My Internship in 3 Parts

January 04, 2023 | By Sol Stern, Design Intern

Like any other story, this story has 3 parts: a beginning, a middle and an end.

The Beginning

Getting to intern at Noise 13 felt like a series of fortunate events that lined up perfectly in order for me to end up here.

A couple of months before I graduated college here in San Francisco, I met another designer that mentioned Noise 13 and their work. As I usually do when something sparks my interest, I pulled out my phone and on the Notes app next to: ‘books to read’, ‘restaurant recommendations’ and ‘movies I must watch before I die’, I wrote down “agencies in sf: Noise 13”, to reference in the future. Even though these lists don’t usually see the light of day again, thankfully this one did. After a bit more research, I felt Noise 13 was a really great fit for me and that my values and beliefs aligned perfectly with the company’s: open mindedness, collaboration, inclusivity, social responsibility and a lot of love for food and design. Even though there are a lot of companies that describe themselves that way, it was gratifying to see and experience first hand that everyone at Noise 13 actually puts these things into practice every single day.

The Middle

After what felt like two extremely long years of going to school exclusively online, I was excited to return to a face to face environment; somewhere where the back and forth of ideas is welcomed and celebrated, and where collaboration is key. As someone who had explored the world of freelancing and had mainly only done solo work, the idea of working alongside other, more experienced designers made me nervous. The first day I walked into the office, it didn’t take long for me to realize that there was no reason to be nervous. I realized how truly welcoming, approachable and genuinely caring everyone was. Questions and clarifications were always encouraged and welcomed. 

I was blown away when I realized the team was smaller than I expected. It’s almost unbelievable how such a small group of people can create such amazing, professional work. I believe this is possible because of the way things are run. Teamwork and communication are always prioritized, and the team knows each other well and genuinely cares about how others are doing. Mental health and simply having fun are things that are also at the forefront of Noise 13’s ethos. They celebrate each other during the wins, and support each other before anyone can lose.

The End

After the last three months, I can confidently say working at Noise 13 has taught me a series of very valuable lessons that I’ll carry with me from here forward. First, the way design is done and managed in the real world. Before this experience, I had no idea how many things actually go into completing a project successfully and all the attention to detail and time everyone involved devotes in order to deliver the best results. Second, the importance of a healthy and positive work environment. At the end of the day, work is where you spend a lot of your daily life and being able to comfortably reach out to your peers about work or non-work related issues is truly invaluable. Above all, my favorite thing about Noise 13 was getting to work with an amazing group of talented individuals, who not only made me feel like a contributing part of the team but also inspired me to become a better designer. 

Advice for Future Interns

Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions! Don’t be afraid to get clarifications or ask for help. Everyone at the office has been in your position at some point. Listen and learn. Be open to constructive criticism, and most importantly don’t take it personally. The team is always seeking to help you grow personally and professionally. Finally, don’t be afraid to speak up. Your voice and unique point of view matters, since it’s the combination of different perspectives that makes design and life richer. 

To the Noise 13 Team

Thank you so much for making me feel included, heard and supported. And a special thanks to my mentor, Elaine, who would constantly make sure I was doing okay and wasn’t getting overwhelmed. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.