Hi. My name is Viviana, I am a UX & Product Designer at RebelDot and in this article I am going to talk you through my recent journey as part of this team, trying to give you some insight into the growth opportunities that you’ll find at RebelDot.
Since I too started out as an intern, I am going to take this opportunity to remind you about the UX & Product Design Internship happening this summer.
If you’re a team player who wants to grow both personally and professionally, who is passionate about design, and wants to solve real problems, then you probably might be a good match for us. You can find out more about the role here.
But anyway, let me first tell you how things worked out for me.
Becoming a design intern at RebelDot
After completing my bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences in Romania and being drawn by the aspects of society and culture, I continued my undergraduate studies abroad, in Cardiff, where I studied Product Design. From medical design to creating gaming devices, I explored as many areas of design as possible in order to find the one that I truly like. During my final year of studies, I focused my attention on UI/UX projects, and after working as a UI/UX Designer for nine months, I decided that this is what I wanted to do.
However, this time I was looking for a different Design experience.
I wanted to find meaning in what I do, to constantly fuel my curiosity, to find an environment that challenges and allows me to grow, and, equally important, a place where I feel appreciated and cared for.
And, from the first glance at RebelDot’s website, I felt that it might be the right place. I loved the vibe which was very different from the other tech companies I looked at, I loved how everything was revolving around people and how the values that were promoted resonated with me.
Applying for a design internship
Unfortunately, there weren’t any job openings for Juniors or any Design Internships, but that did not stop me from trying my luck and sending an email. To my surprise, I have got a response and I was invited to the first stage of the recruitment process.
The whole process was a glimpse of the challenge that I signed up for, and a constant reassurance that my initial feeling about RebelDot was more than right. I was straight away introduced to the company’s culture, and I was thrilled by the warmth, kindness, and professionalism that I have noticed from the very first interview.
Getting to know the team and the culture at RebelDot
From the beginning of the internship, I was convinced that RebelDot is a place with an amazing culture and with people that share the same values; a place where I felt included and appreciated right away. Over the span of three months, I met wonderful people that helped me develop both from a personal and professional perspective, and I have always received the support and guidance that I needed.
What I loved the most was the approach towards the internship program which provided me with a hands-on experience of what it means to be a UX & Product Designer, covering all the aspects and the steps of a design process. I was taught how to take ownership of every decision, how to be in control during presentations and client meetings, and how to communicate effectively. I was always encouraged to explore, to question everything, and to find the answers to different problems by myself.
I really enjoyed the fact that my mentor, Tom, did not tell me the answers straight away, but instead, guided me towards finding those solutions myself, allowing me to use my creativity and to develop my own way of seeing things.
Getting to know the job
Going deeper into the project, tasks were becoming more and more challenging, but my level of confidence was also rising. Having people that were constantly encouraging me and giving me constructive feedback was accelerating my progress and was helping me to change my mindset.
Instead of being scared and anxious about the challenges that were coming, I started to see them on a more positive note and to make of them an opportunity to grow. Tom went above and beyond to make this internship experience as close to reality as possible, being both a mentor and playing the role of the client, in such a credible way that I was perceiving him as two separate individuals.
I like how the theoretical aspects were perfectly combined with the practical ones, and how I always had the chance to take a step back and reflect on the things I learned, on the things that went well and on the ones that didn’t, getting a chance to learn from my mistakes, and to understand how I can improve my skills.
Actually doing the job
The most challenging aspects were the ones that involved talking in front of people, especially during the client meetings, and during my first usability test. When conducting the usability testing, I actually wrote my whole speech down (including the “hello” part), so I won’t forget anything, but the fact that everyone was open-minded, relaxed, and willing to help, made it very easy for me to get over those constraints and made the whole process really enjoyable.
Having access to stakeholders was also a great opportunity as I was able to see how things work from multiple perspectives, to understand the different needs, the technical limitations, and to learn how to collaborate and communicate effectively. As it is not only about creating beautiful designs, but also about creating feasible products that address the real problems.
See if RebelDot is the kind of team you're looking for
Maybe you’re not a student anymore. Or who knows, maybe you didn’t even enroll into formal studies. Perhaps you’re just really into observing the smallest of details and designing beautiful, minimalist or edgy, yet practical pieces. Point is, those skills that you’ve been polishing for a while now could keep on delighting the human eye while also solving some real problems and support communities of people that you haven’t even thought of.
I for one realised that this could be a fulfilling alternative thanks to a module that caught my attention. To you this breakthrough might happen only by taking a shot at trying something different. Or not. Who knows. Maybe you’re better off designing concert posters or stock doodles.
That’s still freaking awesome.
However. If you feel like there’s exploration to be made in this field, just send your protfolio over and let’s see if that’s the kind of team you’d like to be a part of.