Looking Back on the Past 3 Months: What I've Learned as an Intern

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After discovering the art of web design through courses at my college, I decided to search for an internship where I could gain insight into the field and its application in the professional environment. After seeing an ad online, I applied to Elevated Third. I was attracted most to the smaller size of the agency and the scope of work.

So far, I have created slides for client presentations, designed business cards, updated website designs to meet new specifications, tested new websites before their launch, participated in client phone calls and, of course, various intern responsibilities that have given me great insight into what it takes to run any agency.

Someday, I hope to operate my own design business. During my internship, I learned valuable lessons that apply to my entrepreneurial goal as well as other design work I may do. Here are a few things I’m taking away from my experience at Elevated Third:

  • Content management systems are king. At school, I used Dreamweaver to build basic sites using html and css. It wasn’t until I started my internship that I was introduced to Drupal, an open-source content management platform that powers millions of websites and applications. I quickly realized how important this tool is for web design! Drupal allows clients to access, edit and add content easily and without having to rewrite any code.    
  • Design studios maintain a fast pace. Clients usually want their work done yesterday. Projects that I would have spent weeks working on in my design classes, the staff at Elevated Third completes sometimes in just one day! I quickly realized that it’s essential to know your software programs (especially Photoshop) inside and out, so you can keep up.
  • Web design isn’t always glamorous. As a student, I’ve become accustomed to selecting my own projects and focusing on the concepting and design, rather than the production side of things. In the real world, there is numerous tasks that must be done that don’t necessarily involve much design aptitude. There is always content to enter, research to be conducted, images to resize and upload, and spreadsheets to edit.    

Internships provide invaluable experience to the “green” web designer who is still getting their feet wet in the design world. I’m very appreciative of the opportunity Elevated Third has given me to improve my design skills and absorb all I can about how a design studio and digital agency runs!