INVESTING IN FUTURE DESIGNERS: Meet Our DID Interns
In celebration of National Intern Day, July 27, we are spotlighting some of our summer interns.
Meet Mikayla Buford, Olivia Grant, and Eliana Henderson, three of our internship participants. They are a part of the first cohort of DID’s Internship Program. Read on to learn more about them and their experiences interning with some of our member companies.
WHY DESIGN: Bringing Design Aspirations to Life
Interviewer: What sparked your interest in a career in design?
Mikayla, intern at ChiByDesign: My junior year of college, I did a research internship where I worked on a project at the intersection of art and technology. It was so invigorating to consider different design decisions and bring value to the end-product. After that summer, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in design.
Olivia, intern at Gretel: Like Mikayla, I’m fascinated by the intersectionality of design. I have always been drawn to the intersection of creativity and problem-solving. The ability to communicate ideas and evoke emotions through visuals intrigues me. I constantly explore various design disciplines and experiment with different software tools to hone my skills and push the boundaries of my creativity. This exploration coupled with the positive feedback I have received from my professors and peers fuels my interest in pursuing a career in design.
Interviewer: What about you Eliana? Why are you interested in a career in design?
Eliana, intern at the Ford Motor Company: Design is a way for me to escape. It is my own world of innovation where I can create things I dreamed of. I’m even more drawn to the career path because of the opportunity to work with diverse creatives and be a part of projects larger than myself.
MEANINGFUL OPPORTUNITIES: Developing Diverse Creatives
Interviewer: It sounds like each of you have aspired to be a designer for quite some time. With that in mind, what does this opportunity to be a design intern mean to you?
Olivia: This opportunity to intern in the design industry means the world to me. It provides a chance for me to put my skills into practice, understand the design industry, learn best practices, and dive deeper into the design process. It has allowed me to grow personally and professionally while building a solid foundation for my future career.
Eliana: I agree with Olivia. This opportunity has provided a solid foundation for a successful career in design. I am exceedingly grateful to intern at the Ford Motor Company and gain professional experience with a ton of industry insights.
Interviewer: Mikayla, you are a recent college graduate, right? So, what has this internship meant to you as you prepare to enter the workforce?
Mikayla: Yes, I am a recent graduate. And after graduation, I hoped for an opportunity like this. It’s been very affirming to work in the design space and make that hope a reality. It confirms that the soft and hard skills I gained in school are valuable.
INDUSTRY EXPOSURE: Gaining Collaborative Work Experience
Interviewer: I would love to hear what your favorite part of the internship has been.
Eliana: I have loved getting to know and collaborating with my design research team! I’ve also enjoyed being a part of a group of skilled interns that motivate each other every day. This work environment encourages me to be my best self, keeps my morale high, and shows me that working at Ford is more than a job – it’s a community.
Mikayla: My favorite part of my internship has been working with everyone at ChiByDesign. Like Eliana, I have enjoyed collaborating on different projects, connecting with team members in person from time to time, and getting to know them as both co-workers and people.
Olivia: To echo Eliana and Mikayla, I have enjoyed the collaborative work environment at Gretel. It has been inspiring to be surrounded by experienced designers and other interns with a similar passion for design. I have grown as a designer by collaborating on real projects, contributing ideas, and receiving feedback from professionals in the field. The camaraderie and the constant exchange of knowledge and ideas have fostered a supportive and creative atmosphere that is both motivating and empowering. It's immensely satisfying to witness this collective effort and see our ideas come to life.
THE DID IMPACT: Inspiring the Next Generation of Diverse Designers
Interviewer: DID strives to invest in the next generation of diverse designers. How has being a DID intern encouraged your design-career aspirations?
Eliana: Being a DID intern has created a pathway for me to have difficult conversations and connect with a mentor that can guide me through the process of being a better designer and teammate.
Mikayla: This program has allowed me to establish a clearer short- and long-term direction for my design career that includes pursuing my first job as well as future roles.
Interviewer: Olivia, what about you? How has being a DID intern impacted your design aspirations?
Olivia: My experience as a DID intern has ignited an incredible determination in me to pursue a successful and fulfilling career in design, equipped with the knowledge and experience gained through this invaluable opportunity.