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Marketing & Advancement Internships: Q&A with Emily Millen

Emily is a Graphic Design Intern based in the University’s Creative and Print Services. She applied for the role following her graduation in 2019 with a BA Hons Degree in Graphic Communication and Illustration.

Photo of Emily Millen stood outside

If you’re thinking about the next steps in your career, hear more about Emily’s experience below to see if our Marketing & Advancement internship scheme might be for you. Applications close on 28 June 2020 and more information can be found here.

What inspired you to apply for the University’s Marketing and Advancement intern scheme? 

I really wanted to get stuck in straight away after completing my degree and this role let me apply my skills in industry while still being in the comfort of Loughborough. It bridged the gap between studying and jumping straight into working life. I also designed a fair bit for LSU and hall events previously, so I already had a strong interest in design and Loughborough life.

What skills have you taken from your experience? 

I feel more confident designing for clients now than I did at the start of the internship. This was a great opportunity to work alongside an amazing design team who were always happy to help me develop my skills and show me tips and pointers along the way. I had this nervousness of ‘what to expect in my first design role’ before I started, but the team made it incredibly easy for me to fit right in and apply my skills from my degree and put them into a studio setting. I always feel like If I have any issues or problems, I can raise them in confidence. It’s been quite a smooth transition from studying to working life and that’s been really great and a huge relief.

I think the team here are great at making the intern feel like they are valued and part of something with the various projects there are to get involved with and being able to have an input in final design decisions is really nice.

What have you enjoyed doing the most during your placement?

I’ve really enjoyed being part of a team and getting feedback on my work technique and learning new ways of designing. I think having the freedom to take my own spin on projects has been amazing for my personal development and portfolio too. The social aspect of the role has been great as well, working with the other designers and bouncing ideas and chatter off each other made every day fun.

How has it been adapting your role and working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

It’s actually been really easy to continue working as normal as we have all the programs and software we need on the computers that we have been able to take home. I’ve still been able to complete design jobs as we would in the office (albeit fewer print jobs). All of the designers have been connecting three times a week via Microsoft teams to update each other on workload, how we are doing and any other questions we may have. I’ve been so lucky to work with such a supportive team at this time and we’ve managed to keep up our 3.30pm Friday ‘Tea talk’ each week where we judge who’s having the best dinner!

What advice would you share with those who are thinking of applying to the scheme?

A can-do attitude and a willingness to learn is essential, and having passion for Loughborough is a must! Be creative, be yourself, and let your enthusiasm do the talking.

What’s your next goal after finishing your internship?

My next goal is to join another in-house design team either at Junior level or a step above, with my ideal location being London. I’m really interested in the fashion and lifestyle industry so that’s where I am headed!

I’m really pleased I applied for this role because I feel it’s been so beneficial in terms of getting on the industry ladder, and I feel very lucky to have been offered the opportunity to work with the Creative and Print design team before moving on to the next step in my career. A lot of junior design roles ask for at least a years’ experience, which I now have and therefore I’m more employable.

Design Team Leader Paul Atkins commented: “Emily has been an amazing intern. Always cheerful and happy to get involved, she became one of the team instantly. From day one Emily has launched herself into everything she has been asked to do and is always up for a challenge.

“Being organised and a list-maker has meant Emily managed her hectic workload efficiently with an eagerness to always take on new projects. Our hands-on approach meant Emily has managed work from start to finish, meeting clients, pulling together mood boards, concept design to creation of finished artwork.

“The future holds some fantastic opportunities for Emily and wherever she ends up, she will be a credit to any team. On a final note, it is worth knowing her creativity is not so secretly fuelled by lots of chocolate!”