INTERN INSIGHTS: GAINING REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE

My name is Mara Weber. After 4 years of apprenticeship as a graphic designer, I studied at the Zurich University of the Arts. I finished the first two years of the bachelor program in Interaction Design and then decided to take one year off before my thesis. I am using this time to gain some experience in the real world and figure out what a daily work routine really feels like; First at a design agency in Munich and now for the past 4 months at Spark Works in Zurich.

It was important for me to get a sense of what I can do after my studies. Which skills I have already covered and which ones I still have to learn or deepen.

As a designer Spark Works is a really interesting company, because it is not a classic design agency, but Human-Centered Design and general Design Thinking is part of every project. These topics play an existential role in my field of expertise. And I learned what I hoped for:

No project is the same, so you learn to rethink creative processes, improvise and think outside the box. The close collaboration with different people from different fields reveals new perspectives and ways of working. Due to the manageable size of the company, there is a friendly atmosphere in which one can learn and grow.

In the middle of my internship the corona lockdown happened. It became more difficult to access projects of other employees, also the personal contact and exchange was missing. But Spark Works quickly got used to the new situation. I learned new ways of working such as; getting to know each other through online warm-ups, tools for user testing and collaboration platforms to share results.

In this difficult time I have learned that there is always a suitable solution for every problem.

During my time at Spark Works I collaborated on presentations and worked a lot with videos. I made small episodes, cut clips and edited material.

Currently, I support the consultants with the visualisation of a prototype which could be implemented in an application later on. In general, the ability to work independently is one of the most important aspects, as well as solving problems and planning my own projects.

I am looking forward to work on various projects to continuously improve my skills and prepare myself for my professional life after my studies.

Mara Weber
Design Intern
Mara is currently enrolled in the BA Interaction Design program of the Zurich University of the Arts. She completed an apprenticeship as a graphic designer and worked for 2 years at an advertising agency. The main tasks were image editing and layout (design and implementation). At Spark Works she supports our team in the development of our visual communication.