An Internship Designed for Support & Curiosity

December 09, 2021 | By Shannon Steed, Noise 13 Intern

When accepting an interview at a design agency over 600 miles away, I had no idea what to expect. In my prior experience with online work environments, it was easy to forget to foster new connections and voice your appreciation for the folks with whom you work. As soon as I (digitally) stepped into my first interview with Meb and Elaine, I realized that Noise 13 does things differently!

Support and Progress

It was clear from the very start that the staffers at Noise 13 wanted more than anything for the incoming intern to learn, grow, and flourish in a supportive community of creatives. Throughout my three month internship, that mission has not faltered. Each helping hand is met with gratitude and every misstep is treated as a learning opportunity for everyone involved. Teammates would check in with me consistently about my wellbeing and my school, genuinely interested in my growth throughout this process. The amount of support I received in my learning was evident through every project and my progress has always been a priority.

From discussing our pets on Slack calls to digital cheers every time a new presentation was wrapped up, the culture of positivity and community has always been at the forefront. In such a tightly knit team, I was always treated as an equal and I got to know everyone really closely, regardless of if I was working with them on a project or just checking in.

Projects, Projects, Projects!

I was lucky enough to work on a huge variety of internal projects and client projects that helped me build a lot of important skills to carry far beyond my internship. I loved building my skills alongside so many talented designers across an array of disciplines, from supporting client decks and brand development to helping develop Noise 13’s social media presence.

I developed experience working with UX/UI and got to create a ton of custom illustrations as well, which is a huge passion of mine. One of them is the header for this blog! I was even trusted with my own client project, working as a solo designer on a brand system for a sustainable snack company. Despite my nerves for taking on such a hefty role for that brand, I am so honored to have been trusted with that project and received a lot of technical support and patience from our Creative Director, André, and each of the designers, in order to make that project shine. If I ever felt overwhelmed or creatively drained, it was all hands on deck with every designer at Noise 13, jumping into the Figma board to craft a design solution together. While it felt a little like being thrown in the deep end with that project, everyone eagerly provided an array of life jackets and floaties at the exact right time.

A Culture of Curiosity

Beyond the skill-building aspect of the internship, I was consistently encouraged to dig deeper, ask questions, and employ tons of curiosity. My mentor, Xiaoxiao, and I would constantly nerd out about design stuff in our weekly 1:1s, and I was always offered the opportunity to seek professional advice from any of the team members of Noise 13. This curious and open-minded culture has led to a lot of interesting discoveries about my own creative path and a lot of clarity in my options moving forward!

My Advice for Future Interns!

I learned a lot of valuable lessons this past three months and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the incoming interns. The best advice I can give might be simple but it’s so important: soak up as much information as you can and take advantage of the knowledge and learnings to which you are exposed!

My design program at Portland State University pioneered the phrase “be a sponge” when referring to a student’s role in new environments. This could not be more true at Noise 13. This space is a wealth of information and creativity, a community of very experienced designers with incredible problem-solving skills. The way to get the most out of this internship is to value that creative capacity and be curious while absorbing as much insight as possible!

Thank you so much to the entire Noise 13 team. I appreciate all of the support and kindness you’ve provided and it has been such an honor working with you all.