Time really does fly when you’re enjoying yourself! It seems like yesterday we were just introducing our design intern, Ola Agunloye, to the rest of the team and the strange elevators in our lobby (trust us, it doesn’t work like a normal elevator). While we had plenty of things that we wanted Ola to take away from this internship, we wanted to get feedback on what she actually learned.
Here are some things our talented design intern learned on the job:
1. It’s all about the people.
When you’re in school, you hear a lot of rumors about what the “real world” is like. It’s true that most workplaces will not hold your hand or give you constant feedback like you are used to in school. Prior to coming to ProjectEd, Ola had heard countless of internship horror stories from her peers that most workplaces are cold and to expect colleagues to be unwilling to help interns.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t workplaces who really care about their team members and want to see them thrive. At ProjectEd, Ola got to experience the latter, and it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise:
For recent grads (and any new job seekers), this is why it’s important to seek out work cultures that fit your working style. Whether it’s a collaborative environment or a more “heads down” environment, an environment which allows you to thrive will only help the work you produce.
2. School sets the foundation but the real learning begins at the job.
Recent graduates will often say that most of what you learn will be on the job. To students who are still in school, this may seem a bit confusing: what exactly are you learning on the job that you aren’t learning at school? While the answer may be different for everyone, Ola agreed that there are a lot of things that you can only learn in the workplace, particularly on how to work effectively as a team:
This is why she thinks all aspiring graphic designers should seek out internships, even if it’s not well paid or even unpaid (side note: we pay our interns!).
3. Manage your time and organize, no matter what!
We’re sure you’re tired of hearing your professors talk about time management, but it’s true. Organization and learning how to prioritize effectively are critical to any project, let alone design projects. In fact, when we asked Ola what piece of advice she would give new grads, this was at the top of her list:
4. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.
Of course, like all designers and artists, we want to create work that is aesthetically pleasing. But just because it looks “pretty” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s actually informative. During these last several months at this internship, Ola learned to strike a balance between creating beautiful visuals and constructive communication in her work.