ICS Apprenticeship drops you right into our tight-knit, dynamic team. The 12-week program is designed to simultaneously get you familiar with our process and industry standards while putting you right in the middle of our busy studio schedule.
The ICS Apprenticeship Program was created to give aspiring designers real-world experience working at a design studio while honing and refining the skills they’ll need to be successful in the industry.
From the start, you’ll be a full-fledged member of the team. No grabbing coffee and answering phones (unless you really want to answer phones, then we’ll see what we can do.) You’ll be working alongside our design, UX, and development teams on client projects. You’ll tag along to meetings. You’ll present to clients. No handholding or “just the intern” tags.
During the first couple weeks you’ll be getting up-to-speed on our process, workflow, and internal and industry terminology and use a skills assessment to determine the things you’re interested in learning and where you have the most room for growth.
You’ll begin working through our entire process from discovery, to brand, UX, and UI design through skills challenges and internal projects.
Within no time, you’ll get more involved in our client work, and will get experience supporting a variety of different brand and web projects.
Throughout the entire program, you’ll get the opportunity to shadow and work alongside team members and agency principals, where you can pick their brains and share your ideas.
In the end, you’ll have real-world experience in industry-standard tools and techniques from a highly-regarded, award winning studio.
We are not currently accepting applications.
With things slowly coming back to normal, we've begun offering our apprentice program as a remote program. What does this look like? Well, we're planning on doing everything we'd normally do in-person but, you know, remote! You'll still be a part of our dynamic team and work in a fast-paced environment, just not from our sunny studio in East Boston.
As such, we're open to taking candidates from coast to coast that are itching to get working with an awesome team on killer projects from a range of clients. One thing to keep in mind for you West Coasters is that you'll need to still kind of keep East Coast hours, so plan on days that go from 7am-2:30pm. Early to rise, but early to split! Also, since so much of this session is going to be self-directed, we're looking for candidates that can demonstrate the ability to work independently and manage their time on projects themselves. We're not going to let you adrift in a sea of work, but a self-starter is a big plus!
Who we’re looking for
The ICS Apprenticeship is designed for anyone looking for their next step in digital design including current students, recent graduates, those coming from other types of graphic design, or someone looking to make a career change. Our ideal candidates have a strong graphic design and UI design portfolio, but a degree in visual arts or from an art school is not required.
We require experience and with a UI design tool such as Sketch, Figma, or Adobe XD, as well as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign and basic understanding of HTML/CSS (though no coding is necessary.) Experience with prototyping tools such as InVision, animation, After Effects, 3D rendering and modeling, and Wordpress experience is a bonus.
Ideal candidates are eager to learn, give and receive criticism, and be an easy-going but dedicated member of our team. Apprentices will have a lot of control over their daily task load and will be required to shift their focus depending on studio needs, so the ability to self-manage numerous tasks at once while still delivering tasks on time is essential.
Candidates will need to submit link to a portfolio (please, no PDF portfolios.) Portfolios can be on your own site or on a portfolio site such as Behance. Portfolios should contain work in web design, UX/UI, and brand design. When possible, be sure to explain the project brief, process, obstacles, and any other notes you feel are relevant to the project. Live examples of work or clickable prototypes as well as illustration work is great. Where possible, we’re interested in seeing work that was created for a client over that created for a class or as part of a bootcamp.
Candidates whose portfolios are primarily focused on UX research as opposed to visual design will not be considered.
You’ll be paid $540 a week for the 12-week program. You’ll get paid studio holidays off as well as three paid personal days. Unfortunately, we don’t offer health benefits to our Apprentices.
ICS no longer offers a part time option for our apprentices.
Our program typically runs in the Fall (September – December), Spring (Feb — May), and Summer (June – August.) Application window is currently closed.
How many apprentices do you have at one time?
We usually have one or two apprentices for each term. Summer apprenticeships tend to have the best chance of having two apprentices.
Will I ever need to come into the studio?
Nope! We’re a fully remote team. However, we do have a physical studio in East Boston that we’ll work out of occasionally and you’re welcome to join in on those days if you’re in the area.
So this is a UX apprenticeship, right?
Kind of, but not really. While there’s a lot of UX at the heart of the work we do at ICS, this is primarily a design apprenticeship. Ideal candidates have strong graphic design, UI design, brand design, and illustration skills. Candidates whose portfolios are more focused on UX research outside the context of visual design will not be considered.
Is this open to candidates outside the US?
Unfortunately, bringing on team members from outside the US isn’t possible at this time.
Can I put the things I work on in my portfolio?
Yes (usually!) We know building a portfolio is vital for designers. As such, you’re more than welcome to put work that you’ve created during the apprenticeship in your portfolio. However, if you were working closely with another team member, this should be noted. Additionally, there are times when your work might be subject to an NDA. In those instances, your work will have to stay out of your portfolio.
How long has the Apprentice Program been around?
We started our Apprentice program in 2017. In that time we’ve had about two dozen apprentices come through our doors (and some of whom stayed around to join the ICS team!) We’re constantly working to improve our program by changing up exercises, requirements, and offerings to better align with the industry needs and those of our studio. We also conduct exit interviews with every apprentice to better understand ways that we can improve the program.
Why is it an “apprenticeship” and not an “internship?”
While graphic design isn’t a trade in the traditional sense, we are inspired by the apprenticeship programs of trades like electricians and plumbers. In those jobs, apprentices come in with a certain amount of training and skill but with the help of a mentor are able to put it to practical use in the real world while gaining insights they’d never be able to get from a book or class.
Additionally, our industry is filled with shady internships that are more interested in exploiting free labor than teaching anything to its interns. We wanted to differentiate ourselves from these types of companies. We take our apprentices seriously and want to provide them with a fulfilling learning and working experience, while getting — you know — PAID!
I just finished a bootcamp. Am I ready for the ICS Apprenticeship?
Maybe! We get a lot of applications from candidates looking to take what they’ve learned in a multi-week bootcamp to the next level in the real world. The most important thing for us is a strong visual design portfolio and a good attitude. If that’s you, then we’d love to have you apply.
Will you let me know if I don’t make the cut?
We’ve all been in the role of job-seeker and know how disheartening it can be to apply to something you’re excited about and never hear anything back. We will always do our best to send out an email to those who haven’t made the cut just so you’re not left hanging.
What does the interview process look like?
We schedule 30 minute interviews for our applicants. In that time we ask some questions about you and where you are in school or your career and then we turn it over to you to walk us through a selection of your work. From there, we talk a bit about the apprenticeship and open the floor to questions. After the interview, we’ll be in touch with updates on and decisions or if there’s anything else we need!
Will being an apprentice mean I can get a full-time role at ICS?
It’s totally possible. While we’re a small team, we are a growing company regularly needing to bring on talent as the need presents itself. We’ve had many apprentices stay on and eventually become full-time ICS team members. So while it’s far from a guarantee, it’s at least a possibility!
If I applied previously and didn’t get an interview, should I apply again?
Absolutely! We’ll never take past applications as a negative. If anything, it shows us how excited you are about ICS. We’ll always review the most recent resume and portfolio link you send. So if it’s something you’re still interested in, try, try again.
Do you offer college credit?
This is all highly dependent on how your college or university counts such things and what’s required of ICS to fulfill this for you. Feel free to send over details about it and we’ll look into it.