In 2012 we launched the Onespacemedia internship programme - a chance for us to nurture the next generation of creative talent and give young designers an insight into the commercial side of design.
Having just recruited our 10th intern, Robert Korodi, we wanted to talk to a few former candidates to find out what the experience meant to them and how it has influenced their careers.
Rob Jervis: February 2013
Rob joined Onespacemedia in early February 2013 for a three-month internship after leaving Norwich School of the Arts with a degree in design. Armed with an impressive portfolio, Rob was looking to fill in the gaps left by university courses to develop his skills and career.
Rob said, “When you leave university I think your perception of timescales for projects is a bit skewed. The internship was useful in terms of improving my commercial awareness.
“I feel that internships have helped me to make my creativity more relevant and improved my reasoning behind my creative work. Being dyslexic I wasn't always a very organised person but internships give you exposure to live projects which helps to improve communication and organisational skills.
“I would recommend students take on internships during their holidays at uni, as opposed to after leaving, like I did. University was a good experience, but I felt it was out of touch with industry requirements in some respects.”
He has continued to develop his skills and now enjoys a successful career as a freelance designer.
Check out Rob's video diary about his experience.
George Hadfield: May 2013
George left university in 2012 with a business degree, not really knowing which direction to take. He decided to follow a career doing something he loved - design. George then embarked on a short freelance career before looking to gain commercial experience with an agency.
George said, “You have a short time to make a lasting impression so it’s vitally important that you work hard and make sure you stand out for the right reasons. The truth is, you really do get out what you put in.
"Onespacemedia gave me the opportunity to learn and evolve and I had to match that with a strong willingness to learn. Going above and beyond and improving some of your weaker skills outside of work hours really pays dividends when trying to stand out. I gained a huge amount of design experience during my internship period but the most valuable part was having first-hand experience of how a professional agency tackles projects from start to finish. "
George's top tips for getting the most out of an internship:
- Be inquisitive
- Be confident
- Ask for feedback
- Make mistakes and learn from them
- Build relationships - you won't integrate into the team if you hide in a corner
- Be professional
We were so impressed wtih George's work and approach that we hired him at the end of his internship. He has recently been promoted to senior designer.
Jacob Rand: July 2013
Every year we run a work experience placement programme with local schools. In 2013 Jacob joined us for two weeks to get a flavour of working life in a busy design agency.
Jacob commented, “Working at Onespacemedia was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. It gave me a broad understanding of the ins and outs of how a digital agency works and runs. I was involved in team projects and meetings with clients and got to see how a team works cohesively together to create great work.”
Now 18, Jacob is in his second year of a graphic design course at sixth form college and will be going to university next year to continue his design studies.
Check out his survival guide to surviving work placements based on his time at Onespacemedia.
Chiara Mensa: March 2014
We first met Chiara at a Behance review night, soon after she had relocated from Rome with a Master of Architecture degree under her belt. With a killer portfolio, a passion for creativity and seven years of transferable architecture skills she made the perfect candidate for our internship programme.
"Commercial awareness is the key take away of an internship experience", said Chiara. "While university teaches you the fundamentals, it does not put real world constraints on creative exploration. It's through taking your first steps within a studio environment that you start measuring yourself with live project timescales and deliverables and are forced to make your workflow leaner and more focussed. Internships are truly enriching experiences, that help you widen your skillset and your network."
We knew very quickly that we wanted Chiara on the team and hired her at the end of her internship. She is about to celebrate her second anniversary with us.
Here's a project from Chiara's architecture days - a design for an animal centre in the suburbs of Rome.
Olly Lockyer: June 2015
Olly completed a two-week work experience when he was 15. A budding film-maker, Olly wanted to immerse himself in a creative environment to help him make the right choices in his further education.
Olly said, “Being at Onespacemedia opened up my vision of what you can really do digitally and gave me a great introduction to the design process in general. I got to experience what it feels like to be part of a creative team and to take responsibility for individual tasks. Working at Onespacemedia has helped improve my communication skills and understand the business side of design - skills that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
"Since working at Onespacemedia I have decided to widen my skills and pursue digital design when I leave school, so it was a great start for me.”
Check out Olly's video of his time with us.
"Nurturing new talent is something we take very seriously at Onespacemedia" said Creative Director, James Dellar. "Whether it's working with local universities, schools or graduates we believe that its up to agencies like us to offer guidance and expertise to the next generation of designers and developers, to help them with their careers and for the future of the creative industries as a whole."
If you need advice about your design career check out James' articles: 'Becoming a designer: 'Getting your foot in the door' and 'Stepping up to the plate'.