Web and Graphic Design Internships

One of the best ways to gain experience while completing a web or graphic design degree program is to enter into an internship with a company.  Internships are mutually beneficial relationships between a business and person that provide real-world training and experience while helping the business, not by performing the work of an employee, but giving the business the ability to gauge the talent level of future employees, as well as give students and graduates incentive to apply for positions within the company.

Smaller businesses that can be overlooked by new graduates can use the internship arrangement as a way to establish their presence in the minds of these students by offering a different work environment, possibly picking up the newest and most creative talent before larger corporations can. Internships are offered by major corporations, and even local, small businesses, and many may have arrangements with the school the web or graphic design student is enrolled in. The process of applying and interviewing for an internship within a company gives the student experience in those areas, as well as the experience they can gain as they shadow and learn about the business world during their internship.

An intern is not an employee, however. Interns cannot be expected to replace an employee or perform work that is not of an educational benefit to their career. A web or graphic design intern may be able to offer advice or examples of products or designs, but it is in the company’s best interest to treat any work the intern performs or produces as the intern’s work, and pay them accordingly. If the company chooses to use the intern’s designs for the benefit of the business, a financial arrangement should be made outside of the internship guidelines. This protects both the intern and the company from any fines that could be levied according to The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The internship should provide the web or graphic design intern with the experience of working within a business environment. As the internship is an on-the-job training agreement, interns should always be supervised. Before entering into an internship, both the company and intern need to agree on a set amount of hours or period of time of the internship, as well as supervisory guidelines and that there is no payment for the services performed by the intern during the internship. It should also be stated that there is no expectation of actual employment at the end of the internship term, and that the internship is for the benefit of the web or graphic design student, similar to training within an educational environment.

Internships for web and graphic designers can occur in almost any industry, especially as businesses focus more on online and Internet graphics and websites. An internship program gives a company the ability to show off its level of care for employees, an aspect of employment also rapidly becoming important as new graduates seek employment, as well as cultivate its employee environment to meet the needs of the new generation of workers. For the web or graphic design intern, an internship can provide insight into the corporate and business environments, enabling the intern to learn which types of industries and work environments are best suited to his or her own needs, as well.

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