Chaptr
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Sitting down with Samuele; life as an intern at Chaptr

We have a proud record of interns at Chaptr.

Over 50% of our employees started as interns and our attitude to mentoring and nurturing talent has helped them develop into respected designers and developers alike.

Samuele became a design intern in February of 2019, and worked on many different projects during his three months with us. We sat down with him in April to talk about his experience at Chaptr, what his favourite memories are, and his advice to future interns.

Tell us about yourself

I’m Samuele. I’m originally from Venice, and I recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design. It’s like a mix of product and graphic design, with some web design in there as well.

How does it feel being a graduate?

Well… even though I’m a graduate, I still consider myself a student. I’m in that state where I try to learn as much as I can about every subject related to design in the real world. I don’t consider myself a professional yet, and my university told us to find inspiration wherever we can, so that is what I try to do.

Were you always interested in Web Design?

Yes, it’s one of the reasons I wanted to come to Chaptr. Even though it was only an internship, I wanted to work on different mediums of design and find a medium that really inspired me. I had the opportunity to do a variety of design work at university and my main goal was to find a medium that I could excel at professionally.

How did Chaptr help you with that goal?

Even though you are working as professionals, and working with clients, as an intern you are allowed to be slightly more experimental, as there isn’t as much pressure on you. You can try different things to see if you are on the right path, both technically and professionally.

How did you find Chaptr?

I found Chaptr through AAAtlas (http://www.christianhansen.net/aaatlas/), a database of professional agencies and studios, you can select different criteria for agencies depending on what you are looking for. I looked for agencies in the web design field because I have always considered it the future of the design industry. Then I made a shortlist and went through the websites, I was very selective.

So what attracted you to Chaptr?

You have an amazing website, comparable with massive agencies in London, but you are a small studio. It was very different from my experiences in Italy, where I had worked with big agencies, and I wanted to get a sense of what could be achieved in a smaller team.

What did you learn at Chaptr?

I learned how to improve my technical design skills of course, but what I didn’t expect to learn about was selling my ideas, and selling my design, that was something I’d not come across before. Presenting work to a client, choosing the right words to convey your work and showing the value, as well as learning about the strengths of your project, and how best to present it.

The other thing was, with Chaptr being a small studio, I was able to build relationships with the other team members and get feedback quickly and directly, this was so useful. I acknowledged their point of view, and I’ve become more aware and respectful of other opinions, since we are all trying to make the best work for the client.

What were your first impressions of the team?

At the beginning I thought everyone would act like they do in a big agency, everyone does their job in silence and it would be a high-stress environment, with no joking or fun.

It was a surprise as the studio and the website give the appearance of a large company but because it’s smaller, it’s different. It’s really nice, you get a much more authentic and human relationship from everybody working there.

What’s been your favourite part of the internship?

It’s a small thing, but when we have a meeting in the morning, we had a section about what we learned the previous day. I initially felt I had to do something impressive every day just to have something to say or exaggerate something less interesting. What I came to learn though is that if you are taking the work seriously enough, you always find something interesting and new in it that you can share with others.

My other favourite thing has been working with Matt, and learning from him. Working with him and seeing how his input has changed and improved my work is amazing.

When you do design work in a university, you do it by yourself and you get your grade, and you are told: “Just do the best work you can, the best work will show through.” You don’t get feedback from a client perspective. You are more keen to experiment, but you don’t get someone like Matt, an art director or creative director to help you refine and improve your work.

What has been your favourite piece of work?

I worked on a re-brand of a local salon, and had an opportunity to do so much, and learn so much. Through it, I learned about UX, brand pillars, animation, logo design and much more.

Also, the fact that it was a real project we were going to show the client, was really important for me. It made me take the work more seriously and value it more.

What were your thoughts on England?

I’ve learned that I really like Southampton, even though my first choice was somewhere in London. Southampton has a lot to offer and being a small city, you get to experience a lot in quite a short space of time. I’ve learned a lot about the culture of England and I really enjoy it.

Do you have any advice for future interns?

Make sure you say if you want to learn or do something. By the end of my internship, I really wanted to learn to code, which I didn’t initially think I wanted to do. I was curious about it, but it was skipped over at university, I didn’t say anything and I ran out of time.

Also, make a point of seeing a client presentation, see how agencies have to pitch their ideas and justify their creative decisions, it’s been one of the most useful experiences for me.

What’s your lasting memory?

Honestly, I’ve loved being with you guys. I had a lot of fun, and we never lost the sense of being a professional agency. Being able to do amazing work, and then have fun with your colleagues was a great balance and I leave with some great memories.

 

Since leaving Chaptr, Sam has used his experience to land a job at a digital agency (H-Farm) in Italy. Citing Chaptr as the key experience he needed to reach his dream job.

Sam learned a lot in his time with Chaptr. Maybe you can too? Apply to be a design intern here.