Design Interns Club
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Design Interns Club
Share your internship experiance with others! All experiences welcomed 🌱🌱
All questions are OPTIONAL and ANONYMOUS.
Name of the place of your current or recent internshipCity of your current or recent internshipHow much did you get paid for this internship? (monthly or in total)Did you get benefits with the internship eg. healthcare, travel funds etc? How many hours per week you've ussually worked?Approx. how much were you paying in total in monthly bills (rent, food, travel, etc)Did you have clearly defined tasks that were educational and helped you learn by doing? What would you point out that was good on your internship?Do you have any bad experiences or something that you aren't/weren't ok with at your internship?If you could ask for change around design internships in the future, what would this be? What concrete steps do you suggest? Any other notes, questions, or thoughts? Contact (Here you can leave your email or Instagram so the other interns or those seeking for one can reach you. But if you don't feel safe and comfortable doing that, just skip it :))
NODE BerlinBerlin400€/Monthreduced public transport 40 hours (10.00-19:00, 1hr break)around 500€/month mostlyI learned a lot, got insight into studio processes and applied projects in the cultural field which is crucial during studies. They have interesting clients. I had nice coworkers I could ask about anything and who supervised my work. We cooked lunch together most of the days which was nice. I had a contract and got a letter of recommendation. All in all I had a good intern experience. There were moments I had bigger responsibilities then I thought I could manage, out of necessity more than trust, but I managed and I guess thats how you learn. In moments of high stress levels things got taken out of my hands, I understand why, but it's not a great learning experience. I mostly worked with set key visuals and templates.If interns are a planned constant of the business and their work is profitable, at least minimum wage should be paid (as german law says). If small studios can't afford that, there are other perks like intensive mentoring, off days etc that may make up for it. Credit names where credit is due, this also goes for freelancers and staff.
Studio Manuel RaederBerlin250 EUR / monthhahah no+/- 32 (4 days a week, but often staying in studio later)800 EURsometimes– Studio Manuel Raeder works on lot of interesting projects which is nice to see from inside, as well as it was nice to see how the publishing house BOM DIA of Manuel is running. Studio works with/for many contemporary artists and galleries, so you can also learn a lot about the art, poetry, literature and architecture while working on the projects. Manuel and people around him are knowledgeble and intellectual people, you can learn a lot from.
– Also I appreciate the multidisciplinary approach
– 4 days working week
– very human and understanding about being sick, or taking a day off for family or study reasons
– good location of the studio
– nice coffee
The ratio between interesting tasks and very boring tasks was sometimes not too good. Very boring tasks are not only about retouch and cuting-out in photoshop (which are sometimes neccesery) but also jobs like packing books, sending packages, wraping objects to bubble wrap, going to hardware shops and carrying (heavy!) material, going to post office, moving (heavy!)stuff from the storages etc. Sometimes it was really too much. Interns are not cheap workers who are there when you want to save money on moving services or handcraft people.

Working place is not too comfortable, chairs are extremly bad, no screens, not enoug space.

communication was not always good. Manuel is often traveling for his international work and interns are supervised mostly by his freelancers. Feedback was often not very clear.
–don't expect interns to do all the shit jobs just because they are around
–be patient with your interns, they are there to learn
MARINE SERREParis560 EURno401100 EURNO- Possibility to live in the city of Fashion - Paris
- Being part of the biggest event in Paris - FASHION WEEK
- Forcefully learning french, which might be useful in the future
- Being able to separate personal life from the professional one
- given tasks were not specified and mostly designed by the supervisor himself using me as a graphic design tool.
- non-creative environment with a team with no graphic design or printing knowledge, that made some of the tasks hardly manageable and therefore delayed.
- In Fashion, time equals money
- Taking too many responsibilities as an Intern
- Being more of a Social Media Manager than Graphic Designer
- Stressful meetings at late hours
- non-friendly, french-only colleagues
- communications with colleagues mostly went into gossiping and hating on the job itself.
- Late night URGENT calls and messages about instagram posting.
- Constant stress and endless tasks from every possible department of the company
- Being part of a disrespected cheap labour
- Direct and negative feedbacks mostly received because of bad communication with the supervisor that never really stood up for me.
In terms of not having any respect as a graphic designer in a different creative field I would change the awareness about the role of graphic design, e. g.:
- Graphic design has to go through a Clarification in other creative fields.
- Graphic design is comparable to any other design industry
- Graphic designer DOESN'T equal marketing strategist or social media manager.
- Don't benefit from cheap labour
- Internship shouldn't be used as a form of labour
Koehorst In'T VeldRotterdam150 euro monthlydoes lunch everyday count?40700 euros Not always, sometimes.I got to look inside interesting projects and got a chance to participate in it. I learned about the big difference between designer-client relationship in CZ and in The Netherlands.I did a lot of maintenance and uninteresting work and the communication was sometimes uneasy.My internship wasn't bad. The ratio between interesting and uninteresting work was still bearable cause I felt a lot like learning new things all the time. They wouldn't accept me as an intern if I hadn't got the student scholarship – living in Rotterdam was hard, but manageable. There's generally a lot of problems with internships but I consider my experience a positive one.
Studio EsVienna240 EUR/monthticket to a design conference (and free coffee?)around 35-40 hours/4 days (I asked for one day off)750€Not really. - I had to manage the studio work and my own jobs so I've learned how to work super-efficient and fast.
- At the end the most valuable thing I gained is the friendships with the other interns.
- And also the posssibility to live in Vienna.
- no set working hours
- no constructive feedback just orders
- emails at midnight
- more interns than employees
- 80% of the conversations are in german
- a lot of boring tasks (scanning, taking pictures for the portfolio, retouching,.. etc)
- pay and respect your interns
- don't just benefit from the cheap labour
- give them a chance to learn, interns should be mentored
- make internship expectation clear from the beginning
Kolektiv StudioPrague8000 CZK per monthnoit was very random, sometimes just few, sometimes couple of days in a rowcca 7000 CZKnothe work was very flexible and it learned me a lot about gd real lifethe last task – a catalogue for one gallery – was hell but the fault was on a client sideit should be always payed, the name of an intern should be visible and the tasks should be relevant to intern's knowledge and desire to learn something newmy internship was
Use All FiveLos Angeles15/hrFree lunch on Fridays201000YesI felt especially cared for and welcome.They must all be paid. There should be implemented some sort of mentoring encouraged.@dabuzon
floriankarsten.comBrnocca 400€no30cca 400€
I have the opportunity to learn the basics of web development and watch work flow of independent studio (I been in Florian Karsten before they started to develop typefaces). I start an internship in a difficult life situation and friendly workspace in the studio helped me to cross it.noIf the design studios and agencies can't waste sources on growing apprentices and use interns only as cheap machines, It's mean that this corner of the economy doesn't work and society doesn't know how to create a sustainable system with meaningful work opportunities for young students.
Koehorst in 't VeldRotterdam150Lunch35800Sometimes, yes. Often tasks were not clear. Depending on the workload, the studio members took more or less time to discuss/use my work.Getting insights into the process of exhibition design and how their studio is run. Whenever I asked for something or gave feedback, I was taken serious and the studio members reacted to it.Too much model building. Some weeks +50%. In return I was expecting some interesting, more educative tasks, which didn’t always happen. Either pay your interns proper or make it a good learning experience for them.
The Phoney ClubRotterdam200 eurLunch20800I had clearly defined tasks, although not all of them were educational. My bossladies tried to give me half of the tasks for things that I know well and they don’t (animations) and half for things that they are good at and I want to learn.The people were great and the knowledge + skills was the biggest benefit that I could learn from just by watching and asking questions.I might only say a problem that is very common in every country if there is only one person not speaking the local language, the rest has difficulties to not forget to speak english.Any design internship has great opportunities, go for it! <
WAF GMBHHamburg600 €/monthno40 h, 9.30-18.30 800Yes I learned a lot about a holistic view of design and got an insight into project planning and strategy. There were interesting projects and clearly defined tasks. Before the internship, I didn't deal much with digital applications. It was therefore very valuable for me to be able to ask questions openly and approach new challenges in a relaxed manner. Good integration into the team.I did not have any negative experiences, but I would like to inform you that German is spoken most of the time. Numerous projects were handled in English between the studio and the client.Even small tasks or invisible jobs contribute to delivering really good things. Appreciate that, pay for work, pass on experience and knowledge, be transparent. .... sometimes there is the possibility of being hired as a working student or team member.
Studio Ted noten Hertogenbosh 0Train costs 1 or two days of presence + research at home800Yes but they have not need respected. I ask to get feedback on my artistic practice in exchange of free work ( I did concepts, research, drawings) and did not receive itThat I made the decision to leave Non respect of the oral contract we had on knowledge exchange/ inappropriate behaviour from Ted noten asking me some extra French lesson(!!) unpaid of course, featuring a song with sexual subject. He also found funny to show porn video from his phone to me and another Intern in the middle of a meeting as we are working on his PowerPoint .Minimum salary of 600 e per month for full time After that experience I found that his work fits with his mysognist and patriarchal behaviour: outdated. Plus he his not honest.
Design & Architecture studio
Amsterdam350 in black. 6 monthsnothingI ONLY worked Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. others stayed until 8 pm or more.1300 minimumyesfreedom of work, very creative. I WAS LUCKY!other people working in the same studio. not nice. too much competition. interns needs to go and buy dutch bread for lunch. everyday. comments like " please dont buy the bread also for tomorrow"a well paid internship, at the end is a new work. Dont buy bread or bring cofee to anybody, only if they bring at least one for you. I did not study to buy bread or bring cofee. If I did it, was to support my collegues interns who was delivering cofee and buying dutch bread more than 2 days a week.
Fellini GalleryBerlin100nothing40800nointernational experience, cool other internsthe employee, the tasks, the compensationless exploitation more actually interesting workgot kicked out after a cool artist I scouted did not agree to exhibit there on the terms of giftig the gallery one of his pictures (other artists apparently agree to those terms, but he was already quite influential) and put me in cc - this was probably too much for the face saving gallerist. Another side business was renting studios and flats and was entirely run by interns, with only two regular full time employees working there. very unsustainable setup. non the less it amazed me how many interesting, international student interns gathered there majors in architecture, design, cinema, fine arts... very nice crowd which made the long days in the gallery fun.
Fons Hickmann M23Berlin400 Euro/MonthNot at all40 (10-19h) 700/MonthnoGetting to know how people work together as an agency, nothing more, really. And at least I know how I don't want to be treated/work in the future and that I am brave enough to quit anytime.I quit before the internship was actually over. I had a bachelors degree and got to do all the internship tasks you could ask for, including making coffee and cleaning tables. When I talked to them they just said I should see the internship as a kind of training. But I was trained. I was not In my 1st or 2nd Semester. I wish they would have noticed that more. There was no chance to work on any concept/design jobs during my stay. I just got to apply existing designs to periodicals and shoot pictures for the studio website. In between that I basically had nothing to do. Plus, as the only non-smoking person I really didn't like that they smoked in the kitchen all the time. Co-Workers were nice, but didn't make any effort to get to know you better as a person.Appreciation for Interns, fair money and tasks. Don't let yourself fool for internships in big and known creative studios. Ask other people who worked there first.
Any StudioBerlin350 EURONO (GOT LENT A BIKE FROM MY BOSS THOUGH)34 (4 days a week)800YES- Well defined tasks
- Variety of clients (cultural organisations)
- Having input in brainstorming of briefs
- small studio-got to know everyone working there well
- 4 days a week so had time to explore the city and do self lead projects
- group tasks and independent task
-given a reasonable amount of time to complete complex tasks
- feedback session on last day about all of the work I've done (requested)
- cooked together and went for super nice food nearby

- Sometimes work I submitted was amended before being sent out, would have wanted to be informed of this directly so I could improve/ take note. I understand why this probably happened - they were super busy completing various tasks.- Wish the wage was a little higher, I do understand in a small studio its the only option to even have an intern. Is only possible because of erasmus funding I received. @lucielemonade
Institute of Network Cultures
Amsterdam400 eurosTravel funds were available but I didn't need them~32600Yes, I had defined tasks that left room for my own initiative, as well as theoretical and practical support for self-run project .Autonomy, welcoming environment, flexibility on the part of the employer, trust.No.A tiny bit more guidance.
De MonsterkamerAmsterdam Nothing (€0)Travel funds, however my travel was for free.24 hours530Not super clearly but I guessNetworking! And gained a lot of knowledge about the printing processNoIt would be nice if art in general would be better funded, so that studio’s can pay their interns.
Digital EntityMilan1000 (approximately)Healthcare and AON Flexible Benefits40550Yes, my trustee assigned me several tasksTrustee, friendly workplace, good payNo
IA CollaborativeChicago$24 / hrYes40hr / week$1200 + extra fees per month, for 3 month rent in a neighboring dormYes
Giant SpoonLA15$/ hourNo40 hoursUber was around 20$ everyday, I'd recommend if you could find a place closer to your internship, or possibly find a convenient bus route. I payed 1200$ in total for housing for 3 months. I stayed at a university that was 30 minutes away from work.Yes.The creative team I was apart of allowed me to spear-head client meetings and design draft meetings. I was able to play an important role as part of the creative team. I didn't feel like an intern, I felt like an employee for the company.No.Payment for Overtime work. / @thedreamingali
LomographyVienna400 €/ month- Accident Insurance (compulsory in Austria but also very basic).
- Discounts on Lomography products
40 + 2-3 overwork / week900 € ca.Yes, most of the time.
I was also tasked with very uninteresting things like archiving material, sorting out very old things, running up and down the building between to pick up parcels and things like this.
The design team for the whole company was very small and I have found this very good for my experience. 1 art director, 1 employed designer, 2 interns designers so we had quite a "controlled" environment. Constant feedback on projects and very passionate people to work with.- underpayment for a full-time job
- no flexibility in the working hours
- no overtime work payment
- the way how interns work was given feedback and people were treated
- being called "the intern" from the head of the company (of a 6 people design team and a 40 people company)
- never getting credit for the work done or goals achieved
- fair payment (according to the responsibility given and time investment required)
- more flexibility around the work hours distributions (some people have to keep freelancing aside their 40+ internships which make life miserable and work not enjoyable
- on point feedbacks, designers need mentors not mean parents.
Slavs and TatarsBerlin0Nope45900Unfortunately notThe studio space was niceI was mostly a handyman for the studio, taking out weeds from the garden, moving furniture to their house, pumping up wheels of the baby stroller, fixing kitchen sink isolationClear and open communication about what type of work will be done in relation to the study program, payment options (internship is not a magical period where we don't need any money)
PNC Financial ServicesPittsburgh$22/hourno40$1000-1100Yes, I was given a consistent workload and I was able to get my work critiqued multiple times a weekGood amount of feedback and work and friendly work
HAYMAKER Los Angeles, CA USA$4,027 in total ($15/hour)Monthly bus pass50I was mostly just thrown into tasks trial by fire. Nothing was purely educational or practice, it was all commercial work. I learned from it but it wasn’t clearly an exercise. I didn’t have any mentorship.I enjoyed the office environment and community. I worked on a lot of different media.The intense hours last minute and overload of work was stressful and I didn’t qualify for overtime until after 55 hours a week. I was expected to do everything from doing deck comps to UX/UI to digital ads to strategy. It was good experience but I felt overworked.Clear mentorship, someone you can stick with to teach you strategies or techniques you are interested in. Clearer boundaries.
New York City$19/hour, about $520 or so a weekFree museum access36-38Rent: $1610 a month, Lunch about $10 each working day
Montreal1200/monthNope22.5N/A, living with parentsYes, although since the office I interned at was small scale (4 employees), the scope of tasks encompassed pretty much every step of a project. The defined tasks were more an ongoing guidance of what was to be done at every one of those steps (for example in the preliminary design phase: research, conceptualizing, mockups, building presentation).Client interaction, file preparation and printer visits, collaboration and direction by experienced people, conceptual as well as production work NoPut effort into giving interns creative work even if giving them mindless production work is safer monetarily speaking. Most interns are looking to hone their conceptualizing skills anyway, and should work towards that goal. It is then also much easier to feel a sense of appropriation and thus responsibility towards a project, as well as being useful in a portfolio following the internship. Note: My internship took place 3 years ago
Jugendkulturhaus Dynamo
Zürich1200 CHF (pre-study intern) or 1800 CHF (after-study intern). I was finished with my study but I've earned the pre-study payment. The "after-study position" was token. Then, after the first intern quit, I had the chance to raise – but I wouldn't because I preferred to work with an experienced Intern.Lunch Check Card, Guest List and Backstage for Concerts and Partys at Dynamo, free access to the different lab's4 Days/Week, at somedays till 9pm or on saturdays – if you had the responsibility over the printing lab. but chill :)1500 CHF: rent in Zurich (500–900 CHF), swiss healthcare (280 CHF), Food (min. 600 CHF) Two days per week I've been introducing and take care of the printing lab and had to go once a week to the lab's meeting.
Next to it, I had to take full responsibility over some graphic design projects (because I and the second intern have been the only graphic designers). To fail sometimes was totally okay.
If you like creative freedom, handcraft and you're self-initiative, you will love this place – It's paradise!
I had a super nice experience and exchange with the colleges all over the different departments!
I didn't learn a lot more about graphic design because there wasn't really a contact person who had the time and the up-to-date knowledge to ask.
clarify the job alert and the people who and how they are responsible for you.
– Don't be scared about the website design – you can do your own thing ;)
– they prefer mostly local applications
Forward CreativesVienna730/monthwas always welcomed back at events and festivities with food and drinks after the internship ended, two times tickets to other design conferences, lots of goodies from partners, free tickets for friends/family to our own festivalsalways about 40 in office, at peak times 60, but some of them working from home + festivals were longer hours obviously~750a lot of project management, here and there a creative design task + some festival identity related ones, a bit of newsletter, social media and curating an online gallery. some more exciting than others, but all beneficial in learning a fast efficient workflow, because of time pressure. also leading teams, the production of festivals and tips and tricks from the bosses.building a network, working at festivals as intense, but valuable and good experience, getting in touch with international designers and scenes, my opinion was treated as equally valid in meetings and never downplayed, flexible workschedule (and days off for exams or necessary travels, even on short notice), unconventional ideas and how to pull them off, colleagues were amazingly nice and i travelled to Antwerp for a press trip.overworked myself so much that I had to quit and start seeing a therapist, nobody knew in which projects i was actually involved in and received more and more tasks from all sides without checking capacity (also didn't know how to refuse/ say no), bosses weren't conform in communicating tasks, informations and also in their leadershippay interns at least a living wage, integrate feedback as essential part of the internship, elevate mentorship, credit for participating in designs and possible documentation for potential portfolio projects, be more empathetic and not profit orientated when taking in internsinternship was 1,5 years ago, one of the bosses left, the team changed continously, but is still incredibly lovely. for the next season i got a part time gig there and now have more clear defined, but also free and interesting tasks
Selam XBerlin400 per monthno501000yesfriendly atmosphere, a lot of interesting opportunities to learn something newif something happens, we talk about it and solve
PolyLesteramsterdam0travel funds, lunch16-24h, 2-3 days a week800 eurthe tasks were clear and I gained trust to manage the projects on my own and was able to experiment. after some time it felt like unpaid work and stopped to make sense to me. felt like i am not really learning, only doing lol. since i was intern of a position that had no management or tutor it was hard to get out of this box and get involved in other projects where i could actually learn something new. the young team and communicating with them (most of them unpaid too), nice studio in a great citya boss that's joking about unpaid work that happens at the office is not a sign of healthy office culture.

also, unpaid work makes that the "client" dont value the work as if its paid. months after the internship, the studio deleted website (probably by accident) i designed for them , with no previous communication,
we need consultants that can guide young designers to find a good place to intern and empower them with communication skills so they wont be afraid to ask, navigate, avoid getting exploited.

this should be accessible to students and non-students.

internships should be definitely paid. not sure if a law about minimal intern wage would help.
Studio FolderMilan600No~45800YesTasks of great responsibility, big clients and interesting works. Also friendly coworkersEvery now and then there have been moments of great stress and tension in the studio
Accept&ProceedLondon£700 for 4 weeks No40800They assigned me lots of different tasks and this made me work on a variety of projects which helped me to have an understanding on the way they approached different stages of the design process. The variety of projects I had to work on. I was ask to do a few tasks which weren’t designs job at all. I wish agency have a clear and strategic plan of development for the intern and would know which tasks to assign. I felt quite overwhelmed during the whole experience, it was a very fast paced working environment and I felt like I couldn’t keep up and I was scared of failing. If I can give an advise I would say to try to not let fear of failure holding you back from making good work or speak up. Try to show what you are really capable of.
Christoph KnothBerlin600€ / MonthI got food.40450€ for accommodation and 60€ basic stuffIt was usually 1 day per week for learning stuff like Git and Terminal. The other 4 days were implementing, developing and designing for the web. I learned a lot, but also worked on real projects.The balance of total freedom and daily occupations.Some days it was just me ini the office, but could Skype with Christoph or his (work) partner Konrad ;)A more welcomed invitation to the scene. I'm a super shy person, because wasn't used to this kind of "lifestyle". When I was younger I was already working in different agencies during my holidays and never really felt as a part of it. But maybe its because I'm just the intern that should look up with his own eyes to these people with much more experience.I preferred to make an internship instead of an exchange year. I don't really understand my colleagues; an internship is much more cooler than doing the same studies, but in another country.
Volume magazineAmsterdam0No21800No, I had freedom to pursue a research that would then be published as an article or interview (or both)Great environment, nice people although not really there to teach you, nice officeToo much freedom that did not allowed for an experience of learning how to write or pursue researchI would ask for a minimum wage, at least to cover rent expenses, and a clear definitions of tasks and objectives (that can also come with the sharing of ideas and expectations)
//New York City01 lunch weekly36 - 40800YesExperience, people, and variety of work.Not being paid and living in NYCJust pay your fucking interns a reasonable salary. I was fortunate enough to have people to support me when I really needed it, so I could pursue this opportunity, but many are not so fortunate. I worked another job on the weekends and it still would not have been enough money to pay my bills.Do not expect diversity in design to change with this gateway.
Detekt Biomedical LLCAustin Tx10$/hr, paid monthlyno20-30$800 - $1000yesThe CEO(and my boss) is really nice and understanding, an all around cool dude. We had office dogs. hours were super flexible with school hours. They were not very clear in what they advertised when posting the internship. I thought I was just going to be making graphics for them but instead I did everything on the advertisement side. product photography, creating/producing product videos, all marketing, I managed sponsored advertisements on LinkedIn and struggled to update their website. Barely ever did what was originally asked for(graphic design), and when I did I had to earn even a small amount creative freedombeing transparent of what they want you to doits a very small company of about 7 people. everyone was really nice and it was hard to leave.
ArgoAustin20$ hourNo201400Yes
GretelNew York City$105/dayNo40$2000YesHigh-end projects. Interns are viewed as freelancers (expected to own a direction)There's ego in everyone's mindset. Hard to have a voice.Give interns more solid design and concept works. Less pixel-pushing jobs.
MacmillanAustin$25/hrnaaah40.Super intimate, v nice team that are very receptive to your interests (UX,UI, User Research). Shaped my tasks upon whatever I was interested in learning / helping out with. so, yes.I got a good taste of what working in product design for tech is like. Really excellent group of designers, all quite nice & nerdy.