With graduation just around the corner, I have been trying to prepare for the transition from the classroom to the professional workplace. My internship here at Plus 11 has given me a great opportunity to apply the skills I’ve learned in school, and to develop new skills that are essential to being successful in my career.
My graphic design and marketing classes at UVU prepared me well for certain aspects of the professional workplace, such as the researching and refining process of a project, the value of critique and constructive criticism, and the importance of asking the right questions and communicating effectively.
Some other aspects were more challenging and required me to change my ways of doing things. I quickly realized that I would have to manage my time differently because it was no longer an option to catch up on late work by pulling an all-nighter (which happened during school more times than I would like to admit). I had to increase my focus for longer periods of time so that I could be more efficient while I was at work.
I also learned that the process of my work matters a lot more here than it did in class. Before, I could design something in the way that was easiest for me as long as the finished piece looked good. But now I have to consider how and where my design will be used, and whether or not it will have the desired effect on various audiences. Because I am designing within established brand guidelines, many of the elements of these projects can’t be changed to fit my needs. It’s exciting to be able to design for someone other than myself, and to see the real-life application of my work!
My biggest takeaway so far is understanding that there is often a better way to do things and that I can learn as I go, as long as I don’t get too set in my ways. Being open to change and learning from what other people have to offer has made me a better designer, and will continue to help me as I further my career.