Meena Kaushik, UX Design Intern, Google
Meena Kaushik (MIMS ’20) spent the summer of 2019 as a UX design intern at Google, working at YouTube in San Bruno, CA.
Describe a typical day at your internship.
My typical day started with taking the shuttle to campus, grabbing breakfast and coffee, and checking my email and calendar. My days varied based on where I was in the project and what tasks I needed to complete. Some days I had several meetings to check in with my cross-functional team (UX, engineering, product management, and marketing) or get feedback from other designers. Other days I had time to be heads-down in my project, whether that was completing foundational research, sitting in on interviews with users, brainstorming, or refining designs. Outside of working on my project, I also made time to grab coffee with Googlers I admired.
What was the most valuable thing you learned at your internship?
The people were absolutely the best part of the internship. Google has such a brilliant and inspiring community, and I was in constant awe at everyone’s insight and eagerness to help or share more about their experiences. With this kind of culture, I quickly learned to ask for help and feedback often and by doing so, I was able to be a much more impactful team member and, overall, be a stronger designer.
“I joined the MIMS program to change career paths and become a UX designer. My summer internship not only confirmed my interest but also made me even more excited about design.”
What was the biggest challenge?
Navigating a big company can be hard, both geographically (3 months in and I still got lost!) and operationally. It took some time to understand the different teams and how they work together, but everyone was quick to help me figure it all out.
How did your work at the I School prepare you for this role?
The core classes, from Python to Information Law and Privacy, helped me think more holistically and critically about my work throughout the internship.
Any advice for first-year MIMS students as they prepare for their internships?
During the application process, remember that you should also be evaluating the company to determine if the culture and work will be a good fit for you! During the internship, don’t be afraid to ask for help or ask questions! I think as an intern there’s some pressure to know all the answers, but you’ll likely be surrounded by people with great experience and perspectives who are willing and excited to help, and asking questions will certainly help you go further in your internship as well as your career.
Did your internship influence your career plans after graduation?
I joined the MIMS program to change career paths and become a UX designer. My summer internship not only confirmed my interest but also made me even more excited about design. :)