Getting your first taste of a real-world experience ironically requires previous real-world experience. That’s because there’s a monumental difference between attending school for graphic design and using graphic design skills in your career. Moving from being a mere student to becoming an intern at the Atlanta-based branding firm Creative Juice, makes for a day-to-day that’s never dull.

Here are the top 5 things I’ve learned while being a Juicer:

1. Get It Done

I’m constantly switching between creating designs, maintaining social media accounts, and working on secret juicy projects. Not to mention, the random assignments here and there that are thrown my way. This ever changing environment has created a fun challenge of getting everything done before the day ends. Unlike school, an agency like Creative Juice, moves much quicker. I do not always have have the leisure of letting things spill over into the next day. Since starting my internship at Creative Juice, I’ve learned how to prioritize my day, be more efficient with my time, and maximize productivity.

2. Pay Attention to the Details

The race for time is oh-so-relevant as I’m trying to create high quality, portfolio worthy content all within a few hours. Focusing on the details can be very challenging when you have a lot of projects to work on, but paying attention to details is one of the things that makes Creative Juice great. Rushed work often has mistakes. If you think what you just made was perfect, take the time to make sure it actually is. I’ve also learned that it is always helpful to have more than one set of eyes look over a project before it goes out into the real world.

3. Embrace Failure

My process usually goes as such: Attempt to Design Something, Make Some Progress, “????,” and Ask a Juicer for Help. One of the benefits of hiring a design agency is that there’s a team of experts who all know what they’re doing. The reason that Creative Juice makes great work is because it’s all worked on and reviewed by multiple Juicers. So when I run into something that I can’t figure out by myself, I turn it into a learning opportunity instead. I am also encouraged to try new things and push myself out of my comfort zone.

4. Don’t Stop Learning

Initially, I was hired to help maintain the company blog, the Juicebox. As time passed, I was challenged to expand my abilities and work on different types of projects, including creating some animations. That was a bit out of my field of expertise. I still gave it my all, opened Adobe After Effects and figured out how it worked in less than a day. This helped me not only gain a new skill, but further diversified my portfolio. I’m currently now teaching myself UX design and WordPress so I can make some well-designed websites.

5. Work Hard Play Hard

If you’re following The Juicers on Instagram, you might have seen the fun events we go to. Every last Friday of the month, The Juicers take the morning to celebrate FriYAYs (never neglecting any work, of course.) We head over to Atlanta’s Creative Morning session and then afterward, hit the city for some fun team-building exercises. These FriYAY experiences have allowed me to grow closer to the team and get to know everyone better.

Graphic design isn’t easy (I mean if it were so easy everyone would be doing it and be making billions on dope logos and websites and stuff). These past few months amongst the presence of the Juicers has definitely provided me with the environment to make me into a real-life human graphic designer. All it took was a few drops of some juicy solutions. I am excited to be a Juicer!