Why You Should Seek Out Internships


By Will Freedman


The blog webpage says, “Our experts will keep you up to date on the latest industry news, trends, and insights as you navigate the ever-changing world of marketing and design.” I, however, am not an expert. I am just an intern.

I’m an upcoming junior at the University of Houston majoring in Digital Media, so I wasn’t going into this internship blind. I’ve taken classes in UI/UX, graphic design, page layout, content planning/strategy, photography, and information technology. Of course, taking a single class on a subject doesn’t make me an expert, but I’ve taken the lessons I’ve learned to heart. I’m able to use Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Lightroom as a result.

Of course I’m very happy to be working here at Padrón & Co., as it has taught me some very important lessons in the span of just a month.

My Experience as an Intern (So Far)

If I were to summarize my role as the intern, it would be “an extra set of hands.” My main duty here is to take the load off of my colleagues’ shoulders. I help by designing social media graphics and stories in Canva, making project mockups in Photoshop, editing websites in Elementor, and doing some work in Illustrator. It’s nothing intense, and I’m happy to be helping. As time goes on, I’ll be doing an even greater variety of work. The amount of work I get varies from day to day. Sometimes there’s very little work, and sometimes there’s a lot, but no matter what, it’s never boring here.

That said, there are two specific things I’ve felt that I believe are worth sharing. These are, in my opinion, worth sharing, though your experiences may differ.

  1. For the first time in my life, the things I’ve learned in school are being applied in real life. Save for English and some math, nothing other than the things I’ve learned in the digital media program have ever been useful in my day-to-day life. Yet here at Padrón, the software and lessons I’ve learned in school have been useful in my internship. One example is the design rules I’ve learned in my page layout class like hierarchy and color theory. Even the things we did in class like reviewing statistics in content strategy and critiquing graphics in page layout/photography have been used in the office. It’s surreal experiencing this feeling of having learned something so useful. That said, take school seriously kids, or you won’t be able to get into a good college.
  1. I have not felt nearly as stressed working for Padrón as I have in school. Maybe it’s because I’m not being graded on all my work or because my work is not as important as my colleagues, but I feel far less stress working here. That’s not to say that I don’t feel stress, and it’s definitely not to say that I don’t think the work we do is serious or that I don’t feel like I need to try hard at it, but I feel completely calm while working. I can’t say why, and this experience no doubt varies from workplace to workplace, but it’s a wonderful feeling.

The Importance of an Internship

At first, I never really considered internships to be anything more than something you write on your resume so people will hire you. Now I see I was foolish to believe that. Internships are a genuine workplace experience. The work you do is real, the effort you put in pays off, and you will even get paid for it (The University of Houston Digital Media program recommends getting a paid internship, and I am inclined to agree).

As I said in point No. 1, the things you learn for your major matter and are not dissimilar to what you will do in the workplace. If you have listened and have taken your classes to heart, you will be prepared and equipped for your internship, and that makes it much less intimidating. I think it’s important to take an internship because the internship is, in a way, an important part of your education. One part is to learn the skills, and the other part is to learn how to use them in the real world.

So, if you are offered an internship, don’t be nervous. The fact you were offered one is a testament to your abilities. Be calm, use what you’ve learned, and make your career.

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Padron & Co. is a leading creative, marketing, and digital communications agency that helps nonprofits and corporations make meaningful connections and further their missions.

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