Business Development Intern

Shanghai, China

In a nutshell:

IDEO is looking for a BD Intern to join our Shanghai studio, someone who will work closely with the business development team at IDEO Shanghai to build our business. This role appeals to self-directed, flexible team players who have great interpersonal skills, are not afraid of asking questions and failing fast to learn quickly in a supportive environment. We value great communication skills, someone who is well-organised, has business acumen, and enjoys helping people.

This role offers you the opportunity to experience working in a pioneering global innovation consultancy and learn across various industries, interacting with both local and MNC executives working on innovation at the intersection of business / design / organisation challenges.  

Once here you will:

  • Be the first point of contact with our potential clients. You will arrange discovery calls, help qualify prospects and support IDEO leaders along the development process to seal a partnership. 
  • Support understanding of our clients, you will be helping to research and analyse industries / companies / executives to provide IDEO leaders with deeper context and insights
  • Support client communications to help nurture potential partnerships.
  • Through client engagement and research, you will be collecting data and insights to enable our performance tracking and review.

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 or the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. 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.

Relevant experience and mindset:

  • Soft Skills
    • Organized, detail oriented, proactive 
    • Flexible, communicative and comfortable engaging in initial conversations with prospects. 
    • Can think quickly on your feet and respond to a variety of questions and situations
    • Confident communicator who is comfortable saying he/she doesn’t have all the answers
    • Ease in collaborating with different types of team members and stakeholders 
  • Hard Skills
    • Native-level Chinese speaker, with English fluency 
    • Microsoft office suite & G-Suite proficiency
    • Research and analysis capability
    • Comfortable working with data and drawing business insights from data
    • Good public presentation skills
  • Experience
    • Experience that demonstrates ability to make connections with people quickly 
    • Experience in design studios, consultancies or other professional services companies is a plus 
    • Experience in business is a plus 
  • Education
    • Education or experience in hospitality / communications with a business minor or exposure is a plus

Application instructions:

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter. 


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.


Check out Inside Scoop to get the low-down.

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.

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