Alyssa Guo, UX Design Intern, Amazon
Alyssa Guo (MIMS ’23) spent the summer of 2022 as a UX Design intern at Amazon, working on the Amazon Photos team.
Describe a typical day at your internship.
A typical day at my internship usually starts off with a quick check-in with my mentor and manager to address any questions or new tasks before I start working. Depending on the stage of the project, the day’s agenda may include user interviews, testing, prototyping, or receiving feedback from different stakeholders. But no matter what I do in the day, I always take a moment to go back and review my research so that I am always in touch with user needs throughout the design process.
What was the most valuable thing you learned at your internship?
Expect to be surprised. It sounds a little cliché, but it is true. During my internship, there were multiple instances where customers’ answers and actions surprised me. Additionally, the design I preferred was not always the design that was most successful. Exploring new options and ideas often yielded interesting results, and it was a constant learning experience to be aware of my own biases and personal experiences.
What was the biggest challenge?
Throughout my internship, I met with and consulted multiple stakeholders — including other designers, customers, engineers, product managers, and members of the UX leadership team. It was quite the balancing act trying to give proper consideration to all their separate thoughts and feedback while maintaining my own ideas and design intention. Nonetheless, I am glad l had the opportunity to experience it; it was crucial not only for my career path, but also for my own personal growth.
How did your work at the I School prepare you for this role?
At the I School, I was given the guidance, circumstances, and opportunity to build my knowledge and experience in UX design before I went into my Amazon internship. It was immensely satisfying whenever I had the chance to showcase my knowledge and skills. Because I had the experience of design projects, presentations, and feedback sessions in my MIMS classes, I had the confidence and knowledge to go through the same at my internship.
Any advice for next years MIMS students as they prepare for their internships?
Team fit and work culture are very important; at the end of the day, where you work and the people you work with can make or break your experience. I consider myself lucky to have been on a team that supported my learning, checked in regularly with me, and encouraged me to voice my opinions and thoughts. My advice for internship seekers is to be more aware of how well you might fit in a company or team; you’d be surprised at what you can accomplish when you’re in a work environment that best suits you.
Did your internship influence your career plans after graduation?
Yes! I found great satisfaction in my work for my internship, and it was amazing having access to the resources and people at Amazon. My experience helped reaffirm my decision to go into UX Design and work for a company that prioritizes customer experience.