Being an intern at Teakettica, LLC. has been a real honor, especially considering I’m still in high school! No matter what your journey here has been, you are sure to learn something about the web design and graphic design field from Jane Clark, owner of Teakettica, LLC.
Before you apply for the internship, here are some things you should expect when working with Jane.
You Set Your Own Schedule
Since Teakettica is based in a home office, you aren’t required to have the same schedule from week to week. Jane totally understands if there are other obligations that you need to deal at that time. It rocks to not have a set schedule because of my other activities and I can still be with my family and friends. Just be sure to not be a stranger and come at least once a week, if your schedule allows it. In my opinion, it’s better to learn with someone there to answer your questions faster than any computer, and Jane could not respond fast enough because she is working on a client.
She will help you with your own clients
As an intern, you can still have clients as a freelancer. If you have questions on how to handle a difficult client or just the basics of having a client, Jane will totally help you out – and she won’t try to steal your client.
She is super patient because she understands you are still learning
Jane has given me some really difficult tasks that I have never dealt with before. Jane is willing to answer questions and try to direct you to the right path. Be prepared to spend a long time on something.
Jane is human
Although Jane is mostly composed and collected, she also gets frustrated from time to time. If she is curt, do not take it personally, which leads to my next point.
Jane is really honest
Jane will tell you if she likes or hates something and not sugarcoat it. Be prepared, for most of the time, this isn’t a direct reflection on you. Sometimes she would suggest a design and tell you she hates it, and then she says, come up with something else. Try to focus on the brand and do your research in order to follow through with a fantastic design.
She is able to adjust what work she gives you based on what you are willing to learn
At the beginning of the internship, along with the internship agreement, she asks for a list of things that you would want to learn, like SEO, social media and marketing in general. She tries to gear those types of projects so you can work through those with her right there.
The grunt-worthy work
Not every single thing Jane gives you is design based. Sometimes it’s updating all the WordPress sites and wait for backups (they take a lot longer than you think), finding prospective clients from multiple sources and report back and get her tea as she is on calls with clients. Expect to fetch Jane tea and walk the company mascot, Remi (very lovable, but he has a big friendly personality). Be prepared for Remi to teach you to be a leader. If you aren’t ok with walking her bulldog, that’s ok. Jane awards people who go the extra mile and it certainly helps her out with maintaining a home office such as Teakettica.
She isn’t able to help you with every single question when you have that question
In addition to the point above, Jane makes a lot of client calls or she is on a stressful deadline. If you are working on a tough project and you have multiple questions, you just have to sit tight or Google it. (that’s the scientific way 🙂 Sometimes these calls take 15 minutes or an hour. If you really can’t move on, then you might want to find another task to do. Jane really values resourcefulness, so before you ask, try to find the answer yourself.
Be prepared to imagine how a TV show or movie is working out
Jane likes to watch TV while she is working, it keeps her focused. The problem is that you can’t see the screen as much, so you kind of have to imagine what is happening. It makes Dr. Phil really interesting. 🙂 (Sometimes Jane shares her screen and we can watch Judge Judy)
If you don’t have social media, you at least need to have Skype
Jane uses Skype as a form of communication. We here are so lazy that we use Skype to chat and send snapshots of works in progress for approval. Be prepared to send a lot of snapshots. She can also share her screen so she can show you what you need to improve on.
Jane will help you for the future
Jane will help you with whatever you want to do for the future. For me, she has given me some college advice that I am considering. For people looking to own their own business, she can help you work through the struggles and answer questions. If you are looking to be hired at a design firm, Jane can help you prepare your portfolio and resume for this transition.
You can use your work done at Teakettica for your own portfolio, but be sure to credit us
As an intern, you are building your skills and you may create something that you are super proud of. Jane lets you use this on your own portfolio, as long as you say something like In collaboration with Teakettica, LLC. (This doesn’t include competitive companies, just personal resume portfolios) Jane is not afraid of competition, there is so much design work out there and she wants everyone to succeed.
Jane does not deal with snobs or divas
You are applying to the internship program to learn, not to talk about how you are the best designer in the world. You have to take Jane’s suggestions and apply them like she says, instead of ignoring her and doing your own thing. There is no need to argue with what she is saying. Jane does love learning from local freelancers so she’s open to other techniques and ways of doing things. But if Jane don’t like something (because it deviates from Teakettica’s brand or she know the client won’t like it, ) she’ll keep making you do it again until it’s ready to go. Welcome to the design world – this will help you become a better designer. She is anti-whining!
Don’t get frustrated
This is something that I still do, I don’t expect anyone else to stop either. The mood in the office is pretty casual, but there are times when you just don’t understand what you are doing. Try to take deep breaths and relax before moving on. Also unless there is a deadline, we’re pretty flexible about what projects you need to work on when – so you can move on for a bit and do something else.
These are the things that I have learned as an intern and then production artist at Teakettica LLC. I wrote down my observations over the past couple of months. I swear that Jane approves every word and she can take criticism. In fact, she told me that I better put criticism in here because if I was in her position, I would want to know what to improve on. Anyway, please consider these factors when you apply to the internship. I recommend this internship because I have learned so much, and I hope it works out for you, too. She is looking for people eager to learn and who can be valuable. Ultimately, Jane wants everyone to have a positive experience as an intern. All of Jane’s interns, including myself, have gone over the 130 hours limit just so they can keep learning.