Ayo Animashaun, UX Research Intern, Google
Ayo Animashaun (MIMS ’19) spent the summer of 2018 as a user experience (UX) research intern at Google. Animashaun shared a typical workday, and the challenges he faced and lessons learned:
Animashaun’s typical day included many meetings, as well as work time at his desk, breakfast, lunch, and dinner on site, working out at the on-campus gym, and taking the Google bus to and from work. “They love meetings at Google!” Animashaun shared. “It’s a good way to show enthusiasm for the work of your peers, and know what’s happening in your product area.”
The classes Animashaun took at the I School helped him prepare for his role at Google; he found Quantitative Research Methods with Professor Coye Cheshire especially helpful for his work in the programming language R. Building on his classroom experience with professional applications was an invaluable experience. A notable takeaway: “I learned how qualitative research insights inform quantitative research efforts,” Animashaun said, “and how the latter helps corroborate the former.”
While in his role, Animashaun faced various challenges. The most substantial one, however, was moderating user interviews. “There are many nuances involved with being a good moderator,” Animashaun explained, “it takes more than just being a good listener.” Just like the curriculum at the I School, Animashaun’s role involved an array of skills beyond the technical; and Animashaun made a point to learn all that he could in his time at Google.
Advice for New MIMS Students
“It’s okay to ask questions,” Animashaun advised. “Growth mindset only. Sometimes I even pretended not to know things, just to learn how the approach at the company differed from what I knew. Get feedback regularly from both your manager and people who know about the ins and outs of your role.” His simplest advice for students, however, is to remain open-minded, and open to new and different experiences.