It’s one thing to learn practical knowledge in a classroom setting, it’s another to put those skills and experience into practice.
Internships provide a real-life opportunity to get a taste for what your potential career future could hold. While these jobs are often associated with college students and soon-to-be graduates, you can explore internships at any time. Especially when it comes to popular and in-demand tech areas like user experience (UX) design, internships give you the opportunity to get a good grip on what is involved in this career path.
Whether you’re confident that UX design is for you or are still filtering through your options, exploring internships can be the great next step. To help you get started on finding your next opportunity, here we share what exactly UX design is and how to go about finding your ideal internship as you pursue your career goals.
What Is UX Design?
User experience (UX) design is a trending field in technology as more organizations are in need of websites and platforms that are both aesthetically-pleasing and functional. Those who work in UX design are intricately involved in the strategy, structure, design, and maintenance of websites, software, and many other platforms.
Their role is vital. Without a functional and enticing website, visitors may not be able to find the information they need, discover value in the organization, and ultimately convert the experience into a sale or potential client. The way in which a user is able to interact and navigate a website helps them have a positive impression of your organization.
What to Look for in a UX Design Internship
So you’re interested in exploring the creative and problem-solving world of UX design. An internship can provide you a real-world example of working in this field as you continue to advance your skills. As you search for an internship opportunity that fits where you want to go, here are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind.
Use Your Skills
There’s a reason why the typical intern is portrayed as the one making copies and bringing coffee. While these responsibilities may find their way toward you as an intern, that’s ultimately not why you’re there. Find a role within an organization that will help you develop your design skills and grow in your understanding of what it means to thrive in UX design.
Imagine you’re loving your role as a UX intern. You’re growing your skills and learning new things every day. A great internship is one that can equip you with future opportunities, including a boost in earning potential. You may be able to explore the chance to get hired on full-time after completing your internship.
Suit Your Interests
If you’ve got an idea of the type of industry or organization you want to look for, search for opportunities that align with those goals. While a UX internship can teach you important skills across industries, acquiring new skills and experiences in the context of that environment can better suit you as you continue to explore your next career move.
Paid or Unpaid
Internships may be advertised as paid or unpaid positions. Keep this in mind as you search for opportunities. For unpaid positions, you may be considered a volunteer or be offered another form of reward in the forms of college credit or an academic equivalent.
Remote or On-Campus
Since much of tech jobs can be done online, you may want to consider looking into remote internships if location or transportation is an issue for you. While you may miss out on experiencing an organization’s operations and workflows in person, there’s still a lot to learn when connecting virtually.
How to Find Your Next UX Design Internship
Keeping those key themes in mind, it’s time to start searching for that internship opportunity. Remember that there may not be one perfect internship position to find. The goal of an internship is not to settle on your dream career right away but continue to explore and nurture your skillset.
Here are some easy ways you can fuel your search as a UX design intern.
Talk to Connections
If you know friends, family members, classmates, or just acquaintances who work in the tech field or know someone who does, you can ask them for help. Reaching out and telling them you’re exploring a career in UX design and are seeking an internship lets them know to keep their eyes open for relevant opportunities. Utilizing connections like these intentionally and thoughtfully can also be highly beneficial as you continue job searching in the field.
Many job posting sites like Indeed.com or LinkedIn.com also include internship opportunities as well. Filter your results based on what you’re looking for in an internship and your location, if applicable. Be sure to look at the position requirements, but don’t dwell on them too much. Depending on the organization, they may allow some wiggle room with years of experience or other educational qualifications.
Chase Your UX Design Career
Internships are great opportunities to gain practical, real-life experience in an area of interest with little risk. You’ll discover the good, the bad, and the ugly of what it takes to be a UX designer. So get your resume ready and start your search.
Move forward with confidence, equipped with the knowledge and practical skills to take your UX designer career to the next level.