Are you a User Experience Intern? 25 things you must do in the next 60 days!

So you are User Experience-intern. Yes, half your time is done.What have you done? What did you learn? What should you do with the time left? Here is a list of 25 things to do before you clean off your desk, pack up your office supplies and head back to school. This is my advice for interns who are the future of user experience design.

  1. Update Your Resume with what you have done so far.
  2. Fill out your resume with ideas of what you WILL ACCOMPLISH for the rest of your internship
  3. If you haven't yet, Do some "user research" and observe customers buying or making progress toward a purchase decision. You don't need to video record it, just do it, at least audio record it and take handwritten notes. If you can't find a current client to do this for, do so for a potential client that your company might submit a proposal to.
  4. Do an evaluation on the company's web presence. Make it a one page report and send it to your boss and your bosses boss.
  5. Make some personas, see item 3 and follow a similar strategy.
  6. Write a list of your User Experience Skills. Give it to you boss and ask them to evaluate you on a scale of 1-5 and to rank the skills in order of importance. Then ask them how you can improve you rating in each of the top 5 skills.
  7. Ask to write a proposal for a project or client.  Identify a project or client. Call it a white paper idea (1 page long) and get it critiqued, if it is any good and you are encouraged to do so, add a page or so of more detail and get it critiqued again. Ask if you can submit it and send a letter along with it saying you and intern and would appreciate any feedback. This is a low-risk but high-reward activity.
  8. Ask to a Heuristic audit of a client website.
  9. Start doing the WILL ACCOMPLISH list tomorrow
  10. Take someone out to lunch.  Find someone at the office, invite them out, ask them what they think so far of your work and what you could do to be better, be quiet, listen, and write it all down.
  11. Ask your boss for a meeting to discuss your letter of reference. YES, you need to ask your boss for a letter of reference at the end of your internship. Discuss it now, make sure to ask if there is anything you need to improve or work on NOW, while you still have time for corrective action.
  12. Make sure you clearly communicate to your boss that you need a formal letter of reference at the end of the internship that you can put in your file.
  13. Imagine you are going to have your own company one day. Write down what you would do differently than what you see so far at where you are working.
  14. Build a Business Model of the Company or Organization you are working out. (See my post on Whiteboarding Business Models for an easy template.)
  15. Ask you boss if there is anything they think you should try to learn in your time left on the job.
  16. Make sure you collect everyone's email address who you would like to stay in contact with after you leave. Now is the time to get their work email and their personal (permanent) email address.
  17. Take some time to write down in a diary how you FEEL about your job, your employer, your field. This is your opportunity to get a good idea of what this field is like, what you value, and the kind of work environment you do best in.
  18. Do a personal review of your skills and see if there is some "NEW" skills you learned at school that no one at your company is doing. Offer to give a workshop, lunch & learn, or to use it on a project. Employers want to add these NEW skills to their tool-bag , but often don't even know what they are missing.
  19. Answer the following question: What have you been good at? Types of projects, problems, activities, etc.
  20. Answer the following question: How do you like to work? Individually, in groups, with alot of detailed instructions, with little direction, etc.
  21. Make sure your boss knows that in addition to helping them with work you are there to learn and that you are would like to be included in any staff meetings, continuing education opportunities, and any training classes.
  22. Start writing your draft"thank-you" letter to your employer that you will send after you finish your internship.
  23. Ask yourself "What else can I do to help my company?" Then do it.
  24. Ask your employer for permission to gather "Portfolio fillers" such as copies of completed personas, wireframes, prototypes, etc  that you can use in your future job search.
  25. Make a list of companies that do business or partner with the company you are interning at.  They will be a good list for you to look to as potential employers when you are ready to enter the work force permanently. And they will know you from the company you are interning at.

if you have any more to add, please comment below or email me at dennis (at) dennisschleicher.com and I will add them to the list.

Printed from: http://tibetantailor.com/?p=691 .
© Dennis Schleicher Jr 2017.

2 Comments   »

  • Lacy says:

    Pretty cool post. I just stumbled upon your site and wanted to say
    that I have really enjoyed reading your posts. Any way
    I'll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you write again soon!

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