Career Advice
June 7, 2022

How to score an internship in UX/UI design?

How to score an internship in UX/UI design?

How to score an internship in UX/UI design?

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A UX design internship or UI design internship is one of the career paths to pursue as a UX/UI designer. The internships are giving UX/UI interns the experience of working in the design industry. But, what are the requirements to apply for a UX design internship or UI design internship? In today’s topic, two of our mentors- Tim Rosenberg a Senior UX Designer at WELL, and Hussain Dewani a UX Lead at Decathlon will share with you the tips to land a placement in either a UX design internship or UI design internship.

Step 1: Learn the Craft

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  • Bootcamps
    Seek for bootcamps or get yourself introduced to a Bootcamp program.

  • Online course
    If the course is within your budget.

  • Formal Education
    Receive formal education at formal education institutions.

    Tim added:

    “I got a formal education in graphic design but I was able to get it through scholarship, so if the budget is not within your means, there are a lot of really great ways to get quality learning through non-traditional paths.”

  • Real Projects
    You learn best by learning from real-world projects.

    Hussain shared:

    “For me, it never worked in a formal education manner. I studied film making so during a film making course, I had 2 color theory-related courses that’s where I learned about visual design and I start practicing things such as following things on YouTube, etc. So, that’s where I was put my foot in the door learning about design and design thinking in general. Whatever you observe around you, whatever resources you have available for yourself just try and leverage on that and go for it. You do not have to do a major investment. It is more about what you can learn around you. It can be from formal education, bootcamps, or Youtube.”

Read about
UX Bootcamp vs UX degree: Which one is suitable for you?

Step 2: Create a portfolio

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  • Problem
    A good portfolio should talk about the problem.
  • Process
    Present your design process.

  • Product
    What was the product that you had created?
  • Results
    What result does the product deliver?
You might think that if these are the requirements for a portfolio, I might not experience yet. I would recommend making your portfolio hypothetical as much as possible”. - Tim.

Tim’s portfolio approach

You can refer to Tim’s website here for some inspiration. Tim suggested to:

a) Add an overview of the objective of the project
b) Show your research documentation (User Research & UX Diagnosis). Talk about what research you     do, how did you plan it with wireframes, user flows, etc.
c) Don’t just show the finished product.
d) Tell a story of how you achieved the product.

Hussain’s portfolio approach

a) Divide portfolio into an online portfolio and an offline portfolio.
The difference between an online portfolio and an offline portfolio is online portfolio
  would be my public portfolio and present bite-sized content. The top section will be the
  final results, followed by the problem statement, the objective, and the team involved, if
  not at least state what was your role in the project, interaction, and interactive flow. At
  the end section, provide the call to action button. For example, “Interested to know 
  more about this project, let’s connect!”. Tim’s 4 steps of the portfolio (problem, process, product,
   and results) are the details I will put on my offline portfolio.

b) Use the online portfolio as a hook to grab hiring managers’ Attention.

Step 2.1: Create a resume

  • Design & Brand
    Each company has a different approach. As a hiring manager, I do spend time looking at how well the resume is designed because it shows how you really care about every user, even the recruiter who is looking at your resume. -Tim

  • Multiple versions
    "You might be looking at different types of roles, I recommend that you have multiple versions of resumes so that you can submit a different version depending on the role that you are looking for." - Tim.

    For me, I will read a brand identity for myself.  For example, I created a brand identity around it and try to make sure it is part of the same similar design system. In my resume, I will talk about my personality and also highlight some of the skills to provide two kinds of skills: behavioral skills and functional skills. Behavioral skills are more about collaboration, teamwork, the design handle part, etc. Functional skills are the tools I used, the methodology I found, etc.” -Hussain.

  • Insert relevant experience, education & certifications

Step 3: Define Your Search

  • Public, private, or non-profit
  • Small or big company
  • Industry background

What kind of UX design internship or UI design internship that you are looking for? It depends on your personality what kind of environment you thrive in. Do you have any industry background that you have volunteered with before that might give you an advantage as you apply as an intern?

Define what industry you are interested in and at the same time highlight what are the other attributes that you want in your job, for example, teamwork, tech-driven organization, how well do they balance their time, etc. Some companies require a different kind of time investment from you.

Step 4: Outreach

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  • Join an organization
  • Build meaningful relationship
  • Volunteer

Do not go in on the first day of joining an organization of your internship and expect the organization to refer you to an internship. Take time to build meaningful relationships, over time you will naturally get great referrals. Another way is to volunteer. Get your name out there and be involved in your local design community or join a virtual design community.

  • Produce Content on a virtual platforms such as Dribble, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtube. Record short content of yourself, showcase what you know.

Step 5: Apply and Interview

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  • Start with relationships
  • Start with quality applications for the companies that you really want to work with
  • Quantity -create good resume templates for highly competitive companies
  • Get organized and keep up with your job applications statuses

Start by applying from the people you know as they will be the best referrals such as the people you worked with within an organization, the community you have volunteered, or via the Slack group you joined. These could probably be the efficient way to get referred for a job.

Spend time building quality application that is well-crafted and personalized for that particular company. If you are applying for highly competitive companies such as Apple or Google, you might not get in the first attempt as it is difficult to customize a cover letter and custom resume for each company. Come up with pretty good templates that you apply on a quantity basis.

By getting in organized for the job application it helps to stay on track and make the final step a lot easier.

Showcase how you are culturally aligned with the company; decide whether you are more into an Outgoing & Social company environment vs Formal & Serious company environment.

Listen to the full recording on this topic here

Tim Rosenberg(ADPList Mentor)
Senior UX Designer at WELL
ADPList Profile: 
LinkedIn account: 

Hussain Dewani (ADPList Mentor)
UX Lead at Decathlon
ADPList Profile: 
LinkedIn account:

Editor and Writer:
Farah Radzi
Content Marketer and Writer at ADPList
LinkedIn account: