Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services


Fall 2017

Position: Design Apprentice
Student: Sociology Sophomore

I was offered an apprenticeship with Funsize towards the end of summer. I was beyond stoked to be considered to work with a studio that I had a real identification with from both a professional and cultural perspective. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was eager to learn.

During the first week, I was on boarded to the company tools and process. It was highly important to me to be a sponge and soak up all the knowledge surrounding me and push myself to contribute in meaningful and useful ways. To get the ball rolling with learning how the Funsize team works, I sat in on as many meetings as I could to listen and see how everyone communicated ideas and process. Once I got adjusted, I would usually have one or two meetings a day then the rest of my time would be spent heads down going through data and synthesizing it.

By the second week, I was ready to dig my heals in and began working on both large and small projects. One of the first projects I worked on was a startup where I learned how to record project needs and how they would relate to the scope of the project. We ran a client workshop so we could go over both high level goals and project details. Once we identified target demographic, based on client and stakeholder input, I did ethnographic research and drafted interview questions. Our team conducted user interviews and I synthesized the results into personas, which are distilled versions of all the user research for the designers to reference.

Other research assets I created for projects were Market Maps (identifying where the business sits in the market in comparison to the competition), Mental Model Maps (charting out a thought diagram based on how someone would think about a certain process), and Journey Maps (identifying either ideal or current steps people are taking through a website or application to achieve a piece of information, then identifying where time can be saved or confusion can be reduced).

These assets are all handed to the designers at the end of the discovery and research phase of a project to summarize and visualize the data. Then, the designer takes these assets and begins their work. My job as an apprentice was to synthesize valuable insights from all the research and make that data as clear as possible. The job requires a lot of listening and thought, a lot of meetings, and a lot of workshops, but ultimately it is productive and rewarding.

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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508