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Industrial Design: How to do away with the anxiety of internships

Stacey Lin is a third-year industrial design student.

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Industrial Design: How to do away with the anxiety of internships

Stacey Lin is a third-year industrial design student.

Stacey Lin is a third-year industrial design student who is currently applying for internships to satisfy her program’s requirements.

Everyone in industrial design knows about the internship requirement for graduating. For most people, it happens between third and fourth year, and it’s what all first-, second- and third-year industrial design students work towards. It’s a great opportunity because it helps students acquire valuable skills from work experience before starting a career in the competitive design workplace. That being said, creating a portfolio and applying for internships is a part-time job in itself: eating up a lot of time and causing a lot of stress, on top of our already demanding courses such as studio.

Nowadays, more and more industrial design students are taking a year off between third and fourth year to travel, get more work experience and take a break from their studies. The combination of applying to internships, getting rejected, and not having a plan for the next year has lead to an anxiety of the unknown.

Not knowing what the future holds can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. There is so much potential in the number of interesting places I could visit with different internships being offered. But there is also the reality that there might not be anything – I might not get an internship at all and what will I do then? This can be stressful but it’s also something that’s out of my control.

Worrying about “what ifs” won’t get me an internship. It just gets me more nervous about what the future holds. So instead of spending time fretting over what could happen, I try to spend time doing things that I can control. The keyword there though is “try”. It’s normal for people to worry and I still can’t help but do it on a daily basis. But every time I do, I try to remind myself of what I can do right now. Though cheesy, I believe that things do happen for a reason. If I don’t get an internship now, it doesn’t mean I won’t get one later. Opportunities come and go, so if you miss one, there’s always another one around the corner.

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