Who has an industrial espresso machine in their office? Who has teas I couldn’t pronounce just over top of that espresso machine? Who has black glass along the wall that you draw on with white magic markers? It’s none other than only the best internship ever: Derooted Design Agency. In fact, interning almost seems like an understatement for what I did and learned at Derooted; I truly felt like part of the team.

Being an undergrad student it seems that interning is a given with almost all programs. Mandatory or not, interning is said to be the best way to meet people in industry and gain experience. I hear this again and again. However, having done several internships in the past I’m sure I’m not the only one to say that many intern positions don’t hold up their end of the bargain in the sense that what the intern does isn’t in fact ‘experience,’ it’s simply invisible; it’s ‘invisrience’. Granted, these invisible things are unavoidable and need to be done, but when these things become your only obligation YOU start to feel invisible.

So having said that, my favorite part of being at Derooted was that my designs were taken seriously. They weren’t roughs that a client would never see. What I made, was exactly what was presented. Derooted let me make my stupid mistakes and deal with them, most of which I did because I was nervous, I swear! To me, that’s experience: it’s real, it’s never perfect, and it’s always visible as can be. Simon didn’t let anything go unnoticed so he could bring up every flaw and make me face it, explain it, and fix it. And honestly, no matter how humiliating I’m really glad he did! It’s what let me know that what I did really mattered.

On top of that I got to see the industry for what it is, hard work, tight deadlines, meetings outside in the park (weather permitting), dealing with clients, wine after 4pm on Fridays, etc. In short, the good, the bad, and the in between. Being with Derooted was fun, insightful, and truly a great VISIBLE interning experience. Thanks guys!

-Irina Zabelina