How do I Gain Design Work Experience? (with pictures)

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Fashion designers create new clothing and styles.
Fashion designers create new clothing and styles.

To get design work experience, consider taking part in an internship or even taking a low-paying job just to learn and develop contacts. One of the best ways to boost a resume and increase one's chances of landing a job or getting a raise is to have a good amount of previous experience. This is true in all fields. Not only does experience offer hands-on education, but it also helps one to being making connections in one's field, which can lead to jobs and other opportunities later on.

A popular and generally accessible way to gain design work experience while pursuing a degree is through an internship.
A popular and generally accessible way to gain design work experience while pursuing a degree is through an internship.

Depending on the branch of design, there are a number of ways to get design work experience. Someone interested in fashion design, for example, could take an internship with an independent designer or get a part-time job working for a large clothing company in the manufacturing or design departments. A person interested in architecture could work as an intern at an architectural firm or even work on a construction site. Students studying graphic design could go to work for a print or Web publishing company and learn about laying out text on the Internet or in files intended for the printed page.

Most internships and part time jobs are geared toward students who are trying to get design work experience. However, these sorts of jobs may also be of interest for people who are thinking about making a career change and want some design work experience to get a feel for the industry. The only drawback to these jobs is that they are often low paying. In fact, some internships might offer no compensation whatsoever. For someone who is already working a full-time job, this might not be financially possible, so it would be better to look for an entry-level position or assistant position in the field.

For people who already have some design work experience, that level of experience can be boosted by doing freelance work. A web designer, for example, could do some freelance web building. Even doing a website for someone for free is a great way to get experience and to develop a portfolio.

While garnering design work experience it is important to keep track of all projects that are completed and skills that are developed. These items can be added to one's resume and referenced in one's cover letters for job applications. Keeping a log of this kind of information is a great way to remember everything that has been accomplished and is a useful resource to reference while applying for jobs later on.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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    • Fashion designers create new clothing and styles.
      Fashion designers create new clothing and styles.
    • A popular and generally accessible way to gain design work experience while pursuing a degree is through an internship.
      A popular and generally accessible way to gain design work experience while pursuing a degree is through an internship.