3 October 2023
Looking to bolster your creative CV with some work experience? A creative internship is the way to go.
Creative internships are the best way to get your foot in the door. Lasting between one and six months, you’ll live, breathe and paint all things creative. Whether you’re a theatre enthusiast or fully acquainted with Adobe Illustrator, there’s a role for you.
The creative industry is HUGE. In 2022, the UK had just under 3 million creative jobs coming in at 2.29 million. There are ten specific sectors of the creative industry. This includes,
The great thing is, there is a growing amount of opportunities out there for you to get stuck in. Read on to find out more about creative internships and how to get involved.
- What does a creative intern do?
- Where can I do a creative internship?
- How much does a creative intern earn?
- How to apply for creative internships?
What does a creative intern do?
To answer plainly, loads. Creative interns will get responsibility from the jump and you’ll get involved in so much.
How much you do, and what you get out of it will depend on the type of internship you want. Some creative internships allow you to wear multiple hats to get a feel for the various cogs of the industry.
However, you’ll probably already know what you want to do, so you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of internships where you can specialise in your area of expertise.
Your day-to-day will vary greatly, and you’ll work on multiple projects simultaneously. Depending on your particular sector of creative, some of your tasks will include:
- Creating assets for clients according to brief
- Assist in editing and production sessions
- Sourcing and organising materials
- Generate ideas and concepts
- Working with internal and external teams.
Read our Guide to Internships where you’ll find out everything you need to know about them.
Where can I do a creative internship?
There are loads of businesses that have creative teams. Whether it’s a start-up, creative agency or mega-company, you’ll find something interesting in any company.
When it comes to finding them, however – it can feel like a little bit of an easter egg hunt. But we’re here to tell you there are loads of places where you can search for creative-specific roles without having to trawl through hundreds of job listings you don’t want.
Here are some of them…
Bristol Creative Internships
If you’re over in the west country and happen to be near bustling Bristol (which happens to be one of the top 10 creative hubs of the UK), the BCI offers an internship programme to help young people from underrepresented backgrounds with a headstart in the creative industry.
You’ll do two three-month paid internships in one of the following roles:
It’s all about creating an industry that’s reflective of modern society. Creative Access provides paid creative work experience opportunities to those from under-represented communities.
They offer several creative internships with some of the UK’s biggest companies, as well as internships with smaller businesses. Some of these include:
- British Library
- London Theatre Company
- Penguin Random House
- Victoria & Albert Museum.
You’ll find internships in everything from creative directing to graphic design and even performing arts.
Launching in 2015, best friends Mae & Sam started the ERIC Festival, an ‘alternative’ careers fair for young creatives. Jump to 2020 where they launched the ERIC app, a place for you to find creative internships and masterclasses.
We often advertise creative roles, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out on our jobs board. Click below to see what’s currently on offer.
How much does a creative intern earn?
This depends on the employer you intern with, so it literally pays to do your research.
As internships are between one and six months, the salary would be pro rata of the annual salary. For example, if a full-year salary is £26,000 and you work for six months, you’d receive around half of that.
However, don’t get caught up in an unpaid internship or one that only covers lunch and travel costs. You deserve to be paid for your time. That’s it. Hear from our senior content writer, Louise, about why she regrets doing an unpaid internship.
Just an FYI, we here at RateMyPlacement will only ever advertise paid roles.
Read more about why unpaid internships are just a bad idea.
How to apply for creative internships?
If you’ve settled on your dream internship, good for you. Now it’s time to apply.
The application process for a creative internship isn’t too dissimilar to other industries. Once you’ve got a cracking CV and cover letter down, it’s on to the online application which will hopefully lead to an interview.
However, there is one thing you need to have. The portfolio.
Whether it’s graphic design, an acting reel, or examples of advertising – portfolios are a fantastic way to show off the thing you do best – your creativity.
You can do it old school and have a folder filled with all your best work, but printing in this economy? No ma’am. There are other ways to show off your skills:
- Online portfolios. There are some websites you can use to create your online portfolio, Canva and Adobe are FREE to use. There are loads of options for journalists too.
- Social media. Instagram is an invaluable resource for portfolio work. It’s free and has 2.35 billion active users, all it takes is a few taps and voila, a portfolio. Tumblr is another super resource.
When applying for creative apprenticeships, your portfolio can be added to your application or will be taken just before the interview stage. Just always make sure it’s up to date!
And there you have it! Creative internships are truly the best way to break into the industry. The experience you’ll get and the people you’ll meet will add SO much to your career. You’re in for a treat. Good luck!
Make sure to sign up for RateMyPlacement to find out about the latest creative roles and more.
Written by Melchi
Melchi is a stan of the written word and joined the RateMyPlacement team as a Content Executive in 2021. Melchi started his career writing culture content for WeAreCollision magazine before completing an MA in International Journalism at City University and interning at Insider Inc. He now uses his head-thesaurus to write inspiring content to help young people make great career choices. These include everything from blogs about how to survive your placement year to industry guides outlining the latest placement and internship opportunities. Outside of writing, Melchi loves all things music and is currently learning how to DJ.