How did it actually happen that I started my internship in Amsterdam? What is the work of a graphic designer like? Does it pay off to follow your passion? And is dream work a motive that can be achieved? Exactly a month ago I talked about it with Maciek from the blog – I invite you to read a fragment of the interview!

How does a typical day of the graphic designer look like?

The case is very simple if you are working in a well-organized company. Normally, you know in advance what you will be heading for e.g. next week. Projects are divided into phases, in which we present consecutively ideas, sketches, prototypes (in case of websites) and the final versions of projects to the clients.

Against all appearances, a graphic designer doesn’t have to be creative 24 hours a day.

In my work, there is a balance between projects that require an artistic „frenzy” and those next to which my brain can rest a bit.

So you don’t have to motivate yourself in no way for your job?

I wouldn’t even call it a job. :) Half of a day you are drawing icons that prohibit carrying food to the museum, then you retouch some photos (ironing CEO’s suits in the photoshop), and in the end, you re-draw the plan of Shipool airport. Could one even call it a normal job?

Were there any breakthroughs, which made you make your way in the world? I mean the events that provoked a real stream of consecutive ones.

On my way to the career in graphic design, I see two milestones – one, which I’ve already mentioned was making a decision that this is what I want to do in my life for 100%, and the second one was…overcoming the fear of showing my works to people

It is not that easy, eventually:

– your works could always be better

– then it comes subjective opinion – what if they are going to criticise me?

– there are so many great graphics designer on the market, and the list goes on

But when you finally overcome the internal resistance, the magic happens. To me, just sending a portfolio made me being accepted for the internship to Amsterdam, to the Mijksenaar studio – one of the best wayfinding workshops on the planet!

How to get an Internship in Amsterdam when you're a graphic designer?

More about the Mijksenaar studio… Way… what doing?

Wayfinding – in Polish one would say finding the way – the Mijksenaar studio cares about – for instance – that every traveler could easily find his/her way at the airport.

Tell something more about it. How did you get accepted for the internship?

I’ve sent my portfolio! Of course, I affixed a solid covering letter, in which (quite well on this showing) I wrote why this cooperation will appear to be beneficial for both sides. It is a very crucial remark – it is always good to show an employer, saying a bit brutal „how much he will earn on us”

Furthermore, my bachelor’s thesis was about wayfinding and I was somehow learning from the studio’s projects. I wrote them that they are my idols!

Another great trick!

So, well – you, especially young graphic designers, don’t be afraid of showing your works to the people. And if you dream about working in some studio – storm even if they are not conducting any recruitment at the moment (…)

How to get an Internship in Amsterdam when you're a graphic designer?

How does the work of graphic designer look like in the Netherlands? And how does it differ from work in Poland? Except for financial issues, of course.

In the Netherlands, the approach to the design and to understanding its role in people’s lives is a bit different.

In this country, everything is „well-designed” – it is really beautiful everywhere! From the architecture, through urban planning, even shop showcases, coffee cups and furniture impress.

The Dutch people’s approach to creative professions is much more serious. I have the impression that graphic design is much more natural and „normal” career path here.

Do you know such statements like: „artistic studies are a waste of time, you’d better study law, medicine or economics”. Do you agree with them?

For sure, many artistic souls are figuring it out the similar way – unfortunately, artistic professions in Poland have such labels like „unsure” „unprofitable” „generally a weird idea”.I want to tell you – don’t give up! If you feel that – in the broad sense – graphic design is your cup of tea much more than a „conventional career path” – go for it!


The whole interview (in Polish) is available on Maciek’s blog. At the end one more thing from me. I would really love that this text goes viral. Myself, a couple of years ago, while I was taking a decision about my studies and my career path I really needed such voice. Other people’s experiences and counsels are priceless at that time.

If some of your friends are still asking themselves the same questions, wondering if there is any future in creative/artistic professions – drop them this link! Or maybe one of you is at this stage? Or maybe – just like me – you threw yourself in at the deep end, choosing a career in creative industry? Let me know!

Ola Kotowska

Jestem graficzką, joginką i fanką jedzenia - obecnie mieszkam w Amsterdamie i staram się eksplorować najciekawsze zakątki tego boskiego miasta!

12 października 2017
17 listopada 2017