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Creative ideas to change the world from a graphic design intern

Graphic design internship with a non-profit. Why not?

When I told people I was going to do a graphic design internship with Greenpop they were surprised, because ‘what does a tree-planting organization have to do with graphic design?’. I guess not many graphic design students think about doing an internship with a non-profit or social enterprise. But this internship gave me the opportunity to work with a motivated, young team with inspirational and creative ideas to change their world. That combined with the location (Cape Town is a young and vibrant city surrounded by a beautiful landscape of mountains, beaches, and forest) made me take the plane to South Africa.

In my first week, I joined Greenpop to Rocking the Daisies, one of the biggest rock festivals in South Africa, where they host the Green Village. It was a bit unexpected, but an excellent opportunity to know the team, get used to the way of working and experience an amazing festival.

Also want to use your graphic design skills to make an impact? Join this environmental non-profit for a graphic design internship in Cape Town. 

Graphic design intern in the communications department

When I came back I could really start working on my main tasks. My days were filled with creating content for all social media platforms, graphic elements for festivals and projects, posters, etc. I really like that Greenpop has so many interns and gives them so much responsibility because I feel that’s really helpful for learning and growing. As part of the communications team, the day normally starts with a morning check-in. After that, I continue with my own tasks.

Unlike the communications interns, some of the graphic design tasks take longer and I sometimes worked on one design for the whole week. However, being part of this department and joining these meetings have been really helpful for me. It helped me understand the bigger picture and know from others what they are working on. And it also helped me with my graphic design as I had to deal with different ideas, imaginations, and directions. I learned, however, to combine all input as well as add my own ideas to the design and make everybody happy.

Events poster


I really felt needed and one of the things I’m most proud of is the poster design for the Platbos Reforest Fest. For this poster, I worked a lot with Illustrator because of the mandala in the design. My poster is now all over Cape Town! This also improved my Illustrator skills massively. What surprised me, was the lack of hierarchy within Greenpop, and their informal working space. Even though it’s informal, it’s very organized and works very well.

Work independently and in a team

As a graphic design intern, you have to be prepared to work independently and take responsibility. You work in a team, have to communicate a lot and will have to handle different ideas about design. I had a lot of fun doing it and really liked it. The freedom and the way of working in this structure were really good.

I’m going to miss this team and Cape Town with its beautiful nature. Rocking the Daisies. Attending Greenpop’s planting days. Hiking up Table Mountain via Skeleton Gorge. Those have been absolute highlights from my internship. I never thought I would do something like this, but I did it and will never forget it!

Greenpop has even more to offer. Check their amazing internships in fundraising, creative writing, social media & marketing, environmental management and more!

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