the studio why they didn’t like you so you can improve, (you bet I have done this before and they were more than happy to help.) But ultimately it’s not the end of the world and maybe it was for the best, you can always try again when you’re ready.

Lots of love, Melissa x



  1. / 2:04 pm

    I every time emailed this blog post page to all my friends, for the reason that if like to read it after
    that my contacts will too.

  2. What i don’t understood is actually how
    you’re no longer actually a lot more neatly-liked than you may
    be right now. You are very intelligent. You understand therefore significantly on the subject of this
    subject, produced me in my view consider it from so many varied angles.
    Its like women and men aren’t interested unless it is one thing to do with Lady
    gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. All the time care for it up!

  3. / 7:50 am

    Good post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic?
    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more.

  4. This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Cheers!

  5. / 11:30 am

    Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Great choice of colors!

  6. / 4:43 am

    After looking into a handful of the blog articles on your website,
    I honestly appreciate your way of blogging.
    I saved it to my bookmark webpage list and will
    be checking back in the near future. Please check out my web site too and let me know
    what you think.

  7. / 4:17 am

    Superb, what a website it is! This blog provides valuable data to us, keep it up.

  8. / 12:10 pm

    My brother suggested I would possibly like this blog.
    He was once totally right. This submit actually made my day.
    You can not consider simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  9. / 3:37 am

    Hey there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any
    trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked
    and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no back up.

    Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

  10. What i do not understood is if truth be told how you’re not actually a
    lot more well-liked than you might be right now.
    You’re very intelligent. You already know therefore significantly in relation to
    this subject, made me in my opinion believe it from so many various angles.
    Its like women and men don’t seem to be fascinated until it’s
    something to do with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs nice. All the time maintain it up!

  11. Hello I am so thrilled I found your website, I really found you by accident, while
    I was browsing on Digg for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say
    thanks a lot for a fantastic post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up
    the great work.

  12. / 4:18 pm

    Your style is really unique compared to other folks I’ve read stuff from.

    Thank you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity,
    Guess I will just bookmark this blog.

  13. I pay a visit daily a few sites and websites to read posts, except this website
    presents quality based articles.

  14. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative.

    I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future.
    A lot of people will be benefited from your writing.

  15. / 6:47 am

    Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?

    I have a blog based upon on the same ideas you discuss and would really like to
    have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would value your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  16. / 10:52 am

    It’s amazing to visit this web page and reading the views of all friends on the topic
    of this article, while I am also eager of getting know-how.

  17. / 1:43 am

    Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to
    assist with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to
    rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains.
    If you know of any please share. Many thanks!

  18. / 1:26 pm

    An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was doing a
    little research on this. And he actually ordered me dinner because
    I found it for him… lol. So allow me to reword
    this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about
    this matter here on your website.

  19. / 10:56 am

    Great information. Lucky me I ran across your site by chance (stumbleupon).
    I’ve book-marked it for later!

  20. / 7:30 am

    Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely useful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care
    for such information a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  21. / 3:06 am

    Amazing blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download
    it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog stand out.
    Please let me know where you got your theme. With thanks

  22. / 5:56 am

    Excellent post. I will be experiencing a few of these issues as well..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.