With Flow’s summer internship opening for 2019, we thought we’d interview two ex-interns turned permanent Flowsters about their experience and advice.
Q: How did you get your internship and do you have any advice when applying for internships?
A: Flow found me through instagram! Instagram is a good way to get yourself out there and put out the work that you want to be doing more of. It’s also a good way to interact with people in the industry, like networking but less stuffy.
J: I found Flow after speaking with an animator at my degree show. He told me about this new animation studio that had just opened in Manchester, and thought my work would suit theirs. Luckily he knew the founder Karl from a previous job and with a few emails and phone calls later, I was able to meet up and show Karl some of my work! I guess it was a little luck through connections.
Q: What did your internship involve?
A: I got to work on some illustrations for the Flow social accounts and helped a graphic designer work on a live client project which was exciting. I got real world experience of working in a design/motion studio which is a bit different from just a design studio.
J: A lot of learning! I came from a graphic design course, and decided last minute I wanted to switch to motion graphics and animation. I had a relatively good foundation of knowledge in 3D software such as Cinema 4D, but my After Effects skills definitely lacked. I initially felt out of my depth, but I was thrown into projects working alongside Karl and other freelancers, which as an experience allowed me to pick things up quickly. I loved it! It’s fair to say I learned more about design and motion in the 4 months I spent interning, than I did during my 4 year course at uni. It goes to show any studio experience is worth chasing, especially as a student.
Q: What was the best thing about your internship?
A: The team! I felt really welcomed by the Flow team and felt part of the design community in Manchester. I learnt the team you work with and the mix of personalities are just as important as the work you do.
J: it was definitely the learning aspect of it. Even though it was daunting to be thrown into real projects with real clients, I was given great guidance and assistance to learn and develop on the job quickly. At this point in Flow’s history, It was just me and Karl in the studio, and I’m glad Karl had the patience and time to help me grow my skills as an animator.
Q: Any advice for someone who has received an internship offer?
A: Ask loads of questions, make use of the experience that you have around you as much as you can. We are all happy to help and give advice. Also eavesdrop, just hearing people talk about jobs, clients, pitches – it’s a good introduction to the world of how a creative studio operates.
J: Take it! Internships don’t come along every day. If it’s your first internship, definitely go for it. Studio experience is invaluable at the early stages of your career. When you start your internship, make sure your willing to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if you need help with something. Most of all, enjoy it! Design and animation really is a fun job!
Q: What are your three top tips for making sure you stand out during an internship?
A: Enthusiasm – You get out what you put in, the more eager you are to learn the more you will.
Brews – I hate hot drinks but I’ve been told that being a class brew maker scores you a lot of points (I didn’t make any – oops)
Initiative – If the team are too busy to give you feedback, start your own little project! I did this by drawing the Flow team and it ended up being used on our website and slack.
J: Be nice – It sounds obvious, but a studio is about collaboration. At Flow, we’re lucky to work with great people, so having a friendly presence is important in working together.
Try to go above and beyond – Not just in studios projects, but in your downtime. Try to take the time to improve your skills. Watch tutorials, read books or create something that uses a new skill set that your studio doesn’t normally do! Providing new and different skills will give you value, and it means the studio can offer more in their service. Win win!
Do your best – That’s all you can do! Remember, we all start somewhere! As long as you know you’ve given it your all, you’ll have no regrets and you’ll be able to take pride in your work. Go out there and smash it!