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What Are the Different Types of Product Design Internships?

Jennifer Leigh
Jennifer Leigh

Product design internships are an opportunity to gain valuable work experience within a company, as well as use the information learned while in school. Many internships occur while a student is seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree, but internships are also available after graduation from college. Internships can be paid or unpaid, but most are not paid, as they are considered a way to learn about the field a student wishes to enter.

Obtaining product design internships often occurs while an individual is seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree in product or industrial design. Many colleges have internship programs arranged with various companies so that students can gain work experience before entering the work force. These are often very competitive due to the large number of students interested in entering this field. It is possible to create an internship by contacting companies whose products are of interest. Post-graduation, it is possible to become hired as an intern by seeking out companies that are interested in having additional help.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Paid positions are considered highly competitive, even more so than unpaid positions, because it can be inconvenient to work for free even as a student. Most students and graduates should not count on being able to find a paid position until they have work experience and a portfolio. Product design internships should be considered a step in the process of eventually working in the field as a professional.

Internships are available in many industries due to the nature of product design. Products are everywhere, and they are designed by product designers, so most industries have product design internships available. Innovative companies are sometimes more willing to use interns because they are looking for individuals with fresh ideas and concepts, which students and post-graduates often have.

Industries that have product design internships include everything from shoe companies to automobile companies to toys. Product design interns work with a variety of customers to create products that meet their needs. Materials, cost, design and efficiency are all considered during the design process. During product design internships, interns meet with clients, attend meetings and work on designs under the supervision of experienced product designers.

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