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How to Land a Web Design Internship

An internship is a fabulous way for high school students to gain valuable career experience and network with influential professionals in the field they hope to enter. Building relationships with other web designers can allow you to find mentors that can support your career after your internship ends.

More seasoned professionals can help you prepare for interviews, write letters of recommendation, and offer support when you make a mistake or feel overwhelmed.

If you’re interested in web design, there are several courses and activities available to help improve your skills and impress your superiors. People from a younger generation often bring a fresh perspective to a business, so local web design internships for high school students are sometimes simpler to find than internships for other tech professions. Below, you’ll find information on how to make sure your internship application stands out among all the others. 

Create Eye-Catching Websites

You can practice creating websites for yourself and others before you apply for internships. Take advantage of some free online tutorials and join forums for graphic design. With these tools, you can share your ideas with other designers, collaborate on projects, and learn how to receive and implement constructive feedback into your work.

Building a website for yourself is a perfect way to practice your skills. It’s also the safest place to try new ideas and make mistakes since an outside party isn’t depending on you to meet a deadline or perfect something you aren’t able to do yet. Having a personal website can be an impressive addition to applications for scholarships, internships, and college admissions. It's also a great place to store your portfolio of work so potential employers can see your skills in action and verify that you’re on top of current trends. 

You can also use your website to demonstrate your skills to prospective clients. Additionally, high school students can use their web design skills as a way to make some extra money. If you want to give this a try, you can research local businesses and identify some that have out-of-date websites (or zero web presence at all). You can then contact these businesses and offer to help them create a new website that will expand their customer base and therefore add value to the business. While it’s not a guarantee that you’ll always be hired, this approach will likely appeal to some business owners since you’ll be asking for a lower price than a more experienced designer would charge. 

Enhance Your Coding Skills

Making a website look attractive to users is only half the battle when it comes to web design; you need to know how to make the website run as well. This includes being able to make appropriate updates and knowing how to fix problems when they arise. There are several activities available to high school students that will help demonstrate their coding skills to hiring managers.

One impressive resume addition is extracurriculars and hobbies that have to do with coding. Participating in these types of activities will give you plenty of practice and will better prepare you when applying for internships. Thousands of high schools across the country currently offer the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Course as part of their curriculum. At the end of the course, students will write a computer program from start to finish as part of their exam. Successful completion of this course and high scores on the exams are impressive to college and internship recruiters, especially since many universities are no longer requiring students to take standardized tests like the SAT and/or the ACT. 

There are also plenty of online coding challenge communities you can join to meet like-minded people and refine your skills as much as possible. Recruiters and hiring managers may be interested in your achievements in these challenges since they are a tangible way to demonstrate your commitment to improving your skills and your current abilities. Some of the most popular communities like this are AlgoExpert, LeetCode, and codewars. Another way to show some initiative would be to start a Hack Club at your school. These are clubs that generally meet for 90 minutes per week and work together to build games, websites, and apps. You can apply to be a club leader on their website to get more information. 

Soft Skills for Web Design

Soft skills are qualities that are harder to teach and difficult to measure, as they are more subjective. They usually include traits such as creativity, communication, and patience. Many soft skills are important to develop as you prepare for a career in web design. Even though these kinds of skills are hard to teach, it doesn’t mean you can’t improve them. 

Time management for a web designer is a critical skill. Unfortunately, it can be quite common for web designers to have to juggle multiple deadlines from different clients at once. Producing quality work requires a significant time investment, and getting a reputation for being unable to meet deadlines would be a tremendous blow to your fledgling business. To help combat burnout and save time, many web development professionals recommend The Pomodoro Technique, which involves dividing your schedule into 25-minute segments with five-minute breaks in between. Web designers also have tools to help reuse existing code, which saves time and allows you to work on more innovative projects.

Creativity is also a must-have skill for any web designer, as obvious as it may seem. Anyone working in an artistic industry needs to be creative. But there is a difference between being able to consistently come up with innovative ideas and just hoping you’ll have a random strike of inspiration. Creative professionals usually have a method that helps them keep track of their ideas, as well as a means to regularly execute and evaluate their ideas to see if they’re successful. If you struggle with thinking of creativity as a structured practice, there are ways to boost your creative thinking skills.

Learn Web Design in NextGen’s Summer Classes

If you’re interested in taking web design classes for high school students, you can check out NextGen Bootcamp’s web design courses for high schoolers. It has in-person web design classes available at its campus in New York City, as well as live online web design classes that can be attended remotely from anywhere in the world. Completion of these courses is sure to enrich any college or internship application.

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