Mindless Academy | Charlie Johnson

27 September 2022

Thirty-six Leeds Arts University students and alumni recently completed a month long Digital Micro-Internship with Mindless Academy. BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduate Charlie Johnson shares their experience.

The outcome of each week was the curation of an article which was then published on Mindless Mag’s website. Every week, we got given a content creation brief, and mindset coaching and were taught valuable content creation skills like SEO importance, connection, self-promotion on LinkedIn, and following companies’ branding guidelines. This enriched what we were able to apply to our articles and take from the internship.

Each week, we were sent prompt angles alongside the brief topic. Most weeks, I decided to go off on my angle, as this required me to do more research and learn about topics that I was more uneducated on. I did this to push and expand my wider social, environmental, and political knowledge as an emerging designer, which was the main goal I set myself going into it. The internship supported this, as well as supporting my desire to problem-solve more artistically by creating graphic outputs from the briefs each week that accompanied my contextual articles.

Image: Charlie Johnson for Mindless Mag

I enjoyed a lot about the digital micro internship but particularly feeling supported in my mental health and encouraged to improve my professional engagement on social media throughout. This engagement meant I received acknowledgement from Mindless Academy and the careers team at the University, as well as having my work shared by the likes of Femme Type on their social media. Getting professional feedback from the Mindless editors meant I could experience live client feedback. This was concise and guided my refinements each week. We were also encouraged to engage with other interns as a community which felt very supportive.

Having such useful feedback from industry professionals has also been inspiring and helpful. My mindset toward my professional practice and online engagement has developed positively over the month I took part. I would recommend this opportunity to students and believe this opportunity should be advertised to all courses, as I was very encouraged to interpret the briefs through my creative output.

I had lots of creative freedom within each week's outcomes, which meant I was able to research and employ design concepts and theoretical knowledge, such as Aristotle’s rhetoric persuaders, to implement and increase the depth of my outcomes. I was able to experiment with various design aesthetics within my outcomes that I hadn’t explored before, so I was able to maintain momentum each week. Each week, I also ensured that my design outcomes were strongly visually representative of statistical information and discussion areas within my article writing so that both outputs linked consistently and created a fluid, digital, reading experience. This was something we learned was important about content creation during our weekly lessons.

Overall, I felt creatively challenged both in a design and contextual sense during the internship, which helped me progress quickly over a short period. I think this internship should be encouraged for more students at Leeds Arts University as it was extremely beneficial and enjoyable. My aim as a graduate is now to move cities to pursue a career in the graphic design industry. My time at Mindless Academy has taught me valuable storytelling skillsets to help me within my field, as well as boosting my self-confidence and awareness of online media engagement.

Image: Charlie Johnson for Mindless Mag

Read Charlies's articles in Mindless Mag: 

Indigenous representation within climate action

Pride Month 2022 & Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community

‘We Are What We Consume’ - The Young, Online, Retail Consumer