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