Unpaid work experience and blah blah


New Member
Hey! :) so I'm currently in my first year of doing Art and Design Nat dip. I'm specialising in Graphics and illustration and I wanted to know how easy it is to get unpaid work experience?
I want to go round to the graphic design companys in my area and ask, I basically don't care if I make tea and coffee all day, as long as I can see how everything works and the best ways of going about doing things?

So if I went and asked for this, would I need to take a portfolio or anything or would a just a friendly smile do? And would I just ask about work exp or what?

Thankies! Seriously any answers so appreciated!!
I think it should be fairly easy for you. I would advise that you stick to trying to get into an agency, you will see a lot of people posting on message boards asking for free work, but this kind of thing will not be beneficial to you.

Defo have a portfolio to show people, perhaps worth taking some time and making an online portfolio which you can send a link to whilst emailing agencies in you neck of the woods. I wouldn't advise just showing up on the door.

I wish I had done likewise when I started out. So many opportunities I didn't notice or make the most of at the time but I guess at least you learn from mistakes. You will get rejections or not even receive a reply but keep at it, as it it will be worth it. You will learn far quicker working or being around professionals. Good luck!
Also suggest contacting printers who have an art studio. You will also get to see print 'happening' and all the practical issues that printers have with designers!
Maybe ask for a portfolio crit first, then use that as leverage for a placement. You're probably more likely to get a foot in the door that way. Afterwards just mention about the possibility of a placement and you're already way ahead of those who are just emailing random people in the agency hoping for work. Plus you've met one or two designers within the agency face-to-face, and if you've made a good impression, it's possible they may put you in touch with someone in their network who's looking for an intern that does the sort of work you do. It happens.
As a design company if someone comes along and says I'll do a free design for your next project - just give us a brief, it would be a no-brainer for us.