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Work experience!


#1
Hi everyone =) this is my first proper thread lol...well basically i'm in year 12 at the moment studying AS art and photography but I would really like to do graphic design at uni. I've decided to try and get some design work experience this summer for maybe 1 week but I was wondering whats the best way to do this? I've come up with a kind of letter template but I read somewhere that I should maybe present it in a different way? And also would any design agency allow me to get experience there as i've never done graphics before? My school's going to offer Graphics AS next year, which i'm going to do but atm i haven't really got much experience of the programs or anything so i'm kinda confused about what to do xD thanks for reading this lol and any advice would be really appreciated! =)
 

bigdave

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Hi there,

When I was 16 I got 2 weeks work experience with a small local print company. I spent the whole time making cups of tea and collating magazines. While I didnt learn anything directly related to Graphic Design, it gave me an insight to the print process and helped me forge some extremely useful industry links.

I think your best bet is just to find small companies in your area and pop in for a face to face.
 
#3
Thanks for replying bigdave =)
Wow i hope i dont have to spend most of the time making tea =/ although thats quite likely =p but yeah it would be good to just get a feel of what its like in the industry and the kind of environment =) thanks again, i will probably go to each agency directly and check =)
 

Katedesign

Well-Known Member
#4
I think a job in a local small printers is a great way to get experience. You will get to see print machinery, customers files, finishing processes (like binding, folding, creasing, numbering etc) handle paper, they might have digital, they will make plates - loads of things. Find a small format printers B3 - small firm - you might do filing and tea making but you will be able to talk and watch and learn.
 

bigdave

Moderator
Staff member
#5
Where abouts do you live? there may be a forum member who can either offer you a weeks placement or has a contact in your area who can help you get a foot in the door.
 
#6
Thanks katedesign, i'll have a look around for some printers as well then =D it would be awesome to see how everything works in there

bigdave - I live in the Central Hertfordshire area near to Hatfield =) It would be quite useful if anyone has any contacts around there haha =D
 
#8
I personally wouldn't bother. At your age and experience you won't learn a great deal, as someone else said, they'll just get you making tea. For a busy company, having someone in of school age is really hard because they know so little you have to devote a lot of time to them and nobody has that kind of time.

And before you go and do graphic design, I strongly suggest you do a foundation course. You might decide product design, or photography, or interior design, or theatre design, or illustration, or film making are more up your street. And you'll have an excellent time too.

Don't be in such a hurry, have some fun!
 
#9
I personally wouldn't bother. At your age and experience you won't learn a great deal, as someone else said, they'll just get you making tea. For a busy company, having someone in of school age is really hard because they know so little you have to devote a lot of time to them and nobody has that kind of time.

And before you go and do graphic design, I strongly suggest you do a foundation course. You might decide product design, or photography, or interior design, or theatre design, or illustration, or film making are more up your street. And you'll have an excellent time too.

Don't be in such a hurry, have some fun!
I don't agree, do your work experience, try all companies you can, internship/work experience can easily turn into your first freelance projects.
It's a great way to learn office live and looks great on a CV.
If you try doing work experience you'll soon notice if it's something you want to always do or not.
 
#10
bigdave - Thankyou so much! =D It would be awesome if you could but don't worry about it if you don't have time or anything =)

SparkCreative - Thanks for your opinion =) I see what you mean, but at the same time I guess I would just like to see what the environments like at the same time. Also, if I had work experience on my CV then wouldn't I have a better chance with uni's because it shows that i'm quite dedicated and have at least tried to get some experience before? But yeah I am definitely going to be applying for foundations first just in case I change my mind lol xD
Lol but with regards to your last comment about having some fun - art is fun for me =p i'm a bit enthusiastic haha xD Most of my friends are revising atm but i've finished exams so nothing to do for a few weeks!

Chris247 - Thanks for your comment! Yeah as you said, I think if had experience then i'd have a better idea of what its like in the industry and it would look good on my CV =)
 

bigdave

Moderator
Staff member
#11
you could apply for work eperince at Saatchi & Saatchi. They do a summer scholorship scheme but places are like rocking horse sh!t..

Ive asked on other forums and unfortunately most of my contacts are too far away for you to reasonably commute but theyve all recommended that you just sit down with the yellow pages and start phoning round.

I'm not sure if this is encouraging or not but here's one of the responses I got:

Just noticed this thread. I haven't got any jobs but he's perfectly welcome to come down here and spend his grant on takeaways, pizza and especially beer for me. He'd certainly learn the important things about the wonderful world of design and production by using his money for my benefit!

"Have you learned anything about advertising design today? Hic"
"You've spent all my money." Sad
"There endeth the first lesson! Hic"

Seriously though, whatever any suit or company director says to the contrary, to survive in this business he'll have to learn to drink properly because your company's clients' first duty is to find out how soft you are. Knowing about design is also a good idea, although I'm living proof that it isn't strictly necessary. Smile
You wouldn't guess he likes a beer of two would you! lol :icon_tongue_smilie:
 
#12
Lol thanks a lot for checking! =D haha yeah i heard about the Saatchi and Saatchi placements but highly doubt I would get a place lol
And LOL i would never have guessed =p thats a nice offer but i think i'll start looking for companies in my area =p Thankyouu soo much though again =)
 
#14
I've just finished my Foundation; Unis love foundation students.
Yeah i'm definitely thinking of doing a foundation before the degree. Then I can decide if i'm suited to graphics or not lol xD If you don't mind, would you be able to tell me where you did foundation and what it was like please?
 
#15
Yeah no problem; Warwickshire College - Royal Leamington Spa School of art. It was intense; very fast pace. Loads of experimentation and exploration. I can e-mail a couple of my briefs over if you want to take a look? I honestly think you wouldn't regret it, best thing I ever did! It'll help you find a real focus on what you want to do and I know I developed dramatically. I'm currently exhibiting my work with a really positive response which is a massive confidence boost!
 
#16
Yeah no problem; Warwickshire College - Royal Leamington Spa School of art. It was intense; very fast pace. Loads of experimentation and exploration. I can e-mail a couple of my briefs over if you want to take a look? I honestly think you wouldn't regret it, best thing I ever did! It'll help you find a real focus on what you want to do and I know I developed dramatically. I'm currently exhibiting my work with a really positive response which is a massive confidence boost!
Wowww that sounds amazing, well done for your exhibition =D a few people have been telling me that it was their best experience ever lol. I think i'm definitely gonna have to do a foundation now anyway because the new graphics course that my school were gonna offer next year has been cancelled =/ so i won't actually have any formal education in graphics before applying! It would be great if you could mail me some briefs =) thanks a lot
 
#17
bigdave - Thankyou so much! =D It would be awesome if you could but don't worry about it if you don't have time or anything =)

SparkCreative - Thanks for your opinion =) I see what you mean, but at the same time I guess I would just like to see what the environments like at the same time. Also, if I had work experience on my CV then wouldn't I have a better chance with uni's because it shows that i'm quite dedicated and have at least tried to get some experience before? But yeah I am definitely going to be applying for foundations first just in case I change my mind lol xD

Having been in education and now photography/design etc my view is your work will get you into college/university. Your work is what matters. Wasting timein second rate local design enterprises, making tea, as others have intimated will not help you create a portfolio. hard slog and self reliance and creativity are what matter really. If i was interviewing prospective creative students all i would be interested in is their work. if you can do a lengthy time working that colud be differnt, so long as you learn something and they use your abilities as well as help you. I have tended to turn my back on education anyway and believe best people tend to those that learn themselves (with advice/help when they seek it out). They tend to be more creative and original and free thinking and passionate.
I know of BA photo students who dont know what depth of field is....i know self taught amateurs who know mre and have more talent than the lecturers...
 

bigdave

Moderator
Staff member
#19
Having been in education and now photography/design etc my view is your work will get you into college/university. Your work is what matters. Wasting timein second rate local design enterprises, making tea, as others have intimated will not help you create a portfolio. hard slog and self reliance and creativity are what matter really. If i was interviewing prospective creative students all i would be interested in is their work. if you can do a lengthy time working that colud be differnt, so long as you learn something and they use your abilities as well as help you. I have tended to turn my back on education anyway and believe best people tend to those that learn themselves (with advice/help when they seek it out). They tend to be more creative and original and free thinking and passionate.
I know of BA photo students who dont know what depth of field is....i know self taught amateurs who know mre and have more talent than the lecturers...
I dont see how you can say that trying to gain experience, albeit at a very junior level is a waste of time? Any experience is good even if it only shows a prospective college that youre keen enough to take the initiative. And whats this about local second rate agencies? A companies location has nothing to do with the standard of work produced!

I can understand your comments regarding qualifications but unfortunately the industry in which we work generally requires proof of competence and knowledge in the form of formal training as well as a Portfolio of work.
 
#20
formal training

As with most things, it is a question of balance. On balance I believe a lot of so called training/work experience can be a waste of time and especially when the experience is very brief. Portfolio is a demonstration not only of flair/talent but also of technical ability.