Mike Lemon interned at our studio for three months and left last week to return to school at The Ohio State University.
Every summer we offer internships to undergraduates who want to learn more about product development in the real world. This summer we were lucky enough to have five interns from different schools. We wrote about one of our interns, Mike Lemon, in May (Mike Lemon Joins Our Team for the Summer) and last week he left our studio to return to school at The Ohio State University.
As an intern, Mike had the opportunity to not only learn from our designers, but to also work directly with our clients. He shared that the three most important skills he developed over the summer were: understanding how to sketch as a team, brainstorming and idea generation with our clients, and how to function in a fast-paced consultancy environment.
In addition, he told us about the top five things he learned about design in the real world:
1. Design exists as a part of a greater whole. In the real world you have to think about a lot more than just design- including business, engineering, and marketing.
2. When working as a team, having a unified vision and methodology is really important. Whether that is sketching in the same style or making CAD models with identical process, it makes things go a lot smoother overall.
3. How you explain the design process to clients and other non-designers is very important and can make or break your interaction.
4. Story and narrative are just as important as concept and idea. You have to be able to communicate how an idea impacts stakeholders in a meaningful way for anyone to really pay attention.
5. Being able to give and take constructive feedback in an open and direct way is a must. You can’t blindly hold onto a pet idea, or on the flipside, criticize someone else’s idea without justification and respect.
He also offered advice for future interns, whether at Beyond Design or another design consultancy.
1. Seek out advice. For several months you’re going to be surrounded by and working with some really talented people. Take advantage of their experience.
2. Be open to trying new things. If you’re not regularly a great CAD modeler, this is the chance to get professional feedback and oversight. The same goes for everything from sketching to research.
3. Try to interact with your fellow interns and co-workers outside of the office. It’s a great way to have candid conversations where you’ll learn a lot. Chicago is really great for this – there’s a plethora of things to do each day.
We thoroughly enjoy having interns each summer and helping them to improve their skills – in both design and communication. Mike was no different. He took advantage of his time at our studio to learn everything he could from our designers. We hope that he returns to school with an improved skill set and understanding of the industry we all love to be a part of.
“More than anything else, I enjoyed the camaraderie and fun spirit of the team at Beyond. Everyone is genuinely excited to be doing what he or she is doing and always happy to help you out.”