Reality vs. TV: My Graphic Design Internship Experience

4 min read


Okay, I’ll admit it: Binge watching is a guilty pleasure of mine. On a Friday night, I can often be found wide-eyed, sunk in the worn-down part of the couch that is just coincidentally the exact same shape as my body, running an impressively long TV-watching marathon. Of course, it never starts that way. I sit down in front of the TV after a long day to watch “one episode” of Grey’s Anatomy. Cut to 2 a.m., and I’m down the rabbit hole, two episodes away from the season finale. And everybody knows you can’t just quit two episodes away from the season finale. Sometimes, you just want to watch 10 hours of TV, you know? What can I say? I’m a Millennial.

No surprise, then, that before starting as a graphic design intern here at Well Done Marketing, my views of internships were solely shaped by seasons 1–3 of Grey’s Anatomy, when the original cast (including Meredith Grey, the main character) started their journey as surgical interns. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Surgery has nothing to do with graphic design.” But: X-Acto knives? Number 10 blade scalpels? Close enough, right?

The Process

My time at Well Done has shown me that while the work that doctors and designers do may be worlds apart, their problem-solving processes parallel one another. As an intern, I have gotten an inside look at the inner workings of how problems get solved.

At Well Done, our patients are our clients, and when patients come in, the first step is to diagnose the problem. The key to this is running all of the right tests, asking the right questions, and analyzing all of the client’s symptoms and data to come up with the best course of action.

Like doctors, every person at Well Done has a “specialty.” And one of the most fascinating parts of working at a full-service agency, like Well Done, is seeing how a group of people with such a diverse range of strengths and talents play their own unique role and work together to tackle different aspects of a bigger problem. And by teaming up and feeding each other’s strengths, they get to do amazing things that have never been done before.

My Experience

While the problem-solving approach of a designer may be similar to that of doctors I see on TV, my experience as an intern could not have been more different from those on Grey’s Anatomy. In a key early scene, Miranda Bailey, the “overseer” of the show’s interns, says, “You’re interns, grunts, nobodies, bottom of the surgical food chain. You run labs, write orders, work every second of the night until you drop, and don’t complain,” and to be honest, that was always my expectation of what an internship would be.

I could not have been more misguided. Every day, when I came into the office, I was greeted by friendly smiles, warm hellos and treated with such respect. They took time out of their day to answer my questions, to hear my ideas, and to teach me the ins and outs of this industry that I couldn’t learn from being in a classroom. I was given meaningful work, the opportunity to sit in on meetings, and I saw firsthand how vital organization is in keeping the agency running smoothly. Witnessing how the team communicates, both with each other and with clients, is something that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my career.

A Curveball

Maybe my comparison between the internship of Meredith Grey and my internship is a bit of a stretch, but I am so thankful for my time at Well Done Marketing. They gave me something I had never had before: an opportunity. I’ve had the opportunity to watch, to learn, and to create, and to spend time with people who have inspired me so much. I have gotten to work with game changers, boundary pushers, and magic makers, who have the passion to take risks and the courage to tell the truth.

Meredith Grey once said, “Just when we think we figured things out, the universe throws us a curveball. So, we have to improvise. We find happiness in unexpected places. We find ourselves back to the things that matter the most. The universe is funny that way. Sometimes it just has a way of making sure we wind up exactly where we belong.” 

Thank you, Well Done Marketing, for being the curveball that pushed my career in the right direction!

Jordan Gibson, our amazing summer graphic design intern, is a senior at the University of Indianapolis and will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts in visual communication design. She is a proud member of the Bachelor Nation and loves cherry Coke. She also is an awesome Handlebar singer—and we look forward to having her at Well Done Marketing for the fall semester.