This will be a 10-12 week internship between June - August 2022. This internship may be based in any of our three US studios: Cambridge, Chicago, or San Francisco. On your application, you will be asked to select your top location choice(s). Please apply no later than Tuesday, November 30th, 2021, 11:59pm ET, 10:59pm CT, 8:59pm PT. No applications will be accepted after Tuesday, November 30th, 2021, so we encourage you to submit your application well in advance of the deadline. Internships in our non-US studios (London, Munich, Shanghai, and Tokyo) will have a separate job post, application, timeline, and process. Have questions? Check out our Candidate FAQ doc.
IDEO is in search of Business Design summer interns who will work as full members of IDEO’s multidisciplinary project teams. IDEO Business Designers are excited to work at the intersection of strategy and design to drive competitive advantage and strategic growth for our clients. Business Designers’ secret weapons are their ability to use business tools to design viable solutions, and take ideas from abstract to tangible. In a past life, Business Designers may have worked in strategy consulting, product strategy, product management, product innovation, corporate strategy, business insights, business analytics, business planning, go-to market, or growth strategy.
As a Business Design intern, you will work with a broad set of collaborators to bring a variety of concepts and products to life and to market. Business Design at IDEO means both designing a new product, service, or experience, as well as simultaneously designing the broader business strategy and roadmap for execution.
Business Designers ask questions like:
- What is the organization’s business model and strategy, and how do they relate to the challenge at hand?
- Do our ideas and concepts actually match the needs of the company and its customers?
- What does this idea mean for investments the company may have to make?
- What are the reasons to believe that this offering or strategy will be successful in the market?
- How can we design tests to understand if the proposed business model is viable?
You have a Business Design mindset if you have:
- Sought to understand key drivers of a market or an industry
- Enjoy digging into the complexities and nuances of a business model
- Crafted a solution or idea that emboldens a larger business strategy
- Launched a new offering or executed a go-to-market strategy
Application Requirements and Instructions
The following materials are required for your application to be considered.
- Cover Letter (yes, we read them!) explaining why you are interested in both IDEO and Business Design, and where you see alignment between your experience and this opportunity. Read on for additional information on Business Design at IDEO.
- Written response to the below application prompt. Please respond directly in the text box.
- What's a business model that excites you? Where else might you want to apply it? How would you gather evidence to demonstrate it could work? [500 words or less]
What do IDEO Designers do?
- Practice design in a human-centered way, lead with curiosity and empathy, and work on projects that identify and solve problems across a variety of industries
- Collaborate with multidisciplinary teams of designers from different backgrounds such as design researchers, interaction designers, data scientists, business designers, organizational designers, software designers, industrial designers, and visual designers
- Build an understanding of IDEO’s client organizations, and partner with clients to drive change and innovation within their teams and organizations
- Translate human-centered research insights into actionable experiences for people, crafting the structure and behavior of delightful products and services
- Grow your design skills by continuous exposure to other projects and people to learn from, in an environment where you can contribute your unique skillset and perspective to a greater community
What might an IDEO Business Design Intern work on over the summer?
- Designing a profitable new product, brand, service, or consumer experience
- Developing a new business model or venture
- Identifying and developing innovation roadmaps for existing brands
- Creating organizational structures, capabilities, and operating models to help the client company drive its own innovation
- Designing, leading, and measuring experiments that gather feedback to inspire and improve new concepts
Relevant Experience, Skills, & Mindsets
- A minimum of 3 years of full-time working experience
- MBA or equivalent business acumen; i.e., broad knowledge or exposure to strategy, marketing, finance, operations, product development, etc
- Ability to build and interpret financial models to quantify business impact
- Ability to interpret and communicate complex business ideas to different audiences
- Ability to creatively problem-solve in a business context, i.e. generate multiple alternative, feasible ways to solve a business problem, including ways that are non-obvious
- Comfort working in ambiguous situations with limited direction
- Insatiable curiosity to learn more about businesses, industries, markets, and what drives them
- Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
- Experience making ideas real, whether as an entrepreneur or intrapreneur, is a plus
Note that while this internship is designed to engage 1st year MBA students, an MBA is not a requirement for this internship. A minimum of 3 years of full-time working experience, however, is a requirement for this internship.
What does IDEO offer you?
IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges 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.
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.
Where can I learn more about Business Design at IDEO?
What is a Business Designer?
Curious about the mindsets of Business Designers? About the value and critical thinking Business Designers bring to innovation projects? Check out these thought pieces authored by IDEO Business Designers.