How to secure an internship for after graduation?

I am a soon to be graduate and I am looking to apply for internships centring illustration, 2D graphic art and/or design around London. How do I begin the application process and how do I make my application stand out? Thank you!


  • Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a short cut to securing a position.
    It’s a process that takes resilience, patience and questions.
    What values do I hold?
    Where do I see myself working?
    What difference do I bring?
    The fastest shortcut may be focused thought.
  • Be around. Go to events, meet people, go to portfolio reviews, make friends, up your LinkedIn and Instagram. Also, prepare a digital portfolio (website AND pdf) and have it ready to show/send at a seconds notice. But most importantly, just ask for it.

    If you don’t know about these guys already -> then get to. They do some amazing portfolio reviews with high profile companies around the UK (big networking opportunity), and also have some amazing articles.

    Don’t forget, to NOT stress. If u slowly build your network, and you make sure people know you are available and do sick work, you’ll land something. A lot of my job offers I didn’t even apply to!
  • Hello Crystal,

    A good place to start is by researching the market and create a list of the types of companies that you would like to work with, then you should find out their specific areas of interest and look at how you could fit into what they do.

    A thing that you should always remember is that every company is asking ‘can this person help us to achieve our objectives?’ If they believe that you cannot help them then they will not hire you, so it always important to appeal to the self interest of the company.

    I’ll also leave some more tips below and you should be fine if you understand that your results will typically be in proportion to your efforts.

    • Do not be alarmed but cold approaches work about 2% - 5% of the time, so you must make each approach count. You must stand out from what other designers do and leave a memorable impression. No boring emails that say “gimme a job, I’m really good” because a great company hears that hundreds of times a week. Be clever and original.

    • Look internally at what you could offer a company, what is your niche? what can you do better than other designers? are you especially strong with concepts? technical skills? communication skills? software knowledge? - make sure that you show your best qualities when approaching new companies.

    • If you do not have work then approach people in your immediate circle, friends, family, small local businesses to get some work for your portfolio. Play with your prices, offer discounts and bundles to get your foot in the door. Then you can use the work that you produced to get bigger clients.

    • Follow up consistently, but do not annoy companies by emailing every day, if you know that you have taken the time to research a company and made a connection with a contact it is a very good idea to keep following up so that they know you are still around. You do not need to be too pushy though, it is your job as a designer to be able to have more opportunities than you can handle, however you must put in the work of building relationships first to reap the benefits later on.

    • Follow companies that you like on social media, interact with their posts and when they post opportunities you will already be known to them. Sometimes getting a job has more to do with being ‘liked’ by the company than being the best… maybe it shouldn’t be that way but that is how many companies work.

    • If you have skills in video, you could create video presentations featuring yourself introducing projects if you are comfortable in front of the camera.

    • Keep going, be persistent about what you want, but also be flexible in your approach. If something is clearly not working then change your approach until you see positive results.

    • If a company does not want to work with you then do not take it personally. Keep your head up, stay positive and remember that you only need one yes in order to completely change your results.

    Good luck!

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