From Intern to UX/UI Designer in 2 Months: Dovilė’s Internship Story

From Intern to UX/UI Designer in 2 Months: Dovilė’s Internship Story

Successful internships empower people to try out different career paths and choose those that fit best. Here’s how WAcademy’s UX/UI Designer found her path during an internship.

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You cannot run a successful company without people who are always eager to learn and become better with every new day. This is exactly why when Dovilė was two months into her web design internship, she was offered a full-time position at WAcademy. Dovilė is endlessly dependable and coolheaded, and all of us should learn from her ability to communicate in the most refreshingly straightforward manner. We can always rely on her for amazing web design ideas and impeccable, detail-oriented results. 

This is Dovilė’s success story and her insights about prosperous internships.

New beginnings amid the global pandemic

December of 2020 was not an easy time, to put it lightly. People were still adapting to the global pandemic and dealing with the “joys” of working during a lockdown. In a world that was so unpredictable, starting a new adventure was a little scary, but, at the same time, so very exciting. 

When I saw an ad for a web design intern position at WAcademy, I applied immediately. I knew nothing about the company, but the advertisement was very interesting, and I thought, “Why not?” Once I joined the company, we agreed that the internship would last three months, but two months later, I was offered a full-time position. 

You can say 2021 started very unexpectedly. Especially considering I have a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. Why didn’t I pursue interior design? After finishing my studies, I felt lost about what I wanted to do next. After doing some research, I enrolled in a Web Design course at the Code Academy, and while finishing that, I joined WAcademy. So, my journey to UX design wasn’t completely random. 

The variety of projects helped me excel

As an intern at WAcademy, I was guided by a wonderful mentor, Povilas, who always patiently answered my questions and created an atmosphere where those questions could be asked freely. I truly believe this is what helped me progress fast.

During the internship, I was tasked to design very basic websites at first. I really liked that I was able to pick what kinds of websites I wanted to create. And if I was out of ideas, I could just ask for a theme to be assigned to be.

After mastering basic informational websites, I moved to ecommerce websites next. With time, projects became more complex, and soon I was ready to take on real-life projects of WAcademy small business clients.

I remember designing travel blogs, photography portfolios, nail service websites, bed&breakfast pages, online shops for pet care products, cosmetics, and so on. The variety of projects I got to work on really helped me explore different areas of web design, build my skills and figure out what I liked.

3 most important lessons I learned from interning

Two months might not seem like a long time, but, at the right time, in the right place, with the right people, you can learn some amazing life lessons. Here are my top 3 internship lessons.

  1. You can do anything if you allow yourself to be creative.
  2. A piece of paper and a pencil can be your best friends when designing a website.
  3. There are no wrong questions. Do not be afraid to ask anything because that is the quickest way to learn and progress in your career.

If I had to share a single piece of advice with anyone interested in interning, I’d say it would be to ask, ask and ask again. Also, do not be afraid to explore new ideas and, more importantly, act on them and make them happen. Sometimes, the best results are reached when you start with an idea that seems impossible. So, even if you think something sounds ludicrous, give yourself time to explore it, and maybe it will lead somewhere you never thought possible!

Internships are great for trying out different career paths

When I joined WAcademy, I was not yet fully convinced I’d continue on this path to becoming a professional web designer. However, my internship helped me realize I enjoyed web design much more than interior design. I mean, I don’t need to worry about complicated calculations, boring storage systems or budget restrictions. 

My internship at WAcademy revealed that I enjoyed the creative freedom of web design, and this helped me realize I was finally on the right career path. This is why I will always say that interning is one of the best things anyone could do when deciding what they want to do in their lives. 

You could say interning at WAcademy helped me find my strengths and a job I actually love. 

My day-to-day as a UX/UI designer at WAcademy

As a UX/UI designer, I mostly work with project managers, web developers and also our marketing team. The projects I work on are very diverse, and no day is the same. 

Regardless of what kind of project I’m working on, my day starts with planning what should and could be done throughout the day. So, if I have something new, I will develop concepts, and if an existing project requires my attention, I might have to spend my time applying updates or new solutions. 

Planning is, without a doubt, the most important part, but designing is the part I’m most excited about. You will not find me happier than when I’m working on branding or a logo design. These are the cherries on top of my cake. On the flip side, more technical tasks are usually less exciting. Nonetheless, without them, the designs wouldn’t shine! When I know that whatever I’m doing is going to elevate the overall design, I’m excited even about the more boring tasks.

At WAcademy, we can choose whether we work remotely or in an office. I love the freedom of working from anywhere. You can coordinate travels and work, create your own work hours and save so much time for hobbies and activities outside of work. For me, the freedom to plan my own time is one of the best things about working at WAcademy. 

Although I work mostly remotely, I try to join as many team-building activities as I can. I believe that sometimes a spontaneous lunch with the team or a nice hangout after work are even better at building connections than something planned in advance. 

The future of internships is global

Interning has given me so much, and I encourage everyone interested in trying out different things to intern at least once. You can discover your passions and strengths. In the right place, you can learn so many new things and explore so many different opportunities. 

When I think about the future of internships, I think globally. I hope that international internships will become more standard. And maybe we will even see internships coordinated between several different companies on the opposite sides of the world. I believe more interns will join forces to organize workations in faraway locations, where they can enjoy life, network and help each other out. 

Story by Dovilė Žilevičiūtė, UX/UI Designer at WAcademy. September 2023.

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