Guest post by Darcy Lamptey
Summer time for most students like me is when we get to relax – away from the worries of deadlines and essays. But it’s also a time when students are trying to find experience in order to gain a foothold in their future career.
I’m currently studying for a degree in Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading and a real plus point of the course is the ‘Real Jobs scheme’. We’re given the opportunity to take on real clients and real deadlines to help us when we graduate. But design is so competitive that every little bit of experience counts and I was determined to find a summer internship that would give me real hands-on experience in a commercial studio setting.
I knew that trying to find a placement was going to be difficult. What I didn’t expect though is ignorance. Admittedly, a few agencies did reply to my emails, but most of them totally ignored me, which was the worst for me. It didn’t stop me from trying, but it did make me wonder whether some designers have forgotten what it’s like at the start. I totally sympathise with all the student designers out there who weren’t as lucky as me. It’s REALLY difficult to find an internship. It always comes to the same thing. How can we get a design job when we need experience and yet most companies aren’t prepared to give us a chance to get that experience?
Fortunately, I was successful in the end – obviously, my internship is at Oculus! In this business, getting an internship is a must, which the people at Oculus seem to understand. My time here has been amazing. It’s been more than I expected – with the added bonus of getting some money to help. They’ve made me feel like part of the team, treating me like a designer with something to offer and trusting me to work on live projects. I’ve also had the opportunity to take part in pitches with Simon, one of the design team here. He’s taught me a lot and is a real inspiration. I’m now more determined than ever to make a life in design. And I’m very grateful to Oculus for taking me on.