Work Experience In Graphic Design

Work Experience in Graphic Design

Whatever the size of your business you may find it beneficial to take on students for work experience, in addition by doing so you make a valuable contribution to education and as such society as a whole.

There is no requirement to pay a student for work experience so no financial loss is made as such by taking in a student for a period of time, but one must consider that time spent teaching them some of the ropes of graphic design could have a dent on office productivity and hence a financial impact if the student is in residence for a long period of time.

Presumably however if the student is in your office for a long period of time they should reach a level of skill sufficient to actually make up for your time spent teaching them, by offering design skills in return for at least some basic tasks.

You may find that even if lacking in experience, a student may still bring your graphic design business fresh ideas, fresh enthusiasm and creativity.

Do make sure that your ‘unpaid’ work experience person is indeed a student taking on work experience as a part of their course however otherwise you could fall foul of the law.

Government legislation with regards to the National Minimum Wage means that employers in the UK are not permitted to offer unpaid work experience to a student unless it is specifically a part of a higher education course. In addition, the maximum period of time an employer can take on a graphic design student for unpaid work experience in the design industry would be one year.

Students who are aged 18 and above who are taking a gap year between school and higher education, must also be paid the National Minimum Wage for any work they do for your firm.

Students should make note of this information also.

If unsure that you want to enter the graphic design industry, or if wanting to develop your skills and learn more, work experience is an excellent way to explore the industry.

By doing a graphic design work experience placement it can help you focus on which particular areas of graphic design interest you the most and also help you decide whether you want to be an employee within a design company, or work for yourself as a freelancer.

Unfortunately demand for work experience is high and if you want a placement with the companies that you feel you will gain the most from you’ll need to make sure you stand out. When approaching companies provide them with a CV that tells them about your education, any work experience so far, you aspirations and a bit about you as a person.

Really if you want the best placements you need to pull together a design portfolio because a graphic design firm or freelancer spending their time teaching you new skills, really do prefer to accept a work experience person with at least some basic graphic design skills they might be able to make some use of in the office.

For instance if you just spent an hour talking to your design student about how to deal with clients, make contracts, or draw something in Illustrator, it’s a real bonus if you think they can recoup some of that time by doing some design work that you may be able to use, or contributing creatively in another way that saves time.

Those are the type of students a firm will be most attracted to and also those that appear friendly and with good communication skills.

After all, who wants a silent creepy nut job in the office for two weeks? lol .. ;)


11 Responses to “Work Experience In Graphic Design”

  • abigail:

    can anyone tell me any companies that do work experience and offer for a week in march 18th as im looking to do graphics design as part of my school curriculam. i need to find offers by mid september. any help please :)

  • Saroop:

    Can anyone tell me any companies to do graphic design with?

  • Lola:

    this was only semi-helpful. It would be great if it listed companies for graphic designing. Like others have mentioned, it would be very helpful.

  • Jade:

    Can someone tell me a company that douse Graphic Design base in London.

  • Sujal:

    Hi, I’m due to do my work experience in July for two weeks (1st – 12th).
    I was wondering if anyone could suggest a few places based in central London for graphic designing. I am not amazing with graphic designing although it is what I would like to go into when I finish university. I was hoping to get work experience in a company that would train me. On the up side I am a fast learner.

    Thankyou, Sujal

  • Sorry guys, I don’t have a list of firms that take on design students for work experience :)

    I only know of one other local firm in Birmingham that does from time to time, as well as myself, as I do also take on students sometimes.

    It’s a matter of searching out the firms you’d like to work with in your area and sending them a letter asking them if they’d consider taking you on for work experience.

    I’d recommend impressing them with your work/skills in the same correspondence so as to get noticed (they will get lots of requests) and so they’ll consider you, as personally I prefer work experience students that have a good level of creativity so I can actually enjoy their time with me and make some use out of it as I did here:

  • Sam Jepson:

    Are you aware of any companies who will take Sixth Form students interested in art and graphic design in the Leeds (West Yorkshire) area. I am currently looking for a placement from 8 July – 19 July and I am studying A Level Art with a view to then going to University.

    Many thanks.

  • Look at my comment above yours please Sam :)

  • Is it possible for me to apply for a week of work experience??

  • Hi there Kaylum, I’m sorry but we don’t offer work placements any longer. I’m hoping to one day again in the next couple of years because I think it’s a valuable experience for both parties – but at the moment it’s not possible.

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