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How to get an internship

An internship at TLD - everything you need to know

What’s changed in our new internship programme? A lot!

Since we began working remotely, we’ve changed our internship program.

We used to have a physical office environment. This by nature gives our interns a great environment where they can work un-distracted by their home or school life. We have had many come through our doors – read some of their stories here.

Now, this isn’t the case. We all work remotely, not from an office. We use tools like Trello, Dropbox for Business, and Slack to keep each other informed on tasks and projects.

And for interns, we are more selective and put more structure.

Initial criteria – a potential candidate should show:

  • Already have a solid knowledge of the software we use (Adobe Photoshop, Instagram, InDesign)
  • Have a portfolio online they can show (Behance/Instagram/similar is fine)
  • Have setup social media channels (eg Instagram) and know the basics
  • Have a good understanding of written instructions in English
  • Good written English too, with very few (or no) grammar and spelling errors.
  • Should be able to write a good first email introducing themselves, which includes links to the relevant work and social profiles. If we like this email, we’ll send you a PDF with more information.

One big change

I now have reframed the way we label these internships. They are learning programs. With the fact that it can take many months to get skills necessary for any work we can show clients, we focus on the intern and what they need to enhance their portfolio and online profile.

We’re showing people what it’s like to produce quality work within set timescales and working to briefs.

We go through these selection steps:

  1. If the first email is good and has all we need, we will reply, and send an attachment explaining more about the tasks and workflow.
  2. We have a Q+A for those who want to be considered – in light of all I’ve said – I have included these below)
  3. 3 day trial: Any intern we select needs to prove that they can complete and move forward with tasks that are assigned remotely. We want to see their comprehension and writing skills – so not lots of spelling and grammar mistakes.
  4. 2-week internship. This can be extended (maximum 3 months) If they are strong throughout.

For young people looking for an internship (under 21)

We have decided the only way it can work remotely with young people still in education is if there is have a sponsor, eg a school programme with teachers who can provide much needed structure in some official capacity.

For example:

  • They have weekly check-ins with the teacher.
  • The teacher sends me the answers to three 3 simple pre-set questions each Friday about what was done/learned that week
  • Have a final report they need to finish to get their grade – which is a Q+A form – and the teacher makes sure this is completed
  • Write an end-of-internship blog article (300-600 words including subheadings) about what they learned / what surprised them / what they’ll do differently moving forward
  • Submit at least 4 designed images for this final project (including a selfie of them out and about doing a task or working away)

This sort of thing means the young person is managed and held accountable by someone other than me.

Internship Q+A (the questions we ask at stage 2)

  • Name your sponsor, and outline exactly what they will be doing to hold you accountable each week?
  • What type of work mentioned in the attached interests you the most? And least?
  • How long do you feel an unpaid internship should last? (A range is fine)
  • In your experience how many hours a day can you spend at your computer, focused on work?
  • Please send examples of your work, as links, and any relevant social media links
  • What is it that makes you most nervous, and most excited?
  • What are the preferred start and end dates?
  • Have you worked remotely before?
  • What is it about Top Left Design that makes you feel this is a good company to do your internship?
  • What would be a successful outcome for you?

From these answers and your feedback, if you are interested in remote work, are really going to be focused and manage your own time, and have a teacher/sponsor, please feel free to write to us and see if you can be shortlisted and chosen for an internship.

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