Organizational Design Summer Internship 2022 - Multiple Locations

IDEO, Cambridge, MA; Chicago, IL; San Francisco, CA

A global design company creating positive impact through design

Duration: Internship

This will be a 10-12 week internship between June - August 2022. This internship may be based in any of our three US studios: Cambridge, Chicago, or San Francisco. On your application, you will be asked to select your top location choice(s). Please apply no later than Tuesday, November 30th, 2021, 11:59pm ET, 10:59pm CT, 8:59pm PT. No applications will be accepted after Tuesday, November 30th, 2021, so we encourage you to submit your application well in advance of the deadline. Internships in our non-US studios (London, Munich, Shanghai, and Tokyo) will have a separate job post, application, timeline, and process. Have additional questions? Check out our Candidate FAQ doc.

The Opportunity

IDEO is in search of Organizational Design summer interns who will work as full members of IDEO’s multidisciplinary project teams. Organizational Designers are excited to help clients achieve bold and meaningful change by applying human-centered Org Design in service of solutions that transform organizations and their ways of working. Organizational Designers explore and create organizational and team strategy, the systems and structures to achieve business value, and the cultural conditions that support both employee experience and business value. In a past life, Org Designers may have worked in human capital consulting, organizational development, people operations, talent strategy, or organizational strategy consulting.

As an Organizational Design Intern, you will work on IDEO project teams to deeply understand the client context, collect and interpret relevant data, develop insights, explore and define design opportunities, define strategy, create tangible design expressions, communicate the vision, and ultimately help clients create the change they are after.

Organizational Designers ask questions like:

  • Why does this organization exist? What is its purpose?
  • How is value created and delivered by individuals and teams within an organization?
  • What are the rituals, norms, and ways of working that support an organization’s desired employee experience?
  • What are the structures and operating models, talent programs, and employee communication systems supporting or preventing org effectiveness?

You have an Organizational Design mindset if you have:

  • Wondered how value is created and delivered through an organization
  • Been inspired by or tested out new ways of working in an organization
  • Questioned what an organization’s purpose is and why it matters
  • Considered how to adopt new systems, roles, and norms within organizations

Application Requirements and Instructions

The following materials are required for your application to be considered.

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter (yes, we read them!) explaining why you are interested in both IDEO and Organizational Design, and where you see alignment between your experience and this opportunity. Read on for additional information on Organizational Design at IDEO.
  • Written response to the below application prompt. Please respond directly in the text box.

Application Prompt

  • What’s a company that’s made organizational design choices you are inspired by? Why? [250 words or less]

What do IDEO Designers do?

  • Practice design in a human-centered way, lead with curiosity and empathy, and work on projects that identify and solve problems across a variety of industries
  • Collaborate with multidisciplinary teams of designers from different backgrounds, such as design researchers, interaction designers, data scientists, business designers, organizational designers, software designers, industrial designers, and visual designers
  • Build an understanding of IDEO’s client organizations, and partner with clients to drive change and innovation within their teams and organizations
  • Translate human-centered research insights into actionable experiences for people, crafting the structure and behavior of delightful products and services
  • Grow your design skills by continuous exposure to other projects and people to learn from, in an environment where you can contribute your unique skillset and perspective to a greater community 

What might an IDEO Organizational Design Intern work on over the summer?

  • Designing internal tools or processes that address strategic and organizational issues and foster new ways of working
  • Crafting and enacting a research plan to understand an organization’s working dynamics and surface opportunity areas for change
  • Helping clients create values, incentives, rituals, teams, and spaces that drive an organization’s behavior and culture
  • Helping clients rethink their organizational purpose and values and work with design teams to express and activate it in a compelling way
  • Helping clients build their own creative capabilities and scale innovation efforts or strategic initiatives across the organization
  • Developing experimental approaches for clients to prototype new ways of working in their organizations

Relevant Experience, Skills, & Mindsets

  • A minimum of 3 years of full-time working experience 
  • MBA, MA, or equivalent professional acumen; i.e. broad knowledge or exposure to Organizational Behavior and Research, HR/People Operations, Functional/Talent Strategy, Employee Experience, Job Structuring, Corporate Development and Design, Learning and Development, Executive Leadership and Development, etc
  • Ability to interpret and communicate complex organizational insights, opportunities and solutions to different audiences
  • Ability to creatively problem-solve, i.e. generate multiple alternative, feasible ways to solve a problem, including ones that are non-obvious
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with designers and client teams with diverse backgrounds and perspectives
  • Ability to synthesize, recognize patterns, and make sense of complex inputs in order to navigate between the finer details as well as the bigger picture
  • Comfort working in ambiguous situations with limited direction
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
  • Familiarity with human-centered design is a valuable asset

Note that while this internship is designed to engage 1st year MBA or MA students, a Masters degree is not a requirement for this internship. A minimum of 3 years of full-time working experience, however, is a requirement for this internship.

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. We work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career.

At IDEO, we are committed to the work of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within our organization and in the world.

Our purpose of having disproportionate, world-changing impact through design is directly connected to our ability to bring many different perspectives to the table. This applies to our candidates, the people we hire, the clients and customers we serve, and the communities we learn from in our research.

As a human-centered organization, we are committed to working with and designing for people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief. We recognize that this commitment requires ongoing work and sustained attention, as well as adaptation to new insights and best practices.

Where can I learn more about Organizational Design at IDEO?

In the past, we’ve helped clients address some of the following design challenges.

You can read about our organizational design and other case studies here. You can read a Day in The Life of an IDEO Org Designer here

About IDEO

IDEO has roots dating back to 1978. Today, IDEO is an award-winning global design and innovation consultancy. We create positive impact through design by taking a human-centered approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate, grow, and bring to market new ideas. 

Want to learn more about IDEO? Visit IDEO's website.