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My Design Internship at IBA

BiancaMy name is Bianca and I am a design intern at IBA.Bulgaria. I am currently a second-year student enrolled in the Graphic Communication Design course at the University of Westminster, UK, going into the final year of my BA degree this month. As part of my studies, I had to look and apply for an internship of my choice during my second year of studies. The idea behind the internship is to prepare myself for what to look for once I finish my academic studies and better understand what is expected of me as an applicant for a job in the industry nowadays.

Not satisfied with the offers that were presented to me on the web, I knew I had to look elsewhere. I decided to get in contact with Mrs. Minekov, one of the founders of IBA.Bulgaria. I know Paola Minekov through a mutual friend and I worked with her back in 2013 on a mosaic mural project. I was confident that asking for an offer for an internship in Paola’s business would be a perfect place to start my experience as a young designer.

b4Having successfully secured an internship at IBA.Bulgaria for the summer, I started this experience with an open mind. Not knowing exactly what type of design work I would be doing for this business networking platform, I was excited to apply my skills and learn more.

For the past three months, I have had the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects. From online to print design for IBA.Bulgaria’s website and for their official magazine, the  Elysium Business Magazine. I learned how to design promotional newsletters, brochures, a press pass and much more! During this internship, I got to work with the Adobe Creative Suite applications such as Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop. I previously had experience with these programs through university and personal projects but thanks to the projects that I got to work on for IBA.Bulgaria, I had the opportunity to improve my skills in them and use the programs on a much deeper level. I also got to use and learn to work with MailChimp and Asana. Throughout each individual project, I had the chance to work directly with Paola and Aneta (IBA’s Director of Marketing & Communications). This has helped me tremendously to improve the quality of my work, gain confidence in design making and effectiveness in my projects outcomes.

In this internship I also had the opportunity to work with the development team for I learnt how important it is for developers and designers to work together as a team to build content for the web. I understood the importance of designing for the web thanks to my internship at IBA.Bulgaria. I learnt that web designs not only need to be visually appealing to the audience but be informative and functional, too. When my projects consisted of designing for web, I had to always have in mind that whatever I was creating, the design elements must be modelled in a way to transform from design to coding.

b2As far as coding goes, I also developed my coding skills. Having learned some beginner-level coding in my second year during my current academic studies, Paola’s persistence working on my code knowledge helped me to improve this area of design which I was least comfortable with. In my course at university, I would most likely not to have had the opportunity to improve my skills in this area.

Some other positive aspects from this internship are the following: I learned which areas within web and print design I like the most, my weaknesses and strengths. Also, as previously mentioned, I understood the importance of functionality of the design over its looks in all of my projects. Design is not all about its aesthetics but its function too. It can be very easy to forget that a good design needs to be efficiently communicative to its audience. I also learned that design has a huge importance to a company. It reflects the values of the company to an audience, it helps a company to grow as a business and designs are not only used as a communication tool but as a marketing strategy for the company.

Everything that I learned has been of great benefit for my future as a designer. This internship has taught me how my area of study is appreciated within any type of business. I hope that all the new skills and experience gained during my internship at IBA.Bulgaria will come in handy when I apply for a job and potentially help my future clients develop their businesses.

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