An insight into my internship
Our most recent design intern from the University of Leeds, Maddie Knight shared her thoughts on her time at Acrylicize
- Maddie Knight
My four-month internship experience at Acrylicize was invaluable. From the moment I walked through the doors of The Art House, Acrylicize’s London studio, I knew I had embarked on an incredible opportunity. I was met by plants cascading down the walls, an in-house art gallery, even a meditation room and a library brimming with every design book I’d ever hoped to read. Whilst I was new to the workplace, I was already certain there was nothing quite like Acrylicize.
Naturally, I was feeling nervous on my first day, but my anxieties immediately melted away when I was welcomed by Acrylicize’s lovely studio manager. I became more and more confident in my decision to move my life from Leeds to London, engaging in introduction meetings with the team, and I soon began to feel like I was onboarding into a creative and wonderful family rather than a company.
It is rare to be entrusted with actual responsibility during an internship; many organisations shy away from the “learning on the job” mentality or simply use interns as a cog in the machine. My experience at Acrylicize was distinctly different. I was a fully integrated member of the team working on a variety of projects across the business. I received guidance and training from my supportive mentor, shaping my skills in a professional environment, and watching my realised designs grow and come to life.
Collaboration is at the heart of Acrylicize, and this was crucial to my progression. The opportunity to work alongside experienced designers, project managers and curators undeniably expanded my industry knowledge. My growth and learning experience was important to the company.
I was thrown into WhatsApp group chats, sharing exciting behind-the-scenes project updates, must-visit gallery exhibitions and visual inspiration. It was an uplifting and motivating space to share with the team and continue friendly and often humorous communication outside the studio's working hours. In addition to our WhatsApp chats, every Wednesday, the whole Acrylicize team both UK and the US join for Wednesday club, to share ideas, and highlight inspiring projects, as well as general achievements throughout the week. This was an exciting opportunity to give feedback, listen to new perspectives, and learn about projects that most of us wouldn’t get to see otherwise. It was also a chance to build inspiration for creative cuisine, which is half a day each month to do anything from developing yourself creatively, going to new art exhibitions or volunteering.
There was a profound social atmosphere within the company. My week often included team lunches, whether that was BBQs on the rooftop terrace or a tantalising studio-cooked meal downstairs. This was essential for cultivating teamwork and collaboration, fostering my involvement within the team early on in my placement. It was clear I was part of a company that leads with love sharing personal experiences as well as projects.
Once I return to University, I must complete a presentation to younger students about my experience on placement. My advice to them, and to anyone looking for an internship is to find a company willing to nurture your potential, a business that values your learning as a success, and a team that you could easily confuse as a family. Whilst I’m sure I’ll encounter many opportunities in the future, the fact remains that I don’t think I’ll ever find a company or a team quite like Acrylicize.