Twice each year, we get the chance to work with bright young minds from all across the world, that are participating in the co-op program at Northeastern University. This summer, we sat down with Tia, to ask her about her experience and learn a thing or two from her perspective.
You’re very smart and you had lots of options. What made you decide to come to iFactory for your co-op?
There were a few main factors that went into my decision to work at iFactory. Firstly, I was seeking a role that was focused specifically on UX design. After having worked on different types of design projects, I knew that I really wanted to dive deeper into UX, especially in an agency context. I worked in an in-house design team at my last internship, so I was very eager about working at an agency, where the pace would be faster and I would be working on multiple projects at a time.
A couple of my fellow Scout (Northeastern’s student-led design studio) members had worked at iFactory previously and had so many good things to say about it. One sentiment that I heard repeatedly was “they don’t treat you like you’re just a co-op”— I knew that I would be able to get my hands dirty with real client work. Plus, I loved my interview experience! Everybody was so warm and it felt like we were just having a fun conversation. I immediately could see myself working with this team of people.
Out of all the things you’ve worked on here, what’s your favorite and why?
My favorite project thus far has been Terra State. It is the first project where I got to play a major IA role, which was something that I wasn’t expecting I’d be able to do at a co-op. Of course, I still have a good amount of guidance and support from Lydia, but it’s been a fun challenge to be able to take ownership of each of IA deliverable and see the project all the way through the discovery, IA, and visual design phases. We’ve also been working more closely with OmniUpdate on this project, which has given me a lot of insight on the differences between the content management systems we design for here at iFactory.
So far, what’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about your field, your co-workers, yourself?
Working with many different clients has given me invaluable experience that I could never get in a classroom setting. I’ve learned that we not only have to produce great work, but we also have to present it so our clients understand what makes it great. To successfully do so, we have to understand each client’s communication style and learn how to adapt to it.
What advice would you give other co-ops that might come here?
Where do I start? Be communicative and ask questions! You will learn faster this way. You don’t have to do things the way they’ve always been done. Look for ways to improve the process.
Write everything down in a very organized manner so you can find what you’re looking for later. You will not be able to remember little details (or sometimes even big details) when you are working on five different projects at a time.