A Day in the Life of a Design Intern by Devon Devane

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

I wasn't sure what to expect interning at the Financial Times. As a young graduate graphic designer, it would appear that working at a newspaper ostensibly, doesn't allow for alot of creative freedom compared to other types of print media and working for a paper such as the Financial Times lacks a certain youth appeal. These were certainly my thoughts applying for the position but I applied anyway because regardless of what the experience was like I would have a huge, recognizable name to put on my C.V.

However, my preconceived notions of the experience were thoroughly misguided. On my first day I got a tour of the building, sat in on a conference and was generally introduced around and made to feel welcome. The bulk of the work I have been doing since, has been layout concepts in regards to redesigning certain pages and following on from this I have been creating style guides for the editorial team. Mostly everyone has the ability to adjust the layout of pages through the FT's Methode program (a custom made program you will have a chance to learn) and as such, sometimes things go wrong or fall off the grid and a style guide is needed to show how things should look.

There isn't a set structure to the work an intern does, if there is something you want to do, try or learn about all you have to do is ask and this is one of the factors that make this a great internship. There is so much variety in what you can learn as well as contribute depending on your skills. Another factor is the design team is comprised of a fantastic set of individuals who are not only great people but know the industry inside out. Working with these designers has definitely been the highlight of this internship and the wealth of information you can glean from them is thoroughly immense.

I have been surprised by the amount I have learned and experienced here at the FT and have thoroughly enjoyed myself. I have filled a gap in my portfolio and become much stronger in Indesign as well as having the opportunity to work with some amazing people. Most importantly of all though is that my perception of the newspaper industry has completely changed and this experience has opened up a few new doors. I thoroughly recommend it!


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