Experience in the Real World from an Advertising Design Intern’s Perspective

Amy Olson, BLU InternAs a design intern at The BLU Group, I have learned much more than I ever anticipated. With only a graphic design minor at UW-La Crosse, I was not getting a lot of exposure to the world of graphic design. My graphics classes just scratched the surface with everything involved in graphic design, and I knew I needed more experience.

And let me say, I’ve learned more here than I have in the past three years I’ve been in college, both in terms of graphic design and advertising in general.

I found The BLU Group at the last minute, and Tony took me on right away. I was nervous at first because I didn’t want to be seen as the “young’n,” the college student with no experience and who doesn’t really know what she is doing. It is also intimidating working with real designers when I don’t even have a minor in graphic design yet.

But my fears left pretty quickly. Everyone here has been great. Everyone is fun and friendly, and we joke around with each other to keep the day interesting. It’s a small office, so we all work together. I’m not afraid to ask questions while I’m here, and I’m kept busy with projects. Even if my work might not necessarily get picked for the client (although sometimes it does!), everyone here still understands the importance of me getting experience working with different client expectations and different design layouts. If there are no projects that can be delegated to me, I shadow the designers and watch them go through the creative process. Sometimes the other designers actually ask me for my input, which makes me feel like a part of the team.

I’ve also learned a lot. I tend to shy away from conflict in my personal life, but here I have learned that critiquing each other’s work and asking for different opinions is the only way we can produce the best designs. It’s an important skill to have in the advertising industry, which is where I hope to end up after I graduate. And since everyone is honest and open, we respect each other and each other’s work. It’s fun to experience.

I was lucky to find this internship with BLU. Not only do I now have experience and a resume-builder to help me get more internships and jobs in the future, I’m building my portfolio while I’m here, learning about how the advertising world works, and having a great time doing it.

Amy Olson