Although I can't publicly disclose the details of my summer internship at Lyft, I had an amazing experience interning in a fast-paced, growth-oriented environment.
I interned on the Rider Growth team as a Product Design Intern for 8 weeks during the Summer 2020. Although the internship was shortened due to COVID, Lyft did not make that an excuse to give me a low-impact project. From day 1, I was integrated into the Rider Growth design team and driving the project with other stakeholders, notably the business development team, product marketing, and engineering.
What I Learned
- Show early and often
Going into my internship, especially a remote one, I was intimidated to share my work with my peers – both with folks on my design team and with cross-functional partners. Perhaps it was a case of classic imposter syndrome, or the fact that I initially felt disconnected from my team given the virtual environment. However, I told myself that if the experience made me uncomfortable, I should probably do it. I ended up presenting my work at multiple team critiques, including an All-Hands critique and to the Design Leadership Team. Mustering up the courage to share my work opened my up to a whole new world of feedback that I now understand is essential to growing as a designer.
- Break the design system
As a new designer, it can be intimidating to work within a very established design system like the Lyft Product Language. Sure, it's nice to have standards – but when considering a new component that requires a layout not currently used, you really have to learn when it's worth it to break the design system and when it's not. I was initially very hesitant to deviate from the design system in any way, but I slowly learned how to design innovative experiences while still maintaining an orderly system.
- My strengths as a designer
At the end of internship, I received detailed feedback about my strengths as a designer – something I had never received before. I learned that I excel at driving projects, working collaboratively with cross-functional partners, and embedding product-thinking into everything I design. I also learned that my biggest area for growth is visual design, and was able to meet with many of Lyft's high-craft designers to review my work and get feedback.