Get a Graphic Design Internship in 2022: Top Secrets Revealed

As a graphic design student, you know the importance of getting real-world experience under your belt before you graduate. And what better way to do that than by landing an internship?

Not only will an internship give you a chance to learn from some of the best designers in the business, but it can also help you make industry connections that will be invaluable later on in your career.

But, where do you find graphic design internship opportunities and how do you choose the right one for you?

Never fear, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at Graphic Design Internships in Australia, what they are, how to get one!

Topics we’ll cover:

  1. Graphic design internships in Australia
  2. How to secure a graphic design internship
  3. What to expect from a graphic design internship
  4. How to choose the right graphic design internship for you
  5. The benefits of doing a graphic design internship
  6. How to turn a graphic design internship into a job
Photo by ThisisEngineering

What is a graphic design internship?

A graphic design internship is a position where a student or recent graduate works in a graphic design role under the supervision of an experienced graphic designer. Graphic design internships can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, and usually take place during the summer break from university.

As a graphic design student in Australia, there are plenty of internship opportunities available to you. Here are just a few of the top companies offering graphic design internships in Australia.

Graphic Design Internship Sydney:

These are just a few of the agencies offering design internships in Sydney:

  • Designworks
  • Leo Burnett
  • Saatchi & Saatchi
  • The Collective
  • Tongue

Graphic Design Internship Melbourne:

Some big name studios in Melbourne include:

  • Weiden+Kennedy
  • DDB
  • Clemenger BBDO
  • Grey
  • McCann
  • J. Walter Thompson

Graphic Design Internship Brisbane:

Some of the design studios offering internships in Brisbane include:

  • The Glue Society
  • M&C Saatchi
  • Droga5
  • Cummins&Partners

While bigger companies like these certainly provide a large quantity or internship opportunities, there are also a lot of smaller studios who offer internships. Many graphic design students find that they prefer working in a smaller studio environment as it provides more opportunity for one-on-one mentoring with experienced designers.

There are also sites dedicated to helping students find graphic design internships, such as, and These websites have a database of companies offering internships as well as tips and advice on how to secure one.

Photo by Kindel Media

How to secure a graphic design internship

Finding an internship is one thing, securing one is another matter altogether. There are many things you can do to increase your chances of landing that perfect graphic design internship. Some are just common sense while others are a little less obvious

We recently spoke to Joseph Russell – founder of Melbourne app design agency, DreamWalk, and asked him what he looked for in design interns. This is what we learned.

Here are our 5 best secrets to landing a graphic design internship:



Make sure your design portfolio is up to date and showcases your best work. Employers will be looking for evidence of your design skills, so make sure you highlight your strongest pieces. Joseph said that while he doesn’t necessarily look for perfection or finished projects, he does look for good taste and intelligence above all else. If what is in the student’s portfolio is tasteful and intelligently designed, the candidate will be hard to ignore. Even if their portfolio only contains a few design examples.


Take the time to research the companies you’re interested in and tailor your applications to each one. Show them that you’re knowledgeable about their work and explain why you would be a good fit for their team. Nothing is a bigger turnoff for Mr Russell than candidates who clearly know nothing about DreamWalk. Learning about the target company and taking in interest in their work shows initiative and loyalty. Two very attractive traits.

Specify the Why

Tell the company why you’d specifically like to intern there. E.g. “I really want to improve my mobile UI design skills and noticed how beautiful some of your recent UI projects have been.” Not only does this demonstrate a strong understanding of their business but also indicated that you know what you want out of the internship. This makes it easier for the employer to design an internship plan for you. Plus, it plays to the employer’s ego, which never hurts.

As an added tip, Mr Russell suggests not using ‘getting a job’ as the reason for wanting an internship somewhere. Employers don’t want that kind of pressure to employ you and would rather not have awkward conversations about it. If they are impressed by you and have job openings, they’ll make you an offer.

Be friendly

Be overly friendly. Everyone likes having friendly and upbeat people around them. If an employer believes you’ll be a positive influence on their team culture, this factor alone may get you over the line. A good designer with a positive attitude and demeanour will beat a brilliant but negative designer every day of the week.

Utilise your network

Finally, don’t forget to reach out to your network. If you know anyone who works at the company you’re applying to, be sure to ask for a referral. You’d be amazed how many internships are filled through personal connections. Putting on an intern is a pretty simple favour an employer can do for someone they know and respect. So, check out who your friends and colleagues know on LinkedIn and get some strategic introductions.

It is also a good idea to speak with your teachers and career advisers as they may be able to help you secure an internship through their industry connections. Many design courses actually include an internship as part of the curriculum, so be sure to ask about this option as

Photo by Thought Catalogue

What to expect from an internship

Graphic design internships can vary greatly in terms of what they entail. However, most internships will involve working closely with a mentor, observing experienced designers at work, and completing small design tasks or projects.

You may also be asked to do some administrative tasks, such as preparing presentations or scheduling meetings. While these tasks may not be directly related to design, they will give you a better understanding of how the graphic design industry works and how design teams operate on a day-to-day basis.

As an intern, your employer isn’t allowed to bill your time out to clients, so you won’t be expected to produce work that’s up to the same standard as a paid graphic designer. However, you will be expected to learn quickly and show a willingness to take on new challenges.

It isn’t unusual for graphic design interns to be given more responsibility as they progress through their internship. So if you start out doing simple tasks like preparing client presentations, you may find yourself working on actual design projects by the end of your internship.

Photo by Jason Goodman

How to choose the right design internship for you

Your graphic design internship should be a learning experience that sets you up for success in your career. With that in mind, here are a few things to consider when choosing a graphic design internship:

Do your research:

Make sure you know what the company does, their design style, and what kind of projects you’ll be working on.

Consider your career goals:

Think about what you want to learn and what kind of experience will help you achieve your long-term goals.

Location is important:

Graphic design is a highly collaborative field, so it’s important to choose an internship that’s in a convenient location.

Company culture:

Graphic design is a creative field, so you’ll want to make sure the company’s culture is a good fit for your personality.

The internship program:

Does the company offer formal training? Are you assigned a mentor? What kind of feedback will you receive? These are all important factors to consider.

Company size:

Graphic design internships are available at companies of all sizes, from large advertising agencies to small design studios. Consider what kind of environment you’d prefer to learn in. While larger companies might offer more networking opportunities and a better chance at securing a job afterward, smaller studios might provide a more intimate learning experience.

Stipend or no stipend:

Some graphic design internships offer a stipend to help offset the costs of living and working in a new city. Others don’t offer any financial compensation. This is something to consider when making your decision.

In some cases you may not find an internship that ticks absolutely every box, but as long as the internship is a good overall fit for you, it will be a valuable learning experience.

Photo by Kaboom Pics

The benefits of doing a graphic design internship

As an intern, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from experienced designers, network with professionals in the graphic design industry, and build your portfolio.

You’ll also get a taste of what it’s like to work in graphic design, which will help you make an informed decision about whether or not this is the right career for you.

This hands-on experience is invaluable for anyone looking to launch their graphic design career. You won’t likely get paid much, if at all, but the experience and skills you’ll gain will be well worth the effort. Plus, many internships lead to full-time job offers, so it’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking to break into the graphic design field.

Making the most of your internship

In many ways, what you get out of a graphic design internship has a lot to do with what you put into it. If you’re willing to work hard and take advantage of the opportunities that come your way, you’ll be sure to benefit from the experience.

Generally, design teams are busy, so finding things for interns to do, is not always at the top of their priorities list. So, it pays to be proactive and take initiative. If you can make their lives easier by offering to help with specific tasks or projects, you’ll be sure to make a good impression.

At some studios, interns will work predominantly on internal projects. These are lower risk for the employer and enable interns to get up to speed with the company’s processes and way of working. Internal projects also give the intern the opportunity to work on more creative briefs and try out new design ideas with less pressure. Be proactive and ask your employer about the potential of working on internal projects. Most studio owners and managers will have a bunch of new ideas they haven’t gotten around to implementing yet and will be happy for someone else to take the lead.

If you’re hoping to work on real client projects during your internship, it’s worth asking about this when you’re applying or in your interview. Many studios will be open to the idea if they have the capacity, but it’s always best to check first.

How to turn an internship into a job?

While graphic design internships are mostly about gaining industry experience, learning from experienced designers, and building your portfolio, they can also lead to full-time job offers.

Many interns are hired by the companies they interned for, so if you make a good impression and do great work, there’s a good chance you’ll be offered a job at the end of your internship.

Here are a few tips to help you turn your graphic design internship into a job:

  1. Prove your worth. Go above and beyond what’s expected of you and show your employer that you’re a valuable asset to the team.
  2. Build strong relationships. Get to know your colleagues and build positive working relationships with them.
  3. Be proactive. Take initiative, be proactive, and offer to help with specific tasks or projects.
  4. Show your skills. Use your internship as an opportunity to showcase your skills and talent.
  5. Stand out from the crowd. Find ways to make yourself stand out from the other interns and show your employer that you’re unique.
  6. Be patient. Don’t expect to be offered a job at the end of your internship – it may take time for your employer to make a decision or for a position to become available.
  7. Stay positive. No matter what, always stay positive and keep a good attitude.

By following these tips, you’ll increase your chances of being offered a job at the end of your graphic design internship. Even if there are no jobs immediately available, you’ll have made a great impression and will be first in line when a position does open up.

Check out the video above from Alexa Leighh about turning your internship into a design job for additional tips and insights.


If you’re hoping to break into the graphic design industry, doing an internship is a great way to get started. There are many different types of graphic design internships available, so it’s important to do your research and find one that’s a good fit for you.

Remember to be proactive and take initiative during your internship. This will help you stand out from the other interns and increase your chances of being offered a job at the end of your internship. With hard work and a positive attitude, you can make your graphic design internship into a full-time job.


Cover photo by Element 5 Digital

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