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Personal Projects

Designerships

Helping design students find internships at leading tech companies and design agencies around the world.

Date
November 2018
Client
Design Students
My Role
Design & Developer
Project Link

Deliverable

Free Solo

The Problem

In the fall of 2017 I started exploring internship opportunities for the summer of 2018. I was searching on every job site, Indeed, Glassdoor, Simplyhired, Monster as well as checking out the individual career pages of companies I was interested in.

I would then add any jobs I was interested in applying to, to a spreadsheet I used to track the status of my applications, updating the spreadsheet whenever I heard back from companies or applied somewhere new.

This process of sourcing jobs from across the web was exhausting and I often found that jobs were posted on one job board but not another one, forcing me to constantly check all the major job boards almost everyday.

I found myself constantly wishing there was a central location of design internship listings that would save students like me the trouble of constantly searching every single job site.

How might I make the process of searching for design internships less stressful? 
Free Solo

The Users

I started talking to other students in my program to find out what kind of process they went through when applying for jobs. Getting an internship is a graduation requirement for us so everyone had faced, or would be facing, these challenges sometime during their schooling. I focused on 3 main questions when talking to students : 

Where do you look for internship postings?
How do you track  applications?
What was challenging about applying?

The answers to these three questions solidified what I already knew about the issue and introduced me to some new challenges as well.

I found that all my classmates used the same websites for finding jobs, which were Indeed, Glassdoor & LinkedIn. They also looked on individual company websites that they were interested in and checked out their career page regular.

It's really frustrating to find a posting, apply, interview and then find out it's an unpaid position

Research

In my research I focused on isolating 2 or 3 primary problems that I could solve with my product. I talked to 14 students between 2nd & 4th year and found that they all shared 3 main concerns with finding internships : 

Many of the positions are unpaid
It's challenging to track all their applications
Jobs are spread between a ton of sites

These were all challenges that I faced last year and I could personally relate to. Like many students, I work during the school year to pay for my tuition and having an unpaid internship in the summer is not a feasible option for me. Combine this with the time it takes to sort through the unpaid and paid internships and it can become frustrating quite quickly.

Prototyping

I planned my prototyping to address my 4 primary goals of the site : 

  • Provide a large, unbiased, selection of paid internship positions around the world
  • Give users a way to track their job applications
  • Allow users a clear way to submit their own job postings
  • Have a simple responsive layout that functions on all devices

These quick sketches in-between cups of coffee gave me a good idea of what the site needed to include and some possible layouts of the information that would allow users to scan the site without taking too much time out of their crazy student schedules.

Free Solo

These four key points were covered in my initial sketches and carried through into the live site as well. I focused first on a layout that focused entirely on the jobs with no extra bullshit or advertising. To keep things fair, the order of job postings is randomized for each user so big companies like Google or Apple are not given priority over smaller creative agencies.

To address the concern of tracking applications, I created an excel spreadsheet that automatically updates whenever I add listings to the site. This allows users to download the spreadsheet and track applications easily, even inside google sheets if they don't own excel.

Creation

I chose to create and host the site on Webflowbecause I am very familiar with the tool and I knew it would allow me to get a fully responsive site up and working in a day or two. I created the initial site framework / layout and then started sourcing jobs.

I had already generated a list of 20-30 internships I was interested in but I wanted to expand this to include postings from more than just Toronto. I enlisted the help of other students in my program, asking them to contribute any postings they found and over the course of a week we brought the number of postings to 50+! 

Free Solo

The site is currently live at Designerships and has been shared primarily within my program so far. I have started sending it off to students in other design programs across Canada to share with their program and hopefully learn about more postings! 

Moving Forward

I had a great time making Designerships! I rarely have the time during school to focus on personal projects and I was excited to be able to set aside a couple days to make this concept a reality.

So far the biggest challenge has been maintaining job postings and ensuring that they are all up to date & not taken down. All postings are handled manually by myself and a couple friends and it's hard to find the time to check every link daily while juggling thesis and a reasonable sleep schedule. I have plans to work with another friend of mine to automate the job posting process and make it more efficient to check postings but that's coming in the future.

We have also received a number of requests to add filtering by location & posting type to the site and we hope to start testing those features before the end of November.

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