5 things I learnt from my Product Design internship at Logitech |...

5 things I learnt from my Product Design internship at Logitech | Gaurav Bradoo shares his experience.


This post was first published on Medium by Gaurav Bradoo.

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“Three months, two countries, one goal — helping design Logitech’s future” or alternatively ‘The most awesome internship in the world’ — That’s how I feel about my internship this past summer.

When I got the offer from Logitech in March to join them as a Design Intern, I had a great feeling about the company and knew I was going to have a fun internship. However the reality of my experience completely blew my expectations out of the water.

Having had a chance to reflect on these last few months, I realize there were a few systematic things that led to this being a phenomenal experience. I have attempted to summarize these takeaways here, because I think they can help improve peoples’ career outcomes independent of their industry, role or career stage.

But first, how did this amazing internship unfold?

Now, most of us think of Logitech as our favorite keyboard and mouse company :); but this $2Bn+ company is much, much more. Logitech (a.k.a. Logi) is amidst a significant transformation towards becoming even more infused in our daily lives, by applying a stronger lens of human-centered design to their brand.

My product design internship was in San Francisco within Logi’s Futurelab — a forward looking incubator that focuses on new, exciting growth opportunities for the company.

In week 1, I had hit the ground running and was working on rethinking the vision of a new project within Logi.

By the second week, I started reporting directly to the head of Futurelab, who went on to become an amazing mentor throughout my internship. This also gave me the opportunity to work closely with the project leads within Futurelab (all of whom were highly experienced and senior technologists and product managers in the company.)

In week 4, I was invited to spend six weeks in Switzerland, where the larger Futurelab team is based.

In the following weeks, the scope of my work expanded rapidly into the design of business models and the overall strategy as well as determining technical feasibility of concepts by making early functional prototypes.

And by week 9, I had the opportunity to co-present the vision and strategy of an exciting Futurelab project to the CEO alongside the lead of that project. Following this presentation, we quickly moved the project into the next phase of execution!

All this as a summer intern!

This is obviously the cliff notes version of my experience, but what I learned from the experience is the most important part!

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Learning #1: Pick jobs based on people and your impact.

Right from the interview, I sensed complete transparency from my future colleagues, as well as a lot of enthusiasm about their work. It was obvious that they cared about human-centered design and truly felt empowered by the company to expand Logi’s horizons into fundamentally bolder and newer territories.

During the first few days, the feeling that I had the opportunity to create a large impact became even clearer thanks to the “all hands on deck” working style. Nobody ever treated me like a student in bubble wrap that needed babysitting. Instead, they brought me in like a fully functional member of the team right from the get-go.

While I had no idea about the extent of the awesomeness I would get to be a part of, I knew in my gut at the interview that this role was going to be different from many of the other opportunities I was exploring during my internship hunt.

Learning #2: Deliver fast! Deliver often!

We all know that delivering on commitments is important, but what I realized right in my first week, is the importance of delivering high quality work rapidly and frequently.

Within the first few days of my internship, I jumped in and set the tone for my work ethic by taking initiative to come up with a user journey for the project to which I was initially assigned. Further, I produced a high fidelity deliverable within a day of committing to it. And while this set a high bar for me throughout my internship, it also set an incredible pace right from the start.

As an example, it resulted in me having daily review meetings with my manager, the head of Futurelab, instead of the weekly ones that were originally planned. The additional touch points were significant in building a close relationship with him through the internship.

Learning #3: Curious George is a fantastic role model.

I have always been curious, but as I have gotten older, my curiosity has often been countered by self doubt and the fear of being ridiculed. Learning from amazing people at the IIT Institute of Design and joining Logi, where employees are encouraged to challenge the status quo, enabled me to consciously counteract my fears and embrace my inner Curious George.

This led to the most remarkable outcomes: it empowered me to connect with so many amazing people within the company and even work on parts of the business I would have otherwise never been exposed to — such as branding, supply chain, packaging, procurement, technology development, employee learning and motivation, etc.

The Curious George avatar also brought about a genuine empathy and appreciation for the complexity of the work that everyone does and, hence, the patience required to lead different people towards a common goal. Interestingly, it also helps other people lower their guards and embrace their own inner curiosity and wonderment to take team interactions to the next level. Curious George Desktop by Chris Harrison.

Learning #4: Your previous experiences are like Batman’s utility belt.

I walked into the internship thinking that I would primarily use the skills and methods I had picked up from the last two years at design school.

Instead, I found that by digging deep and pulling from my undergraduate engineering degree and my work as a management consultant, I was able to perform much better in my expanded scope of work. This further allowed me to take on additional tasks and responsibilities, which created a virtuous cycle.

For example, I was working with a project lead (one of the smartest engineers I’ve met!) to evaluate the capabilities of three technology providers we were considering for our project. Thanks to my previous engineering and business consulting experiences, I was effective at helping synthesize his detailed technical review of the providers into a simple one-page comparison table, which then also became a useful tool for other senior leaders in the team.

Learning #5: Chance favors the prepared.

There were what I call a “series of fortunate events” that were crucial to the way my internship unfolded. For example, one of the reasons I had the opportunity to work directly with the head of Futurelab was because my initial manager (who was also awesome, btw!) was moved to a different team in my second week — a complete coincidence! Or, if Logi’s CEO had not been visiting the Switzerland office at the same time I was there, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to present to him.

But, an important and related point is that those events in isolation couldn’t have led to the my positive experiences either.

For example, as I mentioned in learning #2, I worked proactively from very early on to produce high quality work. This probably helped in the head of Futurelab’s decision to take me under his wing when the opportunity arose. Similarly, the positive rapport that the project lead in Switzerland and I had built likely led to his recommendation that I co-present the vision for the project to the CEO during his visit.

Simply put: there were things that happened around me that occurred by sheer chance and these were necessary for great outcomes. But I equally needed to be prepared and give 150% at every step to be able to maximize the outcomes when these unforeseen opportunities knocked on the door!

My internship was truly awesome for many reasons. It was a priceless opportunity to work for a remarkable manager and mentor, with an amazing team, and in an organization that is pushing a great culture.

While I know that this exact experience can’t be replicated, I do believe that these reflections can help in “taking the career bull by its horns” and giving the universe a chance to conspire in your favor.

I hope these takeaways prove useful in your own careers. I would love to hear your thoughts on the post as well as any other interesting takeaways from your own career experiences.

If you want to share your Internship story with us, mail us at blog@letsintern.com. Every week, we pick the best ones and feature them on our blog.




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