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Business Development Associate

This role may be based in any one of our three US studios: Cambridge, Chicago or San Francisco. Please apply no later than Sunday, September 26th, and indicate your location preference in the application question. No applications will be accepted after Sunday, September 26th, so we encourage you to submit your application well in advance of the deadline.

In a nutshell

IDEO is in search of Business Development Associates and Sr. Associates who will collaborate with cross-functional IDEO teams to qualify new leads, co-create and drive a plan to pursue qualified opportunities, and contribute to winning work with both new and returning clients across industries. BD Associates exercise a combination of business savvy, creativity, and relationship-building skills with both internal stakeholders and clients.

Business Development Associates have impact by being both an ambassador and storyteller. This role is critical to IDEO’s unique approach to business development and plays a key role in stitching together diverse contributions from an array of perspectives into winning pitches, proposals, and relationship plans. You will help field incoming leads, qualify new potential opportunities, and collaborate with industry-focused leadership teams to ensure qualified opportunities are developed and supported. You will capture stories and assets that showcase how IDEO adds value in using human-centered design to have disproportionate impact, memorializing them in templates and business systems.

Once here you will

  • Collaborate with IDEO’s industry-focused leadership teams to build meaningful portfolios of work, working both with teams focused on landing new clients and with teams focused on driving key work with repeat and long-term clients.
  • Follow up on leads to identify the client’s needs and evaluate if the opportunity is a good fit with IDEO’s capabilities and focus, involving leadership and other designers to help determine strategic fit, frame opportunities, scope programs, and articulate next steps for clients. 
  • Be responsible for maintaining visibility and transparency to our pipeline through diligent use of our CRM and ERP systems. This involves ensuring regular updates on in-process and emerging leads, and outlining accountability for moving the process forward. You will be the key owner of the tools for tracking and reporting on qualified opportunities as they advance through our sales funnel.
  • Build relationships across IDEO’s business units in order to effectively help generate and capture written, verbal, and visual input from IDEO leadership and design teams in a collaborative way. BD Associates are nimble connectors who get people engaged in the business development process. 
  • Contribute to proposals, pitches, and statements of work through identifying and assembling relevant case studies and BD assets, adapting them to the context of the client, and coordinating the contributions of the entire BD team. 
  • Be deeply immersed within a design culture made up of multiple design disciplines. Openness and curiosity to understand IDEO’s design thinking and human-centered approach are critical. 
  • Collaborate with people from different backgrounds and crafts, such as interaction designers, mechanical engineers, data scientists, business designers, graphic designers, and design researchers. In this role, you will both learn and teach while working with people outside of your immediate area of expertise, who challenge you to think more holistically. 

What it takes

IDEO’s ways of working appeal to self-directed, adaptable team players that learn quickly, and enjoy cross-functional collaboration. You’re eager to support potential clients and project teams in translating challenges and questions into opportunities for innovation. This role is great for someone eager to grow their design sensibilities, business acumen, and client empathy. 

We’re searching for someone with 2-5 years of professional experience in a dynamic business environment, preferably in a client-facing role, who is:

Our ideal candidate might bring:

  • Strength in creating order from chaos.
  • Strength in managing multiple, parallel workstreams in a fast-paced environment.
  • Proactive, self-directed working style. 
  • Exemplary time management and organizational skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, and comfort working with stakeholders at all levels of an organization – both at IDEO and within client organizations.
  • Ability to be nimble in the face of urgent client requests.
  • Strategic thinking to identify, evaluate, and frame client opportunities that are aligned with IDEO’s capabilities and focus.
  • Strength in connecting across the organization to engage people in the BD process.
  • Openness and curiosity to understand design thinking and IDEO’s human-centered approach. 

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for our clients and the organization alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure we work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career. 

Commitment to diversity

At IDEO, we are committed to the work of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within our organization and in the world. Our purpose of having disproportionate, world-changing impact through design is directly connected to our ability to bring many different perspectives to the table. This applies to our candidates, the people we hire, the clients and customers we serve, and the communities we learn from in our research.

As a human-centered organization, we are committed to working with and designing for people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief. We recognize that this commitment requires ongoing work and sustained attention, as well as adaptation to new insights and best practices.

Application Instructions

Please apply with a resume and cover letter (yes, we read them!). In your cover letter, please tell us more about your interest in IDEO and in the Business Development Associate role, notably where you see alignment between your experience and this opportunity.

Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

Apply now
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