Looking for that first design break? Take it interns, says Proctors

June 9, 2014

We began our Creative Internship Programme three years ago, after seeing a big increase in the number of design graduates applying speculatively to us, looking for their first break.

Of course, it wasn’t practical to add large numbers of full-time junior designers to the payroll – but we did want to find some way to engage with as many of these talented young people as possible.

With a studio of around 12 designers, writers and artworkers, plus a substantial digital department, we’re rarely short of projects to work on. So we knew we could offer an opportunity for these newly graduated designers to sharpen their skills and immerse themselves in a professional, busy, creative environment.

So the Internship Programme was born.

From the start, we felt it important to provide maximum flexibility for our interns to pursue other opportunities whilst they spent time with us. Members of the Proctors team offer help with portfolios where time allows – and we’re happy for much of the work they do with us to form part of their showcase after they leave.

To say we don't ourselves benefit from having interns spend time with us would be disingenuous. The programme doesn’t have the sole purpose of providing experience for graduates. Interns work a full day in the studio alongside everyone else. And we certainly stretch their creativity beyond arranging the macaroons for elevenses.

Real-world experience, all-round rewards

It always surprises us when we look back, but we’ve now had more than 40 interns work with us, for periods averaging around eight weeks.  

With very few exceptions, we know when these designers, writers and film-makers leave us, they do so feeling the benefit of their time in Cave Street, and with real-world experience and skills that couldn’t be further removed from the classroom.

We’ve employed one of our interns on a full-time basis and hope to bring many others for interview in the very near future. As we’re not always recruiting, however, we’re also happy when our interns leave us and go on to impress other companies (usually with a great reference from us).

So, on reflection, is the Proctor + Stevenson Internship Programme a good thing for all concerned? Yes. Definitely.

Is the concept of internships in our industry a good thing? If handled professionally and responsibly, yes. 

A well-run scheme goes some way towards bridging the widening skills gap between what designers (in particular) learn in higher education and what the modern design and media industry demands of them.

If you’d like to know more about our Intern Programme - including intern opportunities for aspiring account professionals - please get in touch: [email protected]