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The final-year internship: practical advice on how to find one and then turn into a job…

The final-year internship: practical advice on how to find one and then turn into a job…

The defining moment of a successful education is getting access to a first job. It is a major issue for many students and the final-year internship is key to resolving it.

The final-year internship (last year of the Master’s program) is not an internship like the others :
- It is longer (from 4 to 6 months),
- It crystalizes the knowledge of four and a half years of training,
- It results in significant and complex projects,
- It is key to the final exams for the degree,
- It can provide an initial access to the professional world as a designer.

It brings up 2 considerations of temporality: finding a host company in which design plays a major role and the transformation of the internship status into a salaried status or one of a company creator.

There should be many and diversified internships

More than half of our graduates have a job by the end of the program and a very large majority (85%) get it through the final-year internship. Consequently, there’s a lot at stake.

The school’s educational program set up a process of gradual immersion in the professional world of creation by offering 3 periods of internships between the 2nd and 5th year of study. The 4th-year internship (Master 1) must take place abroad in the form of work placement or a study program.

Thanks to the timetable, the students from L’École de Design can try out different company profiles (in-house design, agencies, SMEs, etc.) allowing them to better target their choice for the final internship and fine-tune their line of attack for their entry into the professional world.

Our students have to leave the comfortable but precarious shell offered by school as soon as they can in order to be seen as potential collaborators with whom one can leave the keys to design.

Moving Off the Beaten Track

In a field such as design where the act of creating seems obvious, one sees too many cases of students who follow the traditional path of the hackneyed and not very convincing classic candidatures. It’s up to the company to make a more or less arbitrary choice according to criteria that are more or less rational.

On the contrary, designers owe it to themselves to create – it’s their profession – a distinction between themselves and the other professions. This of course can be achieved through the structure and graphics of their resume and portfolio, but also through the initial contacts they have with the company (provoke curiosity, the desire to meet, catch them by surprise) and their attitude, which must be professional. You mustn’t think that creativity can be seen only in projects; it’s a way of being! The recruiter looking for an intern has to be able to immediately spot the potential through the candidature and why this particular student won’t be just another intern among others.

This is a goal L’École de Design Nantes Atlantique strives for and towards which it leads its students throughout their entire course of studies.

Contact :

Student placement Coordinator

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