Design Research Intern

In a nutshell:

Design Thinking begins with deep empathy and understanding of the needs and motivations of people. IDEO Cambridge is in search of a Design Research Intern who is passionately curious, radically inspired by people, surfaces great insights, and collaborates with design teams to create human-centered products and services.

We find that there is no one background that begets a great Design Researcher. Instead, we’re open to a diverse array of past experiences. And with this internship, we are particularly interested in stepping outside of the traditional routes to a design research role. As long as you’ve had experience connecting with people deeply, surfacing crisp insights, and creating action plans and strategies based on your learnings, we would love you to apply.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

Great design connects deeply to human needs, and design researchers craft the expedition to uncover them. Design Researchers lead clients and teams through a journey of human-centered research and inspiration to discover, interpret, and communicate insights and opportunities in an inspiring way. They bring to life the voice of the people we’re designing for.

Once here you will:

  • Go out in the field to build empathy for users' needs first-hand through things like interviewing a financial expert, watching a surgical procedure, exploring the house of a hoarder, or flying a flight simulator
  • Debrief and discuss learnings with cross-disciplinary teams in order to synthesize research into meaningful design
  • Work with a diverse set of stakeholders (coworkers, clients and mentors) to communicate complex concepts and complete projects
  • Share techniques and approaches with other researchers with diverse backgrounds and disciplines
  • Bring your own unique perspective to our design team

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, 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.

Relevant experience:

  • Passionately curious and keenly attuned to human behavior
  • Excited about rooting best-in-class design in authentic human needs
  • Experience (professional or student) with leading research activities, such as interviews, focus groups, and observations
  • Be self-directed toward excellent work outcomes
  • Demonstrate a strong portfolio of work (either professional or student work) and, more importantly, strong rationale for choices in work

Question for you:

  • If you could redesign any object/service/organization/experience, what would it be? Why does it need to be redesigned? What might you do to learn more or challenge your preconceived notions about this redesign? Note: We are not asking you to redesign the item, but you may do so if you wish. We would like to understand how you frame the challenge and dig in.

Application requirements and instructions:

Please submit your resume, cover letter, an answer to the above question and relevant work samples.  When submitting your work samples/portfolio, please indicate your specific role(s) and contributions for each project presented. Please note that we are only considering students who are in the midst of their education or who will be returning to school following the internship. This summer internship will last 3-6 months.

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.