It’s my experience that when it comes to breaking into the world of professional Web design, there’s nothing more valuable than a quality internship. Internships tell prospective employers that you’ve been there. That you are acclimated to professional Web design standards and culture. That you are ready to hit the ground running…
But what is a quality internship? What should you look for? And… how do you get one?
First, what is a quality internship?
- A genuine learning environment
- Immersion in professional design and development culture
- Meaningful projects and experience
- A legitimate, internship environment with structured mentoring and instructions
- An opportunity to bust you butt to be part of creative and productive Web design projects
- A thoughtful, substantial, formal review process
Compensation is a factor, particularly in whether and how it reflects an appreciation of your commitment. But it is not necessarily an indication of the quality, and long-term value of an internship.
So, how do you get a quality internship. If you’re enrolled in a college, university, or vocational training program, your institution will have an internship coordinator. That’s one route, and you should avail yourself of that.
But I suggest a complimentary approach of going directly to the source.
I’m exploring different resources, but have one to suggest right now: Glassdoor.
On the Glassdoor job search, you can filter for Job Type is “Internship”. E.g., I did a search for “web” in location “New York” with job type “Internship” and found a bunch of opportunities that looked promising.
Students can also create Job Alerts to get updates when new jobs are posted that match those criteria.
And here’s a plus to mining Glassdoor for internships: This is also the site that provides the most transparent (get it: glass door) insights into the actual culture and environment at companies, so you can get a feel for what your experience might be like. Kind of like “Rate My Professor” but for workplaces.
Give it a try, and let me know how things worked out.
And, of course, feel encouraged to share your own tips and insights on internships.