Lindsay Trevors graduated from the Graphic Design program at Seneca College in September 2010 and worked in an “in-between, not exactly the dream job but it pays” job for a while before finally hatching her career as a designer – by using TalentEgg.
Her journey to getting her dream job was a mix of timing, luck, TalentEgg’s job listings, and a LOT of hard work and determination.
“It felt so rewarding to be able to say I achieved my goal of finally attaining a job in the design field.” —Lindsay Trevors, Junior Designer, Filament Creative
Keep reading to find out how Lindsay landed an internship with a Toronto-based digital creative agency through TalentEgg and turned the internship into a full-time, permanent job as a Junior Designer.
How did you find out about the internship?
Lindsay: I was working full-time in an administrative documentation position at an insurance company, but spent as much time as I could searching for and applying to designer positions on every job board I could find. I got way too comfortable at my job and was having a lot of trouble finding the right job opportunity. My sister told me about TalentEgg and I immediately started searching through their postings. What really drew me to TalentEgg is that they conveniently target jobs that people in my exact position would not only be looking for, but would actually have a chance at attaining.
Luckily for me they had a posting for an internship at Filament Creative. I skimmed through the job description and knew that I had to apply. I was so excited that I didn’t even wait to get home and make a professional-looking designer’s cover letter; I just sent it off from my work computer and obsessively checked my email for a response.
How did you prepare for the job interview?
Lindsay: I read and re-read their entire site, top to bottom. I memorized their creative process and internalized why it works so well for them. I constantly checked their blog posts and Twitter feed. I consulted the original job posting and made notes on what exactly they were looking for and specific examples of how I met those needs. I typed out lists of examples of experience that I had that would pertain to the job. I searched common design interview questions, and came up with answers to every single one just in case they would ask one of them. I made some improvements with my portfolio and practiced presenting it over and over.
What did you do during your internship?
Lindsay: Flat out, it was the best internship a design ‘noob’ could ask for. I was involved in everything, from a project’s launch to completion. I participated with the exciting aspects of a variety of projects like concept development, and the not-so exciting things like searching for stock photos. But not once did I feel like ‘just an intern’. The team welcomed me with open arms and open minds. Within a week I had learned more at Filament than I had on my own since I’d graduated.
What was the best part about being an intern? The hardest?
Lindsay: The best part of being an intern at Filament was being involved in every stage of each project, for a diverse array of clients. I was learning so much every day that I had to try really hard to make sure I was keeping up with everything – my mini notepads were filled up in no time with tips and advice. I also had to ensure that my work ethic was 100% all of the time, and it felt really good to work my butt off and feel rewarded when I got things right.
The hardest part was the less glamourous side of learning – the times when you’re wrong and have to accept those hard-earned lessons of how wrong you were. But I’ll never forget how open-minded and supportive the team was, and continues to be. They know you’re an intern, so they never make you feel bad when you’re in the wrong. They simply teach you how to improve. They’re putting their own time and effort into teaching you so that you can gain valuable skills as a designer, and you really feel like a part of the team.
How did you go from being an intern to a full-time employee?
Lindsay: My boss hinted from day one about the possibility of becoming a permanent employee, and so I was pumped to prove myself. When I actually got started working with the team, it became evident that I knew even less than I thought. But every day I would try really hard to slowly inch up to the level of my fellow designers. The more that I worked, the more I learned. However mid-way through my internship, I began to start to feel dejected about my abilities in comparison to my co-workers and it started to show. My boss gave me a little make-it-or-break-it speech, and I was more determined than ever to be a keeper. The day before my last day, my boss took me out for tea and told me that I was the new Junior Designer at Filament. I was ecstatic to say the least!
It felt so rewarding to be able to say I achieved my goal of finally attaining a job in the design field. I can now be proud to tell people what I do for a living! Design is so challenging that I often go home exhausted, but feel so good about it.
How is your current job different from the internship?
Lindsay: My job isn’t very different from my internship at all. I still come in every day with the same positive attitude, good work ethic and determination as if I was still fighting for the job. I know that I still have much to improve on. If anything is different, it’s just that I’m learning even more, have slightly more responsibilities and assignments every day, and have more client-facing correspondence.
Any advice for students and grads planning to pursue graphic design?
Lindsay: Don’t get stagnant. Try to give yourself an hour a day to do a tutorial, or illustration or learn some coding. You’ll have a better chance for opportunities if you have a better arsenal of skills. Read awesome design blogs, and study up on everything about your responsibility as a designer. It’s not just about aesthetics for instance, but think about user experience – designers have the ability and opportunity to actually improve daily life. Go us! The more that you practice, the better you’ll be.
Keep a positive attitude. Remember that although your fellow designers are technically your competition, you’re all a part of the exclusive design community. Learn from each other. If you must, let competition drive you, but let the output be productive. Design is hard, but keep at it.
Did you or someone you know find your internship, co-op, summer job or entry level job by using TalentEgg? Tell us about it and you could be featured!