Meet our talented intern, Olabimpe Agunloye -- or Ola, for short. Ola is senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York, studying graphic design. FIT is a SUNY school known for establishing innovative designers into an environment that helps push design forward. In fact, there are several FIT alumni within ProjectEd’s design team and solidified their love for design when embarking on their own internship experiences.
As with everything we do at ProjectEd, we want to pay it forward and instill the same sense of hard work and imagination in future designers, which is why we started our design internship program in the first place. It’s no secret that we pride ourselves in impeccable and careful design. From conception to execution, our designers not only use best practices for the product but also a unique touch of creativity.
Whether you’re an aspiring designer or are thinking about starting your own internship program, here are some of our goals we have outlined for future designers (and what we hope Ola takes away after her internship with us):
1. Use what you’ve learned and expand on it.
As a design student, you may learn the fundamentals of design such as typography, content, hierarchy, color scheme, and emotional impact. Of course, all of these elements are crucial in executing the design, but it’s also important to observe and learn how to speak to a client. Communicating your vision to a non-designer may be one of the most vital skills you’ll learn in the workforce. Some clients will let you take an idea and run with it, while others may need a considerable amount of hand-holding.
2. Your work is precious, but so are deadlines.
Let’s face it: designers are artists with a bit of a perfectionist streak. While it would be ideal to have all the time in the world to perfectly execute your vision, your project manager will be pulling out their hair and your client will be waiting forever for their finished product. This is why understanding the project requirements is crucial before jumping into the nitty gritty of creating. When you understand the project inside and out, it will be easier to work on a schedule and complete your project on time. It all starts with the very first workshop.
In our kick-off workshops, we work shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients to clarify and perfect their vision for the project -- that way everyone leaves day one with the same goal. From there, the ball starts rolling.
Here are the steps we take to ensure everyone on the team is on the same page from start to finish:
3. Your face may be in a screen most of the time, but face-to-face time is crucial.
If you think you’re going to escape those dreaded group projects from school after you graduate, think again. Learning how to effectively collaborate professionally will help your design immensely in the “real world.” You are not only learning how to be a team player, but you’re also learning vital communication skills and most importantly, how to instill trust and camaraderie in your team. Unlike group projects in school, everyone is doing their fair share of work (at least, here at ProjectEd we do anyway)!
Even in individual projects in school, you are responsible for doing everything, such as copywriting, design, project management, etc. However, when you are in the workforce, your team is likely made up of different people in each of these roles, so it’s important to learn and understand how each role interacts with each other.
Working as a team, here are some ways we’ve learned how to effectively collaborate:
4. It’s not really “work” if you absolutely love the work culture.
While we enjoy the mantra of “work hard, play hard,” we also understand that doesn’t fit every individual’s needs. We are extremely proud of our diverse team. In fact, our team is proof that you can find processes that fit the needs of every employee and allow everyone to feel comfortable within a work environment. We want future designers to go out into the world and create a culture where everyone has the ability to think critically, collaborate, and create. It may be cliche to tell young designers to “follow their passion,” we believe there is some truth to it. It’s important to find a company where the projects speak to you. This is why internships are important: they can expose you to a world of possibilities.