Internship at Spark: Lots of freedom, gaining experience in different areas and learning from each other!
Looking for up-and-coming design talent we found 3 enthusiastic trainees, who started at Spark in September. Meet Jens, Lars and Meike!
Jens (21 years old) studies IPO at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool Rotterdam) and loves photography. After finishing his mbo he was looking for more depth.
Lars (24 years old) is doing Master Integrated Product Design (IPD) at TU Delft. Wanted to do an internship at Spark because of his robotics minor and longboards a lot.
Meike (23 years old) is following the specialization Medisign within the Master IPD at TU Delft. Is interested in the healthcare side, wants to make a real impact on someone's life, and likes to climb.
How do you end up at Spark?
What convinced Jens, Lars and Meike to do an internship at Spark? They agree on this pretty quickly, it's a series of moments where they came into contact with Spark.
Lars: “In the second year we received a guest lecture from someone from Spark. Then I ran into them at an IDE company day, and I heard positive stories from a former intern I know.”
Jens: “I also spoke to previous trainees. And in my second year I visited Spark to orientate on this third-year internship. Some teachers have also worked here.”
Meike: “I had the same experience of different Spark moments. If you then come across Spark in the list of internship companies, you are quickly triggered.”
And why did you ultimately choose Spark?
Lars: “I wanted to learn what design means within a design agency and how to manage stakeholders. Spark seemed cool to me because of the content of many of our projects.”
Jens: “I too would like to learn from Spark's approach to various projects. Because of the diversity of products you always come across something new and I thought it would be cool to dive into a new world every time. I would like to discover that. In addition, the open atmosphere and the environment really appealed to me.”
Meike: "For me it was really decisive that Spark makes quality products that are more complex"
How do you like it so far?
Meike: “I like that I get the freedom to tackle things. I wasn't sure what to expect for my internship. We are not micromanaged, but given broad commands such as “Go investigate this”. With the user research, the goal was not very concrete. Me and Jens were free to give direction.”
Jens: “And we learned a lot more from that. You have to do it yourself.”
Lars: “It's great that we're given a lot of responsibility. You are thrown in at the deep end from moment one. There are of course expectations, but above all it is very cool.”
What do you hope to learn?
Meike: “Finding out what I like about designing. I have a wide range of interests, but sometimes it's nice to focus. That is why I want to experience with as many different moments in the process as possible. Gaining experience as a designer and learning from experienced designers at Spark. So far I am struck by the efficiency in which people work here. At uni, 4 people would sketch something and then look at it together. Here 1 person is going to do it, and the rest has confidence in the professionalism of that person.”
Jens: “By seeing and participating a lot, I hope to become more confident in designing and to get more structure in the process. I also want to grow in my creativity; sometimes I have trouble going broad with generating ideas. I hope to learn something by seeing Spark's approach.”
Lars: “Experience in how design works. I have supervised a number of student projects, and students can be a little naive about that. And with Spark you snuck that out. Within the university, an extremely innovative concept that works 80% of the time is acceptable. Here everything has to work 99.9% of the time and that way you soon get rid of the naivety. You not only learn a lot about detailed design, but also about yourself.
I also see how I can work purposefully. At university you sometimes fall back into ticking boxes to do a good project. At Spark, people reach a goal and follow the steps to follow. That is different from ticking boxes. What am I doing, and am I achieving what I want to achieve? I learn a lot from this continuous goal-oriented approach.”
Who do you want to be after graduation?
Lars: “I always wanted to be an inventor, and I still want to. As a child I would take apart broken things and see what was inside. I think it's super cool to be able to continue doing that and then make something beautiful out of it. Or I want to become a design teacher, to pass on all the knowledge I have gained.”
Meike: “Industrial designer at a design agency. But I'm not quite sure yet. I want to do something completely different during my graduation phase, such as the research side, or a collaboration with a hospital.”
Jens: “In a few years I think I will still be a designer. I hope to work on projects that I like and that make me happy. I don't know exactly what this will be. I would like it if the products could mean something to people. I especially want to be busy by making things, with colleagues and friends.”
Do you have anything else to add?
Jens: “It is very nice that the three of us are together, that way we also learn from each other. Lars and Meike, for example, have more technical knowledge and insight. Because they learned things in a different way.”
Lars: “And we also learn from Jens. If Jens is given a task, he can think it out and put it together in a very practical way. He has a lot of practical insight, which is nice to have in a team, especially in a workshop-oriented company like Spark.”
Innovating with Spark means working together
Spark and the municipality of Rotterdam are working on new throw-in pillars for underground waste containers.
Meet Marlies: our new industrial designer
“I like to make things visual as quickly as possible”