The Value of an Internship (Part 1)

 

Have you caught yourself wondering whether an internship is worth it? Take a few minutes to read through two outstanding student stories about how they got their internships, what they learned, and why you should do it too. These two Design Guild members, Vincent and Jarod, interned at Impact-XM, a mere 25 miles from the United States Capitol, Washington, D.C. this summer. 

Vincent |

How did you learn/get about your internship?

I learned about my internship at an annual event the Bemidji State University’s Design Guild attends in Las Vegas to present their portfolios to industry professionals. A fellow design student introduced me to the company and it all unfolded from there!

Should money be a factor (i.e. how much you’re being paid)?

Not necessarily, of course you need to make enough money to survive and pay for your everyday living (especially when traveling halfway across the country). Strive to only make what you need! In the end, it’s about being paid with an experience you can take with you for a lifetime, which in the end is way more valuable than the amount of money you’re making … 

Why would you recommend for a DG student to get an internship this next summer?

I highly recommend anyone to take an internship and to do as many as you possibly can. This will push you over the edge with experience after you graduate, give you ample networking opportunities to help you find more jobs with reputable references, and lastly, it’s overall a great experience for your own self growth. Internships are opportunities to truly identify where you see yourself in this world and narrows down exactly what you want to do with your future (or what you don’t want).

When should they start looking? And how?

Start looking as soon as you can. Utilize upperclassmen and professors to put you in contact with the right people. They’ll be honest and give you the in’s and out’s of what you’re looking for. Also research companies who interest you and reach out, connect on Linkedin, or even Instagram. Email the company a resume and just get your name out there — even when they don’t have a job posted! If you apply in the future they’ll remember you from reaching out to them in the past — giving you an edge in your future career.

What did you take away from your internship experience?

My main takeaway was learning more about what I want for my future. Of course, I learned a lot about the topic and my field of work, but after working for just two months I know I can make decisions about my future more confidently. I have a better idea with where I see myself in the “real world” versus being confused all the time and constantly asking myself what I’m going to do with my life. Internships are just opportunities to teach you what you want and what you don’t want for yourself, and your future.

Someone once told me over 40% of your life is spent at work, so make it count. Internships will tell you how to make that 40% of your life worth it and not miserable.

Jarod |

Hello. I am Jarod Her, a student in my third year at Bemidji State University. I just finished up my very first internship at Impact-XM. I would like to share some of my experiences at Impact-XM that I believe greatly helped me learn more about the design field, allowing me to gain real and insightful information that will benefit me and give me more experience. For my internship I was able to intern at Impact-Xmʼs office in Washington, D.C. My internship lasted approximately eight weeks. Impact-XM is a brand empowering company, which takes great pride in empowering brands and making relationships.

For me personally, I was content to take an internship anywhere, because I knew anywhere Iʼd go I would gain experience. Impact-XM is a great company with many departments. Although it did have its pros and cons, it was over all very impressive. To start off, I had great mentors there who taught me a great range of things, some being simple and others being very technical and detailed. Such as, shortcuts to modeling, mathematics in design, and to simply take a pause from your work. Their guidance and teachings helped me immensely, and for that alone, I am extremely thankful. Another thing I was able to take away from my internship is how to communicate professionally, which is one thing I felt I always struggled with. But through this internship, I was able to break out of that shell and really develop the ability to communicate with a better ‘business etiquette’, but still have my personality shine through.

Although an internship may seem scary or intimidating, it really wasnʼt. It was the complete opposite from the stereotypes portrayed in media. Overall, I would highly recommend anyone and everyone to partake in an internship, if given the opportunity. It will change your life for the better. 

Conclusion |

Internships are essential for a majority of students in order to become a fulltime, well-rounded designer following graduation. Opportunities like these don’t often fall into your lap, so get in touch with your classmates, mentors, and groups, like the Design Guild, to help you find an internship — near or far! Be on the lookout for more student internship stories on the Bemidji State University’s blog.

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a member of the Design Guild at Bemidji State, please reach out to Mitch Blessing at mblessing@bemidjistate.edu.