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Interning at Dovetailed

In 2018, Hai Dao did a summer internship with us. Here she tells us about her experiences at Dovetailed.


On May 1st, 2018, I started at Dovetailed as a UX intern. Four months later, I can definitively say moving 3000 miles away from home was a great decision!


Why I chose Dovetailed

I find UX an interesting field because of its fusion of design and research. Therefore, when looking for work experience, I wanted to find somewhere that was passionate about UX in its entirety. When looking through their website, their expertise in both research and design as well as the diversity of the projects they had done drew me to the company. After an interview with Vaiva, the founder and CEO, I was thrilled to move to Cambridge to work in UX at a innovative startup.


What I Did

Dovetailed is a tight-knit startup where it was easy for me to get involved in the different projects they had. From user interviews to design critiques, my skills in UX developed through the work I did everyday. At Dovetailed, we often say that there is no typical day. The different

experiences I had - attending conferences, presenting my own designs to clients and writing project reports - all contributed to a wonderful internship where I was never bored. The team at Dovetailed was friendly and was always willing to help if I had questions. Whether working on a client project or punting down rural Grantchester, it was a pleasure to come in to the office.



A sample of projects I worked on included an exploratory study where we visited participants on site, designing the UI for a mobile app, and the design of an fun AI tool. The variety of projects I got to engage in challenged my design skills in different problem spaces and made everyday interesting. Learning about cutting-edge tech like AI and IoT through a UX perspective was definitely my favourite thing about working at Dovetailed. Design can impact the world, whether it’s refining the process for water sanitation in the Global South or predicting what the future of work will be. Through Dovetailed, I was able to meet academic researchers, software engineers and startup founders who were all happy to share their perspectives on why design matters. Coming back into the studio, sharing what I had learned, and applying it to projects was always a very rewarding experience.

I

’ve talked a lot about Dovetailed as a workplace, but Dovetailed is also proud to be a social space. We are close-knit and events like summer BBQs, wine and cheese nights, and meetings on the terrace helped me to feel like a part of the team as soon as I arrived. Everyone was also very happy to introduce me to the English tradition of tea and biscuits! Being introduced to English culture and getting to share what Canadian culture was like was really fun. Dovetailed is also home to three very sweet dogs. Taking breaks from my screen and having cuddle breaks with the dogs was one of my favourite parts of the day. The homey atmosphere and friendly people are what made my time at Dovetailed so memorable.


As well as concrete design and research skills, I learned how to manage a busy consultancy workload while developing as a junior UXer. I still have more to learn but my time at Dovetailed has laid a foundation of research and design that I’m eager to build on. The warm people and unique perspective are something that you can’t find anywhere else. I’m so thankful for the experience and I’d recommend anyone who interested in work experience to get in touch!


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