Lessons Learned Interning with Digett

December 4, 2013
Gabrielle Kinderknecht, digital design intern

My four months at Digett have been awesome, I am so thankful for the opportunity for an internship as well as the people I got to work with. They are a truly amazing bunch and it helps me to understand why clients love to work with Digett. I am glad that I was able to taste what the real world will be like after college, how to transform from a student to a professional, and most importantly dealing with clients.

Internal and external communication

Having communication skills is a very important thing when dealing with clients, as well as working as a team within a company like Digett. Being able to acquire open communication skills helps smooth out the work environment tremendously.

As a graphic designer, some may think we just sit behind a computer and that it best suites an introverted person. In fact, that is not true at all, being a designer you will have to be able to talk to clients to understand their problem so that you can achieve the best solution possible. You also have to feel comfortable with communicating with your co-workers to gain feedback on a design.

At Digett, we are responsible for checking our email regularly, even off the job, so that we are all up-to-date with the status of a project. As an intern, I would wait to receive an email from my boss to ask “What’s the status of the project?” so that I would not be a bother. I have learned that it is my own responsibility to always update the Digett team, which now I do not feel like I am constantly bothering them, it is just a way to keep the open-endedness going.

Never become attached to a design

As graphic designers, we are very passionate about design and sometimes even get carried away. By this I mean that sometimes we may design for design’s sake; however, we always need to stay true to a concept and remember that we are not just creating beautiful aesthetics — our main goal is solving the client’s problem.

A rule for us designers is to never fall in love with a design. Many clients will not know specifically what they want until you design something and they know exactly what they do not want. As designers, we must learn to take constructive criticism well because our goal is to always please the client. In many cases, you will go through many rough designs back and forth between the client and team before creating a final design. So as designers we expect that we cannot become attached to a design because most likely we will need to adjust the design according to the client.

And yet we must not doubt our design skills and must be able to defend a design when needed. It is good to explain to your team or client why you chose to design the element the way you did and your thought process. Sometimes you may even persuade a client to understand that your design concept best fits their company brand.

Marketing and design go hand-in-hand

As a designer both design and marketing go hand-in-hand. Digett is a great example of this since they specialize in both marketing and web design. It is good to know both sides as a designer because you will be working with businesses and knowing their language will help improve your design because you will be thinking like a marketer.

Thanks to advice from my college professor who has worked in the design field for a number of years, I am minoring in marketing. This has truly helped me to become a well-rounded designer because I understand how to market and sell my designs to a client and be able to tell them why a specific design will be a good solution.

Marketing yourself and your company

Interning at Digett, we are required to write a blog post monthly. Not just interns, all the employees. It is a good way to entice people to visit Digett's Blog regularly and keep the traffic flowing.

These are great marketing skills to pick up, especially in gaining a job after college. Keeping up with social media and updating those profiles with current projects you are working on will get the attention of possible employers.

Make sure you connect with me on LinkedIn and Instagram, and visit my webpage in December for updates.

Projects I accomplished at Digett

Here is a list of projects I accomplished at my internship: