Tips for Your Design Apprenticeship

Design apprenticeships vary in both their nature and their requirements. The apprenticeships are commonly required in many areas of design for qualification, and also act as very valuable experience and exposure to a design career.

Design is a term which covers the whole spectrum of creative design, from furniture to media, graphics to product design. In many colleges design is taught in this way, providing a holistic, as well as a systematic, form of study in the various fields of design. In practice, these studies tend to channel into specific areas of interest in areas of design.

Finding an internship

In most forms of design, apprenticeships or internships are required as part of the full qualification processes. That situation creates a few issues for students, making getting them compulsory and at the same time making it a more competitive environment. There are plenty of design internships, in all fields, but getting the one that you need can be difficult.

The best method of finding the right design internships is to start searching well in advance of when you'll need them. There are so many design internships, particularly in graphics, that you need to allow yourself time to do a thorough search. The best time to look for a design internship is the year before you need to apply. That allows you to narrow down the field, make inquiries, and get feedback from colleagues and friends about standards and quality of the internships.

It must be stated at this point that some design internships, notably in graphic art, are often subjects of complaint. You must be satisfied with the nature of the internship as a useful provider of training before application. It's also useful to seek professional advice regarding locally available internships. Professionals can always get information in their fields, and can help check out good internships for you. 

Internship interviews

Design internship interviews are based on skills, portfolios, communication and presentation. Employers are looking for talent, and you need to show yourself and your work in a positive context. You also need to be familiar with the employer's own design work, their client base, and the nature of their market. Design is ultimately a consumer-based business, and marketing is the main area of application for design in any field.

These are the areas you'll need to focus upon most:

Technical knowledge: You'll need to be fully familiar with design issues in the field, design media, CAD if required, and use of materials and technology.

Design portfolio issues: Your interview portfolio must be selected to show good matches to the type of work involved in the internship. This includes use of materials and media, subject matter, color issues, and production techniques. It often helps to have design notes attached to your portfolio to help prove your expertise.

Communication and presentation: Design, communication and presentation are inextricably linked. How you present your materials is important. Put each design into context with the internship, directly or indirectly. You can add information like you enjoy working with particular media or subjects to enhance your interview presentation and show strong motivation.