A special post by Mandy Haskins
As a design student, one of the biggest deals of your academic career is your internship. Internships are a great way to gain real-world experience and prep yourself for a J-O-B. In an ideal world, you would get an internship at a place with award-winning design, a diverse portfolio full of high-profile clients and who cares deeply about showing you all the steps of the design process so you can take those skills out into the real world. I’m here to tell you folks, ST8MNT is that place.
I spent this past summer interning at ST8MNT and I got way more than a lousy T-shirt (actually, I got TWO T-shirts and they weren’t lousy, they were totally dope and I got to help design both, but I digress). I could give you a generic list of all the benefits of interning at ST8MNT but that is lame and ST8MNT repels lame like water so I thought I would just give you a snapshot of a typical day for an intern and you can see for yourself what you would be in for.
9:30 a.m. I show up at this time because thats what worked best for me – ST8MNT was totally accommodating with my scheduling needs. That’s what’s up.
9:32 a.m. I walk into the office, which is basically one giant open workspace, and straight into the morning meeting where all the designers are talking about scheduling and all the super cool projects that everyone is working on. I wait for someone to ask me to refill their coffee cup. It doesn’t happen, but THIS does:
10:00 a.m. I get assigned to work on a new project, for an actual client. At my own desk no less! They want me and my co-intern to brainstorm some ideas and work on roughing out some concept sketches. I get to go through the ST8MNT asset library and some sweet books that would have otherwise blown my art-student budget to bits.
11:00 a.m. We reconvene, take a look at the sketches and decide on the best designs from everyone that should go forward, then I get to down to work in Photoshop. Though you shouldn’t really choose an internship based on their Spotify playlist, I have to say, the music around here makes for a great work environment.
11:40 a.m. I have a small question about how to do something, Greg, the Intern Overlord, comes over to help and I learn about 20 new things in 5 minutes as he throws pro-tips my way left and right. This is pretty much the routine around here: interns ask a question, a designer gives advice/guidance/input, intern learns something new. It works for me!
12:30 p.m. I’m waiting to be excused for lunch, then I realize I am being treated like an adult and expected to take my own lunch as my time and work permits. Cool Springs has no shortage of tasty eats.
1:30 p.m. They want the file I have been working on. Why, I ask? Because we are going to send it to the client for consideration, they say, along with the other designers’ work. MY little ol’ jpegs? This happens several more times over the course of my internship, and let me tell you, the thrill of having your work taken seriously and circulating out there in the real world never gets old.
2:22 p.m. As if that’s not enough, this OTHER thing happens: I find out that a small piece of something I had collaborated on has been approved by a client. Shut. The. Front. Door. I’ve gone pro! My portfolio continues to grow…
3:15 p.m. New client, new project. Sketching, then Illustrator. Switching gears is fun, yo.
4:05 p.m. I make an offhand comment about wishing I knew more about Cinema 4D and suddenly I am knee-deep in an impromptu tutorial with the ever-patient Alan, who knows every keyboard shortcut know to man. I take copious notes, because have you seen ST8MNT’s motion reel?
4:30 p.m. We have a little downtime. I am encouraged to expand my skill set, and asked if I want to make something experimental of my own choosing in After Effects. Um, yes please!
5:00 p.m. I peace out and feel really good about my day. People were nice, I learned a lot, and felt like my presence was appreciated. A win-win-win for me!
*Note: Only one time did I file anything all summer and that’s because I asked for it. I mean, you CAN do busy work but there’s much better things than that going on around here that.
So, if you are looking for the perfect opportunity to grow you skill set, beef up your portfolio, and get credit for school at the same time; then buck up and send in your resume/portfolio. Don’t wait because the early bird gets the worm, squeaky wheels get grease, and if you snooze, you lose, right? Right.
For more information about interning at ST8MNT and to send in your work, check out their contact page – no calls please.