Pros and Сons of a Virtual Design Internship.

Pros and Сons of a Virtual Design Internship.

Pros and cons of a virtual design internship.

When the design industry and the rest of the world faced a lockdown last year, the fate of aspiring professionals and graduates of design schools was very uncertain.

While the forecasts for the year were mixed, the work in practice has changed in all areas. The changes affected primarily internships, as the most common transition from education to real work., an optimistic project of 3DW, created during lockdown.

Daniel Andersson, creative director at FutureBrand in New York, says the past year has been a truly learning curve for the entire team, and not least for the interns.

“Offering an internship is a responsibility,” says Here Design in London. “The experience we want to offer is the experience of a real designer – and we take it very seriously.”

This includes paying trainees enough to live in London, as well as providing them with customization services, from logging into Teams to computing hardware.

The disadvantage of the distance internship was the time difference for interns from other countries, which led to the transition to a more flexible work schedule.

The isolation of young professionals has become another challenge for virtual learning. Working from home all the time, although being in touch through Slack and Zoom, it is difficult for them to be confident in their ideas, the correct direction, and their own creativity. Or, on the other hand, it is difficult to immediately determine where the mistake was made.

Often, interns simply hesitated to contact designers about projects, although this would not be a problem in the workplace, where you can always see if people are busy or not.

A big task for the agencies during the period of universal distancing was to support their students, detailed explanations, explanations of nuances and just friendly conversations on various topics. Making it clear to a person that he is part of a team is very important in difficult times for everyone., the project of 3DW.

FutureBrand hosted fifteen-minute online mornings throughout the year, with topics and intonations ranging from strictly working to friendly optimistic, just to start the day in a normal mood.

“There is a risk of fatigue from such routine meetings, says Andersson, but we tried to find a balance between the need to communicate and the ability to leave the person alone.”

“We tried to create a space where you can talk and really open up – maybe for a couple of hours in the middle of the day.”

FutureBrand has also granted designers membership to the Headspace app.

At the same time, the virtual internship had its advantages.

It provided an opportunity for designers of medium or small income to declare themselves, to show themselves in serious agencies in large cities, where rental housing or living itself is very expensive.

In addition, many interns found it comfortable enough to work at home, where no one peeks from behind during the work process.

What is the future of the virtual internship?

Despite the fact that restrictions are being lifted around the world, teleworking is still the norm for many.

How will virtual internships fit into future jobs?

All studios agreed that the benefits of telecommuting – especially the ability to access more widely – have prompted a rethinking of the future of virtual internship.

FutureBrand added a spring internship and also continued with a summer program.

Here Design hired another intern.

These are all virtual placements.

“We are using this year’s lessons to adapt and transform this experience,”  admits the SEO of Here Design.

“Looking into the future, the opportunities are amazing.”