On the flipside, Ruslan Courtman

4 months ago by

The transition from design student to designer can be tricky! Design internships provide an invaluable stepping stone towards professional practice and create continuity within the design profession. On the flip side profiles current design interns and the Aotearoa studios that are hosting them. We learn more about the emerging talents ambitions, the fresh perspectives they bring to businesses, their creative development, and the broader industry benefits to internship programmes.
We kick off the series speaking to Ruslan Courtman (Intern) and Graeme Blake (co-owner at PAN® The Love Agency and founder/CEO at Blutui.com®)
Kia ora Ruslan, how did you get into design?
At high school I found myself enjoying web design / website development the most. I felt I had found a career I would hopefully enjoy. I went on to University to study Design and Computer Sciences.
How did you land your internship at Blutui & Pan?
In order to achieve my Masters Degree at the University of Waikato I was required to do an internship. The internship program director connected me with Pan. I interviewed pretty well I thought and on top of this PAN Head of Digital put me through my paces by briefing me on building a website on Blutui.
What are you enjoying most about your time there?
The work environment. Being in a studio with a bunch of very talented and smart developers and designers is great. I can ask questions to improve what I have worked on and I get great feedback to make sure the work is at 100%. Also the break-time games of pool.
What project(s) are you working on?
There have already been a few websites I’ve built on Blutui. The most notable ones would have to be wonderhorse.co.nz and tiekegolf.co.nz. I have also worked on a few sites doing small edits and fixes and creating and rebuilding old sites on Blutui.
Your design education begins at school and continues throughout your career… What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt at Blutui thus far?
Just ask. I found that asking for feedback on items I missed or ways to improve very much helped in me growing my knowledge during this experience. This will help a lot and also save a lot of time. Also that I suck at pool.
How has your confidence progressed since the start of your internship?
I was pretty nervous like anyone starting an Internship but I had confidence in my skills.  Early on I found that I still had a lot to learn to get a grasp on but week after week my confidence improved.
What are your goals for the future?
To keep improving and making sure that I’m at the forefront of website development using the latest technology with Blutui.
What insights or advice can you give to other design interns?
Accept feedback, This will help you grow as a designer.


We asked Graeme Blake Founder of Blutui, YaloHalo and Pan Agency;
What have you enjoyed most about having Ruslan intern with you?
Ruslan’s a smart guy, quiet and smart. I particularly enjoy seeing Ruslan grow his knowledge, communication skills and overall confidence through the internship period.
What are the benefits to hosting a design intern?
It’s great to be able to see first hand how quickly Ruslan adapted to the work environment, the team and the technology. We’ve been building Blutui for front end web developers and its great to see how quickly Ruslan picked it up, straight out of University. Ruslan, to his credit, created a really cool gallery for a Golf Course client, delivering precisely on the creative brief from his team, impressive work.
What advice do you have for studios who are considering offering an internship?
Put the effort in and do it. Think back to when you got your start in the industry and pay it forward. You’ll find you learn a lot from it too, its a great way to connect with current design thinking that’s spilling out of the tertiary sectors design courses. And you might even find you recruit them into your studio.


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