”Starting an internship at Franco is becoming part of a true family and community. My time at Franco has been full of laughter, learning and creativity.Lindsey SteffeySummer 2022 Graphic Design Intern, Franco
FRANCO FIRST IMPRESSIONS
First-day job jitters can be stressful, especially for a recently graduated college student. Franco quickly extinguished those jitters with bright, smiling faces and several walk-throughs of the office space. Immediately I recognized how comfortable I would be working here.
The team was excellent at helping me adapt to my new surroundings. They made sure I had all the programs and applications I needed to activate, papers to go through and names to learn. After the first five minutes, I was no longer nervous to ask a question. It didn’t take long before I felt like part of the team.
Things to expect when starting an internship at Franco:
- At least five people show you around the office
- Kitchen chats with ALL the snacks
- Office Mom, Lori Cook, makes sure you have everything you could possibly need
- Smiles, friendly chatting and all questions are welcome
Graduating and starting a job during a global pandemic is a unique experience. Onboarding with Franco and working in a hybrid environment was a first for me, as it has been for most graduating and starting their first job in the last few years. Franco made that transition smooth and with the least amount of stress possible. The team did an amazing job making sure I had everything I needed to start. When questions would pop up, they made it easy to ask and get quick responses – in person and online.
THE INTERN EXPERIENCE
In school, we had a few group projects here and there, but nothing like working with a team at an internship. Something I had to get used to at Franco was getting comfortable sending emails to multiple co-workers, some I had never talked to in person, or rarely seen.
I also had to get used to asking questions when I didn’t know how to do something or needed critiques on a design project. What helped me get comfortable with everyone was the all-employee meetings, team-building exercises and our fun after-work tiki boat tour on the Detroit River. Through these experiences, I got to know team members I didn’t have experience working with on a daily basis.
At our all-employee meetings, I could match faces with names, learn more about the company and see how different teams worked together. During a team-building exercise, I had the opportunity to work outside of the creative team, gaining experience in taking charge when it came to the design aspect of the exercise.
Talking with my co-workers after work while seeing amazing views of the Detroit River was also a great way to get to know everyone – especially those I didn’t normally work with. After only a few weeks at Franco, emailing different team members about projects became natural, and asking questions felt informative and educational.
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The best part about being an intern is seeing your work in the world for the first time. Not just on a friend’s Instagram page or around school, but out in a big city on a company’s website or social media channels.
Franco’s in-house creative team, consisting of Ashley DuPuy-Mancuso and Lily Stotz, worked with me one-on-one and helped me learn the professional processes at Franco. Meeting with each of them once a week gave me opportunities to keep a steady workflow, learn from two different designers and start to develop my design process outside of the college schedule. The open communication with my team and other employees at Franco helped me develop essential professional design skills during my internship.
WHAT I LEARNED
Interning at Franco further developed my design skills, setting the foundation for my design career. My design team, Ashley and Lily, focused on both my strengths and weaknesses by assigning me projects I enjoyed and ones that pushed my skills. Working with programs I didn’t have the opportunity to learn in college gave me lots of new experiences in the professional world. For me, beginning my design career with a company that develops both the skills I currently have and the ones I want to improve was an important part of my internship.
My learned experience was one of the most valuable things I took away from this internship. I had the opportunity to work with an array of clients with different design needs. Working with different kinds of companies gave me the chance to work with multiple project formats, including marketing collateral, brand design, print, web, social graphics, motion graphics and everything in between.
The last major takeaway from my Franco internship was working with my creativity. Coming from college I wasn’t sure how creative I could be in the workplace, but my fellow creatives always made sure to give me fun, creatively open projects alongside more structured assignments. It was always a nice mixture of projects that provided balance for my specific design workflow. My design team was always open to critiques to help me learn and improve my design skills.
Interning at Franco is a guaranteed hands-on experience, with projects specific to your areas of interest, professional development opportunities and memories to take with you.
Visit the Join Our Team page to learn more about working at Franco.
Lindsey Steffey served as Franco’s summer 2022 graphic design intern. Connect with her on LinkedIn.