Congratulations! You’re hired!!! You are on your way to becoming the creative director you dream of being one day. Now, there is still TONS of room to completely screw this up, so here are some tips on how to be an amazing intern
1, Your greatest asset is that you have time, which is what the regular employees are missing and the reason why you were hired- use it wisely!! You’re probably going to be crap at this to start with, so ask your supervisor how long you have for each task. Then focus and try to be as fast as possible. Fast interns are the ones who get the cool design projects.
2. Don’t be an entitled asshole. Your job title is intern, which means that you will probably have to sort files, clean up swatches that haven’t been cleaned in years, put away things, take things out of boxes, organize binders, etc. If you become really good at those tasks, you will be trusted with new tasks. You might be so lucky to get actual creative input, if you do,remember that although this is your moment to shine it still ain’t time to forget about all that filing and all those swatches. Remember to get all your tasks done. If in doubt , ask your supervisor to prioritize your to do list. Don’t poo poo at tasks that you think are beneath you. Don’t forget that most interns have to fetch coffee for 6 months to prove themselves enough to handle one file. If you get to be around ANY actual design work or at least get to absorb it by filing while a meeting is going on you are lucky.
3. You hold one main superpower, and that is knowledge of new computer programs. If you are in the creative field, make sure you know Photoshop, illustrator, indesgin and any 3d (if applicable) and know it well. I’ll let you in on a little secret, a lot of your seniors just learned how to download the photos off their iPad into their computer. Be a little technical mastermind and you will become useful fast!
4. Use your questions wisely. Questioning authority and the methods under which things are done is a good thing and evolves the company. However you should always know WHEN is a good time to question the authority. Most of the time we just want you to do as we say. If you can think of a magical way of revolutionizing processes you will have to show this to us, or prove that it will work. Whining about any task is a total no!
5. Start each day with asking for your daily tasks. End each day with asking if your supervisor needs anything before going home. Sneaking off early will only make you look stupid, and will ensure that your senior are rolling their eyes about you at lunch.
6. Ask for a touch point a few months into your internship to see how you’re doing and how you can improve. This shows that you are interested in your short and long term growth and shows that you can take constructive criticism.
7. Fact-You will fuck up. This is totally OK. As soon as you realize you did, tell someone so that he /she can help you sort it out. Apologize for your mistake and make sure you don’t do it again. Fucking up and then just saying ’ I know I know I know’ while walking away to hide does not spark confidence in your skills or in the fact that you can be a good team player. Take responsibility for your mistakes.
8. This is linked to # 7 but, when in doubt, ASK QUESTIONS. If you are even slightly unsure of what you are doing, ask to have it explained again. The last thing you want is to spend 2 hours on a project that is going straight to the garbage, followed by your superiors rolling their eyes about you over lunch.
9. Keep your personal life out of the office. We DO want you to regale us of stories of frosh week, and tell us about a really cool band you just found. Hell, if you’re in fashion you are probably a whole lot more with it than most of the staff over 35. However, there is a time and place for this- Lunch is one of those times, the morning coffee hang is one of those times. A super stressful day when everyone else is sweating to meet a deadline is a time for silence and quiet filing in the corner.
Have fun! And bring some baked goods once in a while (get your mom to bake them). Your seniors barely have time to do their laundry and will appreciate the delicious treats, thus elevating you to the status of an ‘awesome intern’.