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I spent a summer with IDEO in Chicago. 

June 2015 - September 2015

 

team projects

At IDEO, I primarily worked on two projects. I spent the first half of the summer conducting research and designing growth opportunities for a new alternative grad school program. The second half of the summer was spent with a team looking into medical wearables. Sprinkled into the mix was filming pitch videos, hopping between brainstorms, and carving Lionel Richie's head out of clay.


personal goals

  • Navigate paid work and personal work
  • Experience the pitch process
  • Learn about best practices for the consultancy-client hand off
  • Work alongside designers, but also take ownership of parts of the process
  • Collaborate with engineers
  • Sit in on client meetings

main takeaways

 

  • Make more stuff just because you feel like it - Being a capital-D-Designer is cool, but being a capitol-C-Creative makes you (and your Instagram) aspirational. 

 

  • Seek guides not direction - I was never scared to ask for help, but I was also never surprised to hear “there is no IDEO way of doing things”. Instead of asking for next steps, ask for previous steps to ground expectations, context and vision.

 

  • Name yourself - I worked with aa awesome team where the engineer researched, the comms designer coded, the PL was designed the deck, and the researcher manned parse. Being part of a team that does whatever job needs to be done and does it well was dope.

 

  • Own being a student - The scariest part of being an intern is navigating the learning process while still feeling like you’re contributing, but the sooner you ask to learn, the sooner someone in the office may blow your mind. 

Further project details available upon request.