UnParalleled Internship - Your Airstrip to Fly as a Product Designer

Interested in Parallel's internship program? Here's what your journey might look like to become an ace designer!
Richa Verma
/
June 15, 2021

Here's a quick introduction to the UnParalleled Internship program by parallelhq.com. We are a Bangalore-based design studio famous for our work on Bharat apps like DigiLocker and Sahay Lite app, helping space startups like Pixxel, and working with many upcoming technologies such as FinTech applications, Enterprise B2B SAAS applications, etc.

Why we launched the UnParalleled Internship?

Every day Parallel gets around 4-5 applications of interns, and sometimes we stumble upon what we call "raw talent" when it comes to Product Design. We find people who have a knack for design without a lot of formal training or practical experience. So, we thought, could we give back to the design community, people who are going to be kick-ass designers in the future?

UnParalleled Internship aims to combine formal training in terms of fundamentals of UI and UX, along with real on-the-job experience to help fresh talent grow beyond their own beliefs. Product Designers are becoming one of the most sought-after talent pools, but there are no great curriculums that teach the latest tricks of the trade, and give ample exposure to the young talent. Most people are taught and follow only Design Thinking, and old school design process.

However, modern product design has evolved to suit the needs of modern product development where design needs to be faster, collaborative and user validated. At Parallel, we want to create the next set of Design Leaders in the country, by grooming them on the job and teaching them techniques like the Design Sprint, Jobs-to-be-done framework, Problem Framing, etc., and get a knack for Rapid Prototyping, Divergent Thinking, and User Testing.

Session with a mentor

How do we aim to groom the UnParalleled Interns?

We have created a structured approach to help interns groom their talent. First, during their hiring process, we recognise what they are naturally good at, and what they need to improve. Then, we do the following:

#1 We create a learning plan

We create a custom learning plan for each intern on basis of what they need to learn i.e. if someone wants to learn UI or UX more, we will help them with some structured learning courses. We have also created internal resources on how to use Figma for production-ready designs, how to apply principles of UI based on various projects, how to improve UX, conduct UX audit, and a lot more around topics like Jobs-to-be-done, what are Design Sprints & how to use its principles in designing better products, and cultivating a Product Thinking mindset.

#2 We assign a mentor

A mentor helps in multiple ways. A mentor helps the intern to prioritise what they need to work on first, how to go about honing particular skills, and is there to answer any question that the interns might have.

#3 We do UI bootcamps

Most interns we find, have a flawed approach to producing good UI, not going beyond Dribbble shots. Therefore, we do UI bootcamps to help them practice UI skills for designing on the web, mobile, and improving their process of UI creation.

UI Bootcamps

#4 Product designers from week 1

We make you work as a Product Designer from Week 1 itself. You are assigned one live project from the first week itself so that you understand how design communication works, how to break down client requirements, and get the discipline of working on a client's work responsibly.

#5 Live working session

Our Senior Designers work with you on joint design sessions to help you pick up the right skills fast!

Within a month of this training and grooming process, you are not just a more confident Product Designer, but a professional ready to solve real-world problems.

Live working session

How long is the internship?

The internship can last 4-6 months, and you have an option to convert to a full-time role right after. We do want to retain the best of the designers at Parallel, and give them a steep growth path! In fact, you never have to wait 4-6 months to convert to a full-time role. The fastest someone has converted their internship to a full-time role is 1 week!

We bet on future talent, and once we are sure that you can contribute well as a Product Designer, we offer you a full-time role even if you don't ask for it.

Who is the perfect person for the internship?

A great candidate will be someone who is in the last / final year of college, or just graduated, and is looking to make a career in UI / UX. You have already learnt the softwares - Figma, Miro, Adobe XD, etc. and have done a couple of courses in UI and UX fundamentals. The best interns have their fundamentals sorted. Because once you have your fundamentals right, you start contributing to solving the problem and that is where magic starts to happen in your career growth.

Apart from your knowledge, you should have an ambition to learn and come up with innovative solutions. A founder mindset to think problems from three different directions - business, tech, and of course, design. Moreover, you should have a never dying urge to learn, and give back.

Fun first-day introductions

When does the internship start and end?

We have 2 seasons - summer and winter. The first summer batch is on, and we are already 5 interns strong. The second batch will start in Jan 2022 :)

What is it like to intern at Parallel?

Rather than painting any picture, here are quotes from some of our interns of previous and this cohort!

Two years' worth of experience jam-packed in my 6 months stint at Parallel! When I first joined Parallel as a UX intern, I was in for a crazy ride. Not only did I get to take end-to-end ownership of a product, but also got to speak closely to stakeholders and present my concepts. The best part was constant learning every single day. My seniors have been so knowledgeable and approachable, that whenever I went to them with queries they would give me satisfying justification not just for that specific product but also in a way that I could apply it to other facets of design. I got an opportunity to work across different categories of products — be it a website, dashboard, mobile app, I even got to facilitate a virtual design jam with Facebook! Even today the advice of my teammates at Parallel guide me whenever I'm stuck. Before Parallel, I did not know much about UI, now when I look back, I managed to learn not just UI, visual communication but also a whole lot about communication, teamwork and thinking on my feet. More power to Parallel!‍- Soumya Mukund, IIT Guwahati (2021 Graduate)

These 3 months have been great, joining the team as an individual with little knowledge about design to taking full ownership of my designs, it's been a beautiful journey so far. From Richa's pep talk to Parth's bad jokes to Kartik and Raghul patiently handling my mistakes, I have definitely grown as a designer and also as an individual. Robin was more like a friend than a boss (there are no bosses here :p). I never felt I was the intern here, that was the most important thing. Any new intern joining here, I would like to say be ready to unlearn and relearn things.‍- Pratik Panigrahi, SRM, Chennai (2021 graduate)

At Parallel, a very crucial habit I picked up was to sketch better and I experienced how neither words nor the wireframes helped me design better than sketching does. My welcome in the team was warm & friendly, even though it was remote. Working with the team never gets intimidating, because even though everybody is crazy good at what they do (and superrr busy), they’re always willing to take out the time to help you out if you’re stuck/need advice. My favourite part of my first month was probably the UI bootcamp review sessions, it was the first time I presented (read: nervously blabbered about) my work to the team & got feedback on it. The days of the Bootcamp felt like a race against time & a push out of, what I’d then considered my comfort zone. New interns; Don’t get emotionally attached to your designs!-Anoushka Srivastava, NIFT (2021 batch)

Apply here for our next batch of UnParalleled Internship!

We're Hiring!

Besides the internship program, we are constantly on the lookout for individuals who are as passionate about design as we are. See a fit? Check all open positions for senior designers, design managers here and apply!

About the author

Richa Verma

Partner & Product Strategist, Parallel

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