Common Ground by Erin Elizabeth Wilson

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Finding an Internship

Design internships can be a valuable experience for Design students. A carefully planned internship enables students to expand their knowledge of the design field through the support and critical appraisal of experienced design professionals.

Finding a Design Internship

Internships are often listed on these websites: AIGA, Coroflot, and IDSA. All allow filtering for internships. The Division of Design also works in partnership with the UW Career & Internship Center to post design internship opportunities on Handshake.

Students and alums can create a free account on Handshake. Once you have an account, complete your profile and make it public. Uploading your resume and making it public as well will help with this. Be sure to include education/GPA, major(s), and graduation date.

Use the filters to help with searching for internships. You may also use keywords such as "graphic design," "industrial design," and "interaction design." If you need assistance with Handshake, email handshake@uw.edu.

The Division of Design is delighted to be working with the UW Career & Internship Center because their services also include promoting the field of design to employers in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. 

Getting Credit for Internships

Students may enroll in DES 495 (Undergraduate Internship for Credit) to receive credit for an design internship. Faculty sponsorship is required for enrollment in DES 495.

Faculty Sponsorship

Design faculty are willing to sponsor selected students for a maximum of 6 cumulative credits in DES 495, under the following conditions:

  • The proposing student is a junior or senior in good academic standing in the Design program.
  • The proposing student has submitted a written proposal for the internship at least 5 weeks in advance of the internship quarter.
  • The internship does not exceed 15 hours per week.
  • The internship is appropriately compensated.
  • The proposing student agrees to give an public presentation of their internship experience.
  • The proposing student agrees to write a one-page assessment of their internship experience. This assessment must be completed by Wednesday of finals week during the internship quarter.

Proposal Process

Please submit an internship proposal to the Design faculty member you have asked to sponsor your internship. The proposal should consist of the official School Internship Credit form (PDF), an unofficial transcript, and a letter from the employer on their official letterhead. The employer’s letter should:

  • Describe the specific learning objectives of the internship. Internships that only introduce students to general design office conduct are insufficient for academic credit. Students should be assigned to specific design projects that broaden their knowledge of the field.
  • Describe how the intern will be supervised. Interns should be assigned to a full-time professional who agrees to mentor the intern and oversee his/her activities. This supervisor is required to write a one-page evaluation of the student’s performance at the conclusion of the internship. Negative evaluations may result in lack of credit for DES 495.
  • Describe the intern’s financial compensation and working hours. All faculty-sponsored internships must include a stipend for the student. To avoid interference with the student’s academic performance, the internship should not exceed 15 hours per week.

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