1. Breaking from design paralysis
My history with decision making when it comes to design is very poor, even though I have over 3 years of experience in the field. I always required validation from peers in order to proceed with my work. The same behaviour translated to my assignments at college, since there are no risks apart from your grades in college projects, I stepped onto being a little more confident but still went back to my faculty for validation. When I stepped into my internship, I was still shaky about working on live projects as I always worked under senior designers and been a shadow to them. The culture in product firm is very different from a service company, a few weeks in, I was given individual projects to work and was told to take ownership of the same.
Initially, I got guidance on how to go about it ( credit to my mentor ) but as and when I kept working individually, I started gaining confidence and how did that happen? I learnt to ask questions, be more involved in the project, be okay with the fact that I did not know certain things and ask clarifying questions. I would like to give the credit to my mentor, initially I was prettified with the idea of a mentor, I thought I would always be monitored and not given the freedom to explore, but I was able to work independently while having a mentor by my side. Mentors aren’t overrated, they catalyse learning. I’ve learned so much faster having a mentor than I’ve ever did before.
2. Be proactive, take initiative
Whenever you see an opportunity, take an initiative to make an impact. Don’t let the thoughts of “I’m just an intern” to stop you! The more engaged and proactive you are, the more you are going to learn and contribute. Being more involved boosted my confidence about myself. As I mentioned earlier, It’s okay to make mistakes, don’t be afraid to ask for help. People like being asked questions just as much as they like answering them. Asking questions made me smarter.
3. Don’t overthink things.
I realised that I use to take forever to decide on things that don’t matter , like whether the design needs to be blue or purple but in reality, I should be spending time on the interaction or layout. Over thinking makes you waste time, prioritise speed over everything but never forget that consistency is key to deliver a great result.
4. Learnings from all around
There is wisdom gained in everything you do or come across, whether be it from a fellow colleague or from a conversation that sparks up. Initially, I signed up for the internship with the intention that I am going to learn major attributes in design but as the journey begun, I found learning in doing an illustration for an in-house collateral or learn & incorporate your colleague’s thinking in your methodology. Every experience in the span of 2.5 months made me discover a process, method, a thinking which widened my perspective and build my design personality
The entire experience has boosted my creative confidence and helped me validate my existence as a designer, the experience quickly made me forget that I was just an “intern”. In conclusion I would like to say, when you love what you do and with great people around, the thought of departing becomes difficult but as they say all good things someday come to an end.