Intern experiences

Throughout the years, students have gone out into the world to gain professional and practical experience through internships, in preparation to become young designers after graduation. Here, you’ll find some of our students’ stories and experiences of internship. 

Advertising/Communication/Environment & Interior/Product 

Discipline: Advertising Design
Student: YOUNG Shuk Yi, Suye
Internship Company: The Bread Digital, Hong Kong

Suye was most intrigued by creative and art direction in the advertising industry when she first started thinking about internships. Her learning objectives were 1) to learn to get along with others and improve communication through teamwork, 2) to explore future career directions and 3) to learn different advertising design techniques and practices by understanding agencies’ actual production processes, and to work with real clients and campaigns.

Suye was assigned to work in the Creative department, where she learnt about various client types, advertising strategies and approaches. The practical skills that she developed included being efficient in a professional environment, understanding clients’ briefs and requirements and completing her work on time. In addition to improving her software skills, Suye stimulated her own creative thinking skills during design processes, and constantly sought new ideas using various tools and channels.

Suye’s team found her to have a high level of self-discipline and a proactive attitude, even when working remotely. Her strength in communication and her ability to consider different perspectives when developing her own thoughts made her a very co-operative and mature team player.

Suye considered the internship to be a very valuable experience, and she treasured the improvement in her interpersonal communication the most. She was unafraid to ask questions, and improved her creative thinking, work attitude and time management – skills that she could not have learnt from books or solely in the classroom. She had a wonderful time with her colleagues, she especially loved the office environment and, most importantly, she gained deeper insights into the advertising industry. 

Discipline: Communication Design
Student: LEUNG Stefanie Lok Yin
Internship Company: Art Museum, CUHK, Hong Kong

Stefanie began her internship with an orientation of CUHK and a tour around the Art Museum. By the end of her first week, she had already learned to take initiative and not to be afraid to share her ideas with her supervisor. Another critical learning point for Stefanie was the importance of organisation as a form of visual communication, which helped her to manifest her design process in a more technical sense. Time management was initially a challenge for her, but she made improvements, setting up a work schedule for herself to manage work priorities.

Among her projects, Stefanie was asked to work on exhibition souvenirs and visual identity designs, which she tackled with societal, cultural and environmental issues in mind. As a future designer, she wanted to learn about responsible design decisions to meet both conceptual and sustainable needs.

Stefanie’s workplace supervisor thought that she exceeded expectations in the role of summer intern, and that she had a positive attitude and worked well under pressure. Stefanie also demonstrated enthusiasm and professionalism in all of her assignments, and her design proposals were excellent.

Stefanie was happy to learn that she had become more aware of her strengths and weaknesses by the end of this internship journey. She had improved in her ability to visualise identity design concepts and ideas, and had room to improve her attention to detail. She ended her internship with greater knowledge of exhibition design and visual communication, and her passion for visual culture and design had grown. She is now on the path to becoming a bright and confident communication designer. 

Discipline: Environment and Interior Design
Student: Sato Yuri
Internship Company: Hintegro Ltd., Hong Kong

Yuri’s learning objectives were 1) to develop her technical skills, 2) to improve the communication skills required in the work environment and 3) to understand what it is like to work in a design company and to learn what skills she lacked. A Japanese student, Yuri chose to intern in Hintegro because she was impressed with how the company integrated Japanese design into Hong Kong residential homes, and she wanted to learn about the company’s unique design process and to better understand client needs. During her internship, she got hands-on experience in various types of assignments, including image editing, drafting, site visits, interior styling, 3D modelling and presentations. Every week, Yuri jotted down descriptions of her week’s work for her internship report and reflected on her own performance.

Yuri participated in research projects and design proposals, working closely with her supervisors and fellow intern from School of Design. She initially struggled when she was tasked with a graphical collage and mood board, but with the help of her colleagues, she was able to learn new software skills and techniques, which will be hugely beneficial in her school assignments and design presentations. Yuri learned to keep an open mind on design approaches, to listen to others and to be open to new ways of thinking and communication.

Yuri’s workplace supervisor found that she had good interpersonal and communication skills, and was passionate about learning. Yuri seized every chance to explore new opportunities, such as interior styling and computer drafting. Upon completing her internship, Yuri developed other qualities essential to an emerging designer, such as teamwork, responsibility and believing in herself. 

Discipline: Product Design
Student: TO Ka Wing, Jody
Internship Company: The Coop Idea, Hong Kong

For Jody, joining the creative team that designed products she had been using since high school was a dream come true. When she first started her internship, she spent time recalling what she had learnt in the classroom, hoping to present the best version of herself to the company. Her learning objectives included how to fulfil tasks in a professional manner and how to receive constructive criticism from colleagues to improve the quality of her work.

As she prepared renderings for new and existing products, Jody realised that she needed to improve her software rendering skills to meet the demands of quantity and quality. She took the initiative to self-learn, studying online tutorials and executing those techniques on new tasks the next day. She also participated in design projects that were approved by clients to go into manufacturing stage, which she found extremely rewarding and exciting.

Jody wanted to improve her communication skills, and she seized opportunities to seek help from others and to interact more with her team, as she understood from experience that being proactive was an effective way to learn.

Described as creative and professional by her team, Jody showed talent not only in product design but also in graphic design and photography. Reflecting on her internship experience, Jody felt that she had improved her multitasking skills and become a more reliable person. She greatly treasured her experience, as it helped her to improve her all-round skills and develop new abilities, which will surely be helpful in her career planning and future endeavours. 

Miscellaneous