Incubating fresh talent, supporting creative individuals and expanding the 93ft team
At 93, we pride ourselves on supporting fresh talent, from the independent artists and experts we work with, to our own in-house team of specialists. So when Róisín Henman-Kyle, a graphic design graduate from Falmouth University, got in touch, we knew we wanted to speak to her.
Róisín’s initiative in phoning the 93ft studio to ask if we would consider graduate interns impressed us, and we loved what we saw in her portfolio. Róisín initially came across 93ft via Mia Warner, a traditional signwriter who often works with us on client projects. The craftsmanship that she saw in our work appealed, feeling considered, beautiful and purposeful—the kind of projects she wanted to be involved in.
After a call with our co-Founder, Nick, and our Senior Designer, Joe, we invited Róisín to visit the studio and meet the team.
Róisín became 93ft’s first intern.
Róisín worked on various projects during her internship, with her contributions including idea generation, creating a visual identity for a client based on research by the wider team and presenting the research to the client.
We wanted to ensure that Róisín performed the kind of work that any graphic designer working for 93ft would undertake. She created illustrations for The George of Harpenden Christmas campaign, pitched illustrations for Pitcher & Piano work, and updated the Mowbray menu—all long standing clients of 93ft.
While Róisín undoubtedly learnt a lot during her initial time with us—as well as integrating into a real working studio for the first time, she felt the many benefits of learning on the job, picking up ways of working and systems that she’d never heard of during her time at uni—93ft got a lot out of having her here as well.
Róisín’s collaboration and input into the team dynamics was as we would expect from any employee. She made a valuable contribution to all of our projects over the 6-months at 93ft, which was much appreciated by both our clients and the studio.
But ultimately, Róisín’s time at 93ft had the most profound impact on her personal perspective and purpose as a creative. It affirmed her true passion for illustration, as well as a confidence and appreciation of craft, and quality design solutions. This led to Róisín’s decision to explore the varied and adventurous world of freelance design and illustration.
Whilst working for a number of local design studios in Bristol and establishing a wider network of freelance contacts, Róisín is actively seeking to take on projects that fulfil her passion for illustration, photography and fresh creative perspectives.
Freelance work can seem a daunting decision, however, Róisín stresses the need to continually remain open to new challenges and opportunities, and to enjoy the flexibility that freelance work offers from a both professional and personal standpoint. While Róisín was our first intern, we knew she wouldn't be the last to make a mark on the studio.
Olivia Whiteley and Calum O'Callaghan joined the 93ft studio as interns in 2023 — Calum to the brand team and Olivia to the interiors team. After a short time, it was clear that both Olivia and Calum brought fresh energy and a clear positive impact to their teams and the wider studio. They have since been offered permanent positions at 93ft — Olivia as Junior Interior Designer and Calum as Junior Designer.
At 93ft we feel strongly that real work deserves real pay, so as our intern you’ll receive a wage for your time with 93ft, which allows you to lodge in Sheffield and work from our Kelham Island studio. All three of our interns have felt this is a huge advantage over unpaid positions which require balancing other jobs and therefore being unable to give your all to the internship.
When you begin your internship with us, we’ll give you the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, so you can really get a feel for what it’s like to work for a busy design studio. You’ll have responsibility, and your ideas will be taken into account—all vital experiences to ease you into the working world after university.
You’ll learn how to work collaboratively with experienced designers and participate in an exchange of learning, something that Olivia felt was invaluable as she was able to see first hand the impact that her input was having, both in the studio and for the client.
You’ll have the opportunity to build your network, meeting freelancers and designers you may want to work with down the line, and you’ll get real world experience of the process of working with clients.
You’ll be encouraged to expand and develop as a designer. Calum found that having client feedback was crucial in developing his skills as he had to learn to find solutions in a different way than he was used to at university, and having to move away from his comfort zone in terms of the design decisions he was making.
And in return, you’ll bring a fresh perspective to our team, new outlooks which can really shed light on the way forward on a project. You may have experience or a particular interest in a new method or technology and be able to share that with the team, or be inspired to try an experimental approach which just happens to pay off! Seeing the impact you’re having on our team will boost your confidence in your own knowledge and abilities - something that will stay with you long after your 93ft internship has come to an end.
We were impressed by all our interns’ tenacity and drive: getting in touch with 93ft and following up, sending their portfolios to a professional design studio—a daunting feat for any new graduate—and showing up on calls and in person to make a great impression. While we understand that this isn’t easy, putting yourself and your work out there is vital in the creative industry.
Róisín suggests getting used to rejection, and seeing it as a positive: with every “No” you can learn something and use it to inform your approach next time. Being proactive, finding studios you really like and are inspired by is the first step. Being able to articulate what you like about their work lets them know that you’ve done your research, and have strong ideas about the kind of work you’d like to produce, as well as what you can offer them.
Reaching out to start a conversation, rather than just shooting off an email, has a real impact and makes you stand out from the crowd.
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