Internships in Arts and Design

Jan 24, 2024

15 Min Read

1. What types of internships are available in the arts and design industry?

There are a variety of internships available in the arts and design industry, including:

1. Graphic Design Internships: These internships may involve assisting with graphic design projects, creating graphics for social media or marketing materials, and learning about design software and techniques.

2. Fine Arts Internships: These internships may involve working in a gallery or museum setting, assisting with exhibition planning and curation, and gaining experience in arts administration.

3. Fashion Design Internships: These internships may involve working with designers to create clothing, assisting with fashion shows or photoshoots, and learning about the fashion industry.

4. Interior Design Internships: These internships may involve working on design projects for residential or commercial spaces, helping with client presentations and material sourcing, and familiarizing oneself with design software.

5. Architecture Internships: These internships may involve assisting architects with site visits, participating in project meetings, and learning about building codes and construction processes.

6. Art Education Internships: These internships may involve working in educational settings such as schools or non-profit organizations to develop art programs for students of various ages.

7. Arts Marketing/PR Internship: These internships may involve working on promotional campaigns for arts organizations or events, developing marketing materials, and coordinating media outreach efforts.

8. Digital Media/Animation Internship: These internships may involve creating animations or digital content for websites or social media platforms, developing interactive experiences using coding languages such as HTML5 or CSS3.

9. Music Production/Sound Engineering Internship: These internships may involve supporting music producers and engineers in recording sessions, editing audio files and developing soundtracks for film or video projects.

10. Performing Arts Management/Administration Internship: These internships may involve working behind-the-scenes at a theater company or performing arts organization to learn about production management, fundraising strategies, event planning, and other aspects of performing arts administration.

2. Is it necessary to have a specific major or degree to intern in arts and design?

No, it is not necessary to have a specific major or degree to intern in arts and design. However, having a background or education in the desired field can greatly increase your chances of landing an internship and may also help you excel in the role. Many arts and design internships may require some form of portfolio or sample work to be considered, so having some relevant experience or training can be beneficial. Additionally, some companies may prefer candidates with specific skills or knowledge related to their industry. Ultimately, it will depend on the specific internship and company you are applying to.

3. How do I go about finding internship opportunities in this field?

1. Research companies and organizations: Begin your search by researching companies and organizations in your area that specialize in environmental science. Look for government agencies, non-profit organizations, consulting firms, or private companies involved in environmental research or conservation.

2. Network: Attend job fairs, conferences, and seminars related to environmental science to build connections and network with professionals in the field. This can also be a great opportunity to learn about potential internship opportunities.

3. Check job search engines: Use online job search engines such as Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Idealist to look for internship positions in environmental science. These websites allow you to filter your search by location, industry, and specific keywords.

4. Utilize university resources: Many universities have career centers or departments that offer resources for finding internships. They may have an online database of available internships, host career fairs or provide access to networking events.

5. Contact your professors: Your professors can be a valuable resource for finding internship opportunities as they often have connections with other professionals in the field. They may also be able to recommend internships that align with your interests and skills.

6. Reach out directly: If you have a specific company or organization in mind that you would like to intern with, reach out directly to inquire about internship opportunities. Research their website beforehand to see if they have any open positions listed or contact them through email or phone.

7. Join professional associations: Consider joining a professional association related to environmental science as they often offer networking opportunities and post available internships on their websites.

8. Volunteer: Volunteering at organizations related to environmental science can not only help you gain relevant experience but also put you in contact with professionals who may be able to refer you to internship opportunities.

9. Utilize social media: Follow companies and organizations on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook as they may use these platforms to advertise internships and other job opportunities.

10. Consider international internships: There are many international organizations and programs that offer internships in environmental science. This can be a rewarding opportunity to gain experience while also exploring a new culture and country.

4. What skills or experience do companies look for when considering interns in art and design?

1. Technical skills: Companies will look for interns who have a strong foundation and proficiency in technical skills relevant to the art and design industry. This may include software programs such as Adobe Creative Suite or AutoCAD, as well as traditional techniques like drawing, painting, and photography.

2. Creativity: Interns in art and design are expected to bring a level of creativity and originality to their work. Companies will look for candidates who can think outside the box and come up with unique ideas.

3. Portfolio: A strong portfolio is essential when applying for internships in art and design. This demonstrates your skills, style, and potential to employers.

4. Knowledge of current trends and techniques: Companies want interns who are up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in their field. This shows that you are invested in your craft and have a passion for learning new things.

5. Time management skills: Art and design projects often have tight deadlines, so companies will seek interns who can manage their time effectively and deliver work on schedule.

6. Attention to detail: In the art world, even small details can make a big difference. Employers will look for interns who pay close attention to detail in their work.

7. Communication skills: As an intern, you will be working closely with others, such as managers, team members, or clients. Strong communication skills are vital for collaborating effectively with others.

8. Adaptability: Companies may be looking for interns who are adaptable and can take on new challenges easily. The ability to adjust your style or approach depending on the project or client’s needs is highly valued in the art industry.

9. Passion for the industry: Employers want interns who are passionate about their chosen field of art and design. Showing enthusiasm for your craft through personal projects or extracurricular activities can strengthen your application.

10. Professionalism: Just like any other job, professionalism is critical for interns in the art and design industry. Companies want interns who are punctual, reliable, and can maintain a professional attitude in the workplace.

5. Can internships lead to full-time employment in the arts and design industry?

Yes, internships can definitely lead to full-time employment in the arts and design industry. It is common for companies to hire interns who have shown dedication, hard work, and a good fit with their organization for permanent positions. Additionally, internships allow individuals to gain valuable experience and skills that can make them more competitive candidates for full-time job opportunities in the industry. Networking and building relationships during an internship can also open doors to potential job opportunities in the future.

6. Are there paid internships available in this field?

Yes, there are paid internships available in this field. Many companies and organizations offer paid internships as a way for students to gain hands-on experience while also receiving compensation for their work. These opportunities can be found through online job search engines, company websites, and on-campus career fairs. Additionally, some schools also have partnerships with companies that offer paid internships specifically for students in their program.

7. How long do art and design internships typically last?

The duration of an art and design internship can vary depending on the company or organization offering the internship and the specific role and project assigned to the intern. In general, internships in this field can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, with most lasting between 3-6 months. Some companies may offer longer internships that can last up to a year. The exact duration will typically be specified in the internship posting or discussed during the application process.

8. Will I receive mentorship or guidance from professionals during my internship?

It depends on the specific internship program and organization you are interning with. Some internships may assign a mentor or supervisor to provide guidance and support during your internship, while others may offer workshops or training sessions with professionals in the field. It is important to communicate with your internship coordinator or supervisor to understand what kind of support and mentorship will be available to you during your internship.

9. What kind of tasks will I be expected to perform as an intern in arts and design?

As an intern in arts and design, you may be expected to perform a range of tasks depending on the specific industry and company you are interning with. Some common tasks that interns in this field may be asked to do include:

1) Assisting with project research and development: This could involve conducting market research, gathering information about competitors, or finding references and inspiration for design projects.

2) Creating designs and graphics: Depending on your skills and experience, you may be asked to create digital or hand-drawn designs for various projects such as logos, marketing materials, or website layouts.

3) Assisting with production: If interning with a production company or studio, you may assist with tasks such as set design, prop making, or wardrobe styling for film, television, or theatre productions.

4) Collaborating with other team members: Interns are often given the opportunity to work closely with other designers and artists within the company. This could involve brainstorming ideas, giving feedback on projects, or working together on joint projects.

5) Attending meetings and presentations: You may be asked to attend client meetings or project presentations as an observer to gain insight into the creative process and client interactions.

6) Learning software and technical skills: Many arts and design internships offer opportunities to learn new software programs or tools used in the industry. You may be trained in programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, or other design-related software.

7) Contributing to social media and marketing efforts: You may be asked to help manage social media accounts for the company or assist with creating marketing materials such as flyers or posters.

8) Administrative tasks: As an intern, you may also be responsible for completing administrative tasks like answering phones, responding to emails, scheduling appointments/meetings, filing documents, etc.

9) Participating in events and exhibitions: Depending on the focus of your internship role (e.g., visual arts, fashion design, graphic design), you may have the opportunity to participate in events or exhibitions to showcase your work and gain exposure.

10. Do interns have the opportunity to work on real projects or clients’ work?

It ultimately depends on the company or organization that the intern is interning for. Some internships may offer opportunities for interns to work on real projects or clients’ work, while others may not have such opportunities available. It is important for interns to research and ask about their specific responsibilities and tasks before accepting an internship opportunity.

11. Will I have the chance to network with industry professionals during my internship?

Yes, it is possible to network with industry professionals during your internship. Many companies include networking opportunities as part of their internship programs, such as events with other interns and company employees, mentorship programs, and departmental meetings. You can also take the initiative to reach out to professionals in your field through LinkedIn or attending industry events and conferences.

12. Are virtual/international internships available in arts and design?

Yes, there are virtual/international internships available in arts and design. Many companies and organizations now offer remote internship opportunities that can be done from anywhere in the world. Some examples include:

1. Virtual Internships: This is a company that specializes in providing remote internship opportunities for students, including in the fields of arts and design. They work with a network of companies around the world to provide virtual internships that can be completed from home.

2. AIESEC: This is a global platform for youth leadership development that offers virtual internships in various fields, including arts and design. They have partnerships with companies and organizations around the world.

3. Global Experiences: This organization offers virtual internships in various industries, including the arts and design field. They have partnerships with companies and organizations in different countries, allowing interns to gain international experience remotely.

4. ArtBound Initiative: This is a program that connects artists and designers with internship opportunities around the world, including virtual options. They work with a variety of companies and organizations in different countries.

5. Creative Opportunities: This website features a section for virtual internships in the creative industries, including arts and design. It lists a variety of internship opportunities that can be done remotely.

It’s important to research carefully when applying for virtual/international internships to ensure they are legitimate and will offer valuable learning experiences.

13. What is the difference between interning at a large company versus a smaller one in this field?

The main difference between interning at a large company versus a smaller one in this field is the size and structure of the organization. Generally, larger companies have more resources, established processes and procedures, and a hierarchy of management. This can provide interns with a more structured and organized learning experience.

On the other hand, interning at a smaller company allows for a more hands-on experience as interns may have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and work closely with a smaller team. There may also be less bureaucracy which can allow for more flexibility and autonomy in their work.

Another difference is the potential for networking opportunities. Large companies typically have a larger network of employees, clients, and partners which can provide interns with exposure to various professionals in their field. Smaller companies may not have as vast of a network but may offer closer relationships with their employees and mentors.

In terms of impact, large companies often work on high-profile projects with bigger budgets and resources. This can offer interns the chance to contribute to significant projects that have a notable impact on the company or industry. In comparison, smaller companies may have lower-profile projects but can allow interns to play a larger role in shaping these projects.

Ultimately, there are pros and cons to both interning at large versus small companies in this field. It ultimately depends on an individual’s learning style, career goals, and personal preferences. As every company is unique, it’s important for interns to research and consider the specific opportunities offered by each organization before making their decision.

14. How much creative freedom do interns typically have in their projects?

The amount of creative freedom given to interns in their projects can vary depending on the specific internship program and the tasks assigned. In some cases, interns may have a lot of creative freedom to innovate and propose new ideas, while in others they may be expected to follow established guidelines closely. Ultimately, it is important for interns to communicate with their supervisors and clarify expectations in terms of creativity and autonomy.

15. Do you need a portfolio or samples of your work for an art and design internship application?

Yes, it is always recommended to have a portfolio or samples of your work for an art and design internship application. This allows the employer to see your skills and creativity, which can help you stand out as a strong candidate. Your portfolio should showcase your best and most relevant work, whether it be illustrations, digital designs, sculptures, or any other type of art or design projects. Be sure to also include a brief description of each piece and the techniques and tools used. This will give the employer an insight into your process and style as an artist or designer. If you do not have a formal portfolio, you can create one by compiling your work in a professional manner using online platforms or physical portfolios.

16. Can I receive college credit for my internship in arts and design?

It depends on your college’s policies and the specific internship you are undertaking. Some colleges may offer credit for internships in arts and design fields, while others may not. It is important to consult with your academic advisor or internship coordinator to determine if your internship can count for college credit.

17. Are there any particular certifications or software skills that would be helpful for an art and design internship?

It depends on the specific focus of the internship and the company you will be interning for. In general, having a strong understanding or experience with popular design software such as Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), Sketch, or Figma would be beneficial. Additionally, certifications in specific design programs or techniques can showcase your expertise and make you stand out as a candidate. Some examples of these certifications include:

– Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) in Graphic Design & Illustration using Adobe Illustrator
– Autodesk Certified User (ACU) in AutoCAD 3D Design
– Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) Certification
– HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification

Additionally, depending on the focus of the internship, skills in web development (HTML/CSS), user experience (UX) design, video editing/production, and social media management may also be useful. It is always helpful to research the requirements and preferences of the company you are applying to in order to tailor your application and skillset accordingly.

18. Do most companies have set schedules for their interns, or is it more flexible?

It depends on the company and the specific internship program. Some companies may have set schedules for interns, while others may offer more flexibility. It is important to ask about the schedule expectations during the interview process.

19. In what ways can an art and design internship help me build my resume and stand out in future job applications?

1) Gain hands-on experience: Internships provide the opportunity to work on real projects and collaborate with professionals in the field. This practical experience can demonstrate to future employers that you have the skills needed to succeed in a professional setting.

2) Build a portfolio: During an internship, you will have the chance to create new work or contribute to existing projects, which can be added to your portfolio. A strong portfolio can impress potential employers and set you apart from other candidates.

3) Develop technical skills: Internships offer the chance to learn new software, tools, and techniques that are used in the industry. These skills can make you more marketable and give you an advantage over other candidates.

4) Networking opportunities: Internships allow you to meet and interact with professionals in the field, including potential mentors and future references. Building a network of contacts early on can open up job opportunities in the future.

5) Gain industry insights: Being immersed in a professional environment can give you a better understanding of how the industry works, its trends and challenges. This knowledge can help guide your career decisions and show employers that you are informed about their field.

6) Showcase soft skills: Apart from technical abilities, internships also allow you to showcase your soft skills such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, adaptability, etc. These skills are highly valued by employers in any industry.

7) Increases confidence: Through an internship, you will have experiences dealing with clients, meeting deadlines, getting feedback on your work, giving presentations etc., which can boost your confidence and provide evidence of your ability to handle workplace challenges.

8) Potential for a job offer: Many companies use internships as a way to recruit new talent. If an employer is impressed with your performance during your internship, they may offer you a full-time position after graduation.

9) Demonstrate commitment: Completing an art and design internship shows dedication and passion for the field. This can help differentiate you from other applicants and show employers that you are serious about pursuing a career in art and design.

10) International experience: If you choose to do an internship abroad, this can add a global dimension to your resume and show that you are open-minded, adaptable, and culturally aware – all desirable qualities for employers in today’s interconnected world.

20. What advice would you give to someone looking for an internship specifically in the arts and design industry?

1. Develop a strong portfolio: It is important to have an updated and diverse portfolio that showcases your skills, creativity, and range of work. This will be the main tool used to showcase your potential and attract potential employers.

2. Network: Attend art exhibitions, design conferences, workshops, and other industry events to meet professionals in the field. This will help you expand your network and make connections that can lead to potential internship opportunities.

3. Research potential companies: Do some research on different companies or organizations that interest you. Understand their work culture, values, and projects they are currently working on to see if it aligns with your interests and goals.

4. Leverage social media: Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Behance can be powerful tools for finding internship opportunities in the arts and design industry. Follow companies or artists that inspire you and engage with their content to increase your visibility.

5. Customize your application: Tailor each application to the specific company or organization you are applying to. Showcase not only your artistic skills but also how you fit into their specific culture and mission.

6. Be willing to start small: If you are just starting out in the industry, be open to internships at smaller or lesser known organizations before aiming for big-name companies. These experiences can still provide valuable learning opportunities.

7. Show a willingness to learn: As an intern, you may not have all the skills or experience needed for certain projects but showing a willingness to learn new things can go a long way in impressing potential employers.

8. Be persistent: The arts and design industry can be highly competitive, so don’t get discouraged if you face rejection or don’t hear back from companies right away. Keep applying and stay proactive in networking opportunities.

9. Consider remote internships: With advances in technology, many companies now offer remote internship opportunities which can allow you to gain valuable experience from anywhere in the world.

10. Be professional: Treat your internship search and application process as you would for a job. This includes being punctual, dressing professionally, and communicating effectively with potential employers.


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