We are so back.

Well, we never really left. Since joining the Lemonly crew as SLICE interns in summer 2022, Hayleigh and I both stuck around as senior interns or freelancers until we got offers for full-time positions (Hayleigh started in January 2023; me about six months later). That means a total of 9 out of 21 Lemonheads are former SLICErs — that’s nearly half! (Or about half. I dunno, I’m just a writer.)

Applications for our 2024 internship are open again, and soon enough another summer will have come and gone (and it’s always gone too soon). If you’re interested in applying or want to know what it’s like to make the leap from intern to full-time Lemonhead, read on for a few tips from some folks who have been there and made the transition to full-time work.

Acing the application

Lemonly internship hopefuls ought to learn as much as they can about the home of the world’s best infographics — and show off their personality and individual style, too. We have a few tips to help future SLICE applicants put their best foot forward.

#1: Have fun with the prompt

Ella: After I submitted my application, I was worried that I sounded like an over-eager dork, and it turns out… I was right. I totally did. But that was exactly what they were looking for — someone eager to learn and ready to bring their whole self to work.

Hayleigh: You have the option to respond to this prompt using whichever medium you’d like, so it’s a great opportunity to be creative, incorporate your personality, make an impression, and stick out from the other applicants.

#2: Do your homework

Ella: Read up on the Lemonly lore. I can almost guarantee you’ll find something interesting and applicable to yourself in our work portfolio. Find your favorite Lemonly project and learn something new about the subject matter — having a favorite project in mind might be helpful juuuust in case someone asks you about it during your interview. 😉

Hayleigh: Take some time to look over our extensive work portfolio and make a note of which projects you like best. Familiarize yourself with Lemonly’s core values and what we stand for. Oh, and check out Lemonly’s blog — it’s the best place to get to know our culture and our areas of expertise, plus there are several blogs where past interns share their tips on how to land the internship.

#3: Build your portfolio

Ella: This is a bit more applicable to design and animation folks than it is to writers, but it was still important for me to think about the work I did before my internship. I combed through some of my favorite essays and found areas where I had written about topics related to media and communications. Having some foundational knowledge in those areas was really helpful. 

Hayleigh: Lemonly works with a wide array of clients, which means adapting to countless different brand standards and visual styles. Put together a collection of your best work that highlights your different skills and styles. Resumes are important, but your portfolio is where you really get to showcase your skills!

Transitioning to full-time agency life

The transition to your first full-time job is a big one for any college grad. Luckily, our internship experience set us up for a smooth transition. We got to know the team, the work, the clients, and the culture, and we learned how to apply our skills in tons of real-life agency situations. If you’re interested in agency life after graduation — at Lemonly or someplace like it — we’ve got some tips for you, too.

#1. Don’t be afraid to ask silly questions

Ella: When I first started out as a full-timer, I was nervous to ask questions I felt like I should have figured out as an intern. I learned pretty quickly that no one expected me to have it all figured out, and that staying curious is essential (we might even call that Adventure). You can’t do that without asking questions.

Hayleigh: Even the most seasoned folks on our team don’t have all of the answers all of the time, so there’s no shame in seeking help if you’re feeling stumped! I still do my best to figure things out on my own first, but I’m not afraid to ask a teammate if it comes down to it.

#2. Get out of your comfort zone

Ella: Just because it’s trite doesn’t mean it’s not good advice. Getting out of your comfort zone is a valuable step in any transition. We had the support of an awesome team, which helped us feel empowered to volunteer for or take on projects a bit outside our typical milieu.

Hayleigh: When I first transitioned into my full-time position, there were a few areas where I was struggling to feel confident. I definitely know I’m not alone when it comes to grappling with imposter syndrome, and it can sometimes be difficult to overcome, but by setting goals for myself, learning to trust my own judgment, learning from mistakes, and leveraging my strengths, I’ve been able to grow more confident in those areas through time and practice.

#3: Take feedback gracefully and seriously

Ella: Feedback is in the water at Lemonly — it’s a crucial part of the creative atmosphere that we live and breathe. It’s how we collaborate and make the best work. Everyone wants to knock a project out of the park on their first try, but hearing feedback is essential for growth. Getting comfortable with people dissecting — or straight-up disliking — my ideas was tough, but taking other people’s input into account on particular projects and my work in general has helped me improve more than anything else has.

Hayleigh: When I started the internship, I had a pretty good understanding of the principles of design, but I still had plenty of learning to do. Getting feedback from my peers (and from clients) has been imperative to growing as a designer. Whether you’re an intern or a full-time employee, I think it’s important to remain receptive to feedback and to keep pushing yourself to become better at what you do.

Well, that’s all from us for now, folks! We hope you consider applying for the internship, and we hope we made the big transition to full-time work just a little less scary. You got this.