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Art and Design

Internships in Graphic Design: Opportunities in Nigeria’s Firms

Last Updated on September 2, 2023


Internships in graphic design play a crucial role in providing practical experience and industry exposure.

They are valuable opportunities for aspiring designers and help bridge the gap between education and professional practice.

In Nigeria, the graphic design industry is thriving and offers a wide range of career prospects.

Definition and Importance of Internships in Graphic Design

Internships in graphic design refer to temporary work experiences where students or recent graduates gain hands-on training and apply their skills in real-world projects.

These internships are crucial for developing practical expertise, building a portfolio, and networking with professionals in the industry.

They provide a platform for individuals to showcase their talents and enhance their employability.

Brief Overview of the Graphic Design Industry in Nigeria

The graphic design industry in Nigeria has witnessed significant growth in recent years.

With the rapid development of technology and the increasing demand for creative visual communication, there are abundant opportunities for graphic designers.

From advertising agencies to design studios, businesses in various sectors require skilled graphic designers to create compelling visuals that cater to the Nigerian market’s diverse needs.

Basically, internships in graphic design are essential for aspiring designers to gain valuable experience, enhance their skills, and establish connections in the industry.

In Nigeria, the graphic design sector is thriving, presenting numerous career prospects for talented individuals.

By participating in internships, students and graduates can embark on the path towards a successful graphic design career in Nigeria.

Benefits of internships in graphic design

Skill development and practical experience

Internships in graphic design offer valuable opportunities for skill development and gaining practical experience.

Working on real projects allows interns to apply their knowledge and learn new techniques.

The hands-on experience helps interns understand the design process and develop their technical skills.

Interns can also learn about industry-standard software and tools used in the field of graphic design.

Exposure to industry professionals and networks

Interning at a graphic design firm provides interns with exposure to industry professionals and networks.

They get the chance to work alongside experienced designers and learn from their expertise.

Building relationships with professionals in the field can open doors to future career opportunities.

Networking during an internship can lead to mentorship, job referrals, and potential collaborations.

Building a portfolio and enhancing creativity

An internship in graphic design allows interns to build a portfolio of their work.

Creating designs for real-world projects adds credibility and diversity to their portfolio.

Interns can showcase their creativity and demonstrate their skills to potential employers.

Working on different projects also encourages interns to think creatively and come up with unique design solutions.

Understanding of real-world projects and deadlines

Through internships, graphic design interns gain a deep understanding of real-world projects and deadlines.

They learn how to manage their time effectively and meet client expectations.

Interns become familiar with the importance of meeting deadlines and delivering high-quality work.

This experience prepares them for the demands of working in the industry after graduation.

Generally, internships in graphic design provide numerous benefits for aspiring designers in Nigeria.

Through skill development, exposure to professionals, portfolio building, and understanding of real-world projects, interns can enhance their career prospects in the field of graphic design.

Internships offer invaluable opportunities to gain practical experience and develop the necessary skills for a successful career in the industry.

Read: Graphic Designer Salaries in Nigeria: An In-Depth Analysis

Types of Graphic Design Internships in Nigeria

In-house internships at design firms and agencies

One of the most common types of graphic design internships in Nigeria is the in-house internship at design firms and agencies.

These internships provide hands-on experience and the opportunity to work on real projects.

Interns in design firms and agencies get to collaborate with experienced designers, learn about design processes, and gain practical skills in software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

This type of internship is ideal for those looking to dive deep into the graphic design field and understand how design firms and agencies operate.

Internships in advertising and marketing companies

Another type of graphic design internship in Nigeria is in advertising and marketing companies.

These companies often have a dedicated design team responsible for creating marketing materials.

Interning at an advertising or marketing company allows aspiring graphic designers to work on various projects such as designing social media graphics, creating brochures, or developing brand identities.

Interns in these companies get exposure to the advertising and marketing industry, learning about the importance of design in attracting and engaging audiences.

Opportunities with media and publishing houses

Media and publishing houses also offer graphic design internships in Nigeria.

These internships typically involve designing layouts for magazines, newspapers, or online publications.

Interns in media and publishing companies get to understand the visual aspect of storytelling, combining images and text to create compelling narratives.

They may also have the opportunity to work on book cover designs, illustrations, or infographics, further honing their skills in graphic design.

Interning for non-profit organizations or design studios

Graphic design internships with non-profit organizations or design studios provide a different perspective on the industry.

These internships often focus on creating designs for social causes.

Interns may have the chance to work on projects that raise awareness about important issues or contribute to campaigns promoting social change.

This type of internship allows aspiring graphic designers to use their skills to make a positive impact and gain experience in working with clients who have a specific mission or vision.

Freelance internships and remote working options

Lastly, there are freelance internships and remote working options available for graphic design internships in Nigeria.

Freelance internships offer flexibility and the opportunity to work on a variety of projects for different clients.

Interns can gain experience in managing their own workload, communicating with clients, and meeting deadlines while working remotely.

This type of internship is ideal for those who prefer a more independent working style and want to explore different areas of graphic design.

Overall, there are various types of graphic design internships available in Nigeria, catering to different interests and career paths.

Whether you choose to work in a design firm, advertising company, media house, non-profit organization, or as a freelance intern, each option provides valuable experience and opportunities for growth in the field of graphic design.

Read: Building a Graphic Design Portfolio in Nigeria: Tips and Tricks

Internships in Graphic Design: Opportunities in Nigeria's Firms

How to find internships in graphic design

Achieving success in finding internships in graphic design requires a proactive approach. Here are five effective methods:

University career centers and job boards

  • Contact your university’s career center, as they often have exclusive internship opportunities.

  • Regularly check job boards specific to graphic design, such as design-related forums and websites.

  • Apply to internships posted on university job boards and career fairs.

Personal networking and professional associations

  • Attend design-related events, conferences, and workshops to build connections.

  • Join professional associations and organizations related to graphic design.

  • Network with fellow graphic designers and professionals in the industry.

Online job portals and freelance platforms

  • Explore online job portals that specifically cater to graphic design internships.

  • Create profiles on freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr to find remote internship opportunities.

  • Regularly check these platforms for internships and apply promptly.

Approaching design firms directly for internships

  • Research and identify graphic design firms in Nigeria that align with your interests.

  • Prepare a professional portfolio and resume highlighting your skills and achievements.

  • Reach out to these firms directly via email or phone, expressing your interest in interning with them.

  • Follow up with a thank-you note after contacting them, showcasing your enthusiasm.

Utilizing social media and online portfolios

  • Showcase your skills and talents on social media platforms like Instagram, Behance, and Dribbble.

  • Create an online portfolio displaying your best graphic design projects.

  • Engage with other designers and potential employers through social media.

  • Include links to your online portfolio and social media profiles in your job applications.

By employing these strategies, you enhance your chances of securing valuable graphic design internships in Nigeria.

Remember, perseverance and determination are key, so don’t be discouraged by rejections. Keep refining your skills and seeking opportunities that align with your passion for graphic design.

Read: The Growth of Digital Art: Graphic Design in Nigeria’s Culture

Tips for a Successful Graphic Design Internship in Nigeria

Research the company and understand their style

Before starting your graphic design internship in Nigeria, it is important to research the company you will be working for.

Familiarize yourself with their style, mission, and values to ensure you align with their design approach.

Proactively seek feedback and ask for professional guidance

During your internship, don’t be afraid to seek feedback from your supervisors and ask for professional guidance.

This will help you improve your skills and gain valuable insights from experienced designers.

Be open to learning new software and design trends

As a graphic design intern, it is crucial to stay updated with the latest software and design trends.

Be open to learning new tools and techniques that can enhance your design skills and make you more marketable in the industry.

Find a balance between creativity and meeting client requirements

In a graphic design internship, you will often have to work on projects that require meeting specific client requirements.

While creativity is important, it is equally essential to find a balance between your artistic vision and the client’s needs.

Network with fellow interns and industry professionals

Networking is crucial for success in any industry, including graphic design.

Take the opportunity during your internship to network with fellow interns and industry professionals.

Attend industry events, join online communities, and build connections that can help advance your career.

By following these tips, you can make the most out of your graphic design internship in Nigeria.

Remember to always stay open-minded, learn from experienced designers, and create meaningful connections within the industry.

Read: Freelancing as a Graphic Designer in Nigeria: A Beginner’s Guide

Challenges and Rewards of Graphic Design Internships in Nigeria

Unpaid internships and financial constraints

  1. Many graphic design internships in Nigeria are unpaid, posing financial challenges for aspiring designers.

  2. The lack of compensation can deter talented individuals from pursuing valuable internship opportunities.

  3. Interns may struggle to cover their daily expenses such as transportation, meals, and necessary software.

  4. Nonetheless, despite financial constraints, internships provide a platform to develop skills and gain industry exposure.

High competition for limited internship positions

  1. The graphic design industry in Nigeria is highly competitive, leading to a limited number of internship positions.

  2. Aspiring designers face intense competition from fellow students and graduates seeking hands-on experience.

  3. The scarce opportunities make it crucial for candidates to showcase their skills and stand out from the crowd.

  4. However, the competition also pushes individuals to improve their abilities and strive for excellence in their work.

Gaining invaluable industry knowledge and experience

  1. Graphic design internships in Nigeria offer interns a chance to gain invaluable industry knowledge and hands-on experience.

  2. Interns have the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals, learning from their expertise and mentorship.

  3. They acquire practical skills in design principles, software proficiency, project management, and client communication.

  4. The experience gained during internships serves as a strong foundation for a successful graphic design career.

Securing a potential job offer or freelance opportunities

  1. A major benefit of graphic design internships in Nigeria is the potential for securing a job offer or freelance opportunities.

  2. Interns who demonstrate exceptional skills and dedication may be offered a full-time position within the organization.

  3. Building relationships with industry professionals during the internship can lead to freelance collaborations in the future.

  4. The internships serve as a gateway to establishing a professional network and expanding career prospects.

Essentially, while graphic design internships in Nigeria may present challenges such as unpaid positions and high competition, the rewards are worth the endeavor.

Interns gain invaluable industry knowledge, practical skills, and the potential for job offers or freelance opportunities.

Despite the financial constraints, the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals and build a professional network makes internships an essential stepping stone for aspiring graphic designers in Nigeria.


Internships in graphic design play a crucial role in providing real-world experience and building a strong foundation in the field.

Aspiring graphic designers should proactively seek internships to gain practical skills, expand their network, and increase their chances of success.

Nigeria’s firms offer a plethora of internship opportunities in graphic design, providing young talents with the chance to grow and excel in the industry.

Recap of Importance

  1. Skill Development: Internships enhance your graphic design skills in a real-world setting.

  2. Industry Exposure: They provide invaluable exposure to Nigeria’s graphic design landscape and trends.

  3. Networking: Internships allow you to build professional connections and gain insights from experienced designers.


To budding graphic designers in Nigeria, pursue internships with enthusiasm. They’re stepping stones to a successful design career.

Final Thoughts:

Nigeria’s firms offer abundant opportunities for graphic design interns. Embrace these experiences to hone your craft and thrive.

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