I discovered my passion for connecting people to meaningful work through a serendipitous project four years ago. After being told I was too young when I didn’t get a summer internship, I discovered a global online problem-solving platform called OpenIDEO. The platform was hosting a challenge about reducing youth unemployment, and I contributed an idea about bringing professionals into high school classrooms to host real-world challenges.
Materials and guides from my Preflight Challenges project.
Dozens of community members offered feedback, and I continued to build and iterate on the idea using IDEO’s design thinking method. At the end of the challenge, my idea “Preflight Challenges” was named one of the challenge winners and I was offered the opportunity to go to the Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York. Learning from global business leaders and meeting social-impact-minded professionals inspired my interests in business, design and social entrepreneurship. Afterwards, I piloted a test challenge at my high school, and spoke to groups of students and local conferences.
3 Books that have led me to new questions about the future of meaningful work.
Ever since that conference, I’ve also been fascinated by the future of work. Books such as The Inevitable, The Purpose Economy, A More Beautiful Question and Deep Work have led me questions about how AI, globalization, creativity and economic forces will impact the ways that people find meaningful work moving forward.
In college at Santa Clara University, I’ve discovered my love for User Experience Design and Product Management, two roles that combine my interests in strategy, design and understanding human behavior. In my first few years, I have found opportunities to build video editing, curriculum writing, visual design, interviewing, marketing and podcast editing skills through jobs with Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Equinix and starting my own podcast (more on these projects later). Interviewing and working with dozens of entrepreneurs, professors and professionals has showed me the collective hope, curiosity and nervousness that people share about the future of work.
UX Design combines my interests in business, visual storytelling and understanding how people act.
A few of my side projects. From left: layout design and graphics for Berkeley center's report, marketing materials for a startup coworking space, and a strategic plan for a local environmental consultancy.
Now in my semester abroad in Bologna, Italy, I have met migrants, college students and families who have showed me just how unique my opportunities have been. With youth unemployment over 30% in Italy and thousands of immigrants unable to find jobs, the need to connect people to work is a global problem that I think LinkedIn is uniquely qualified to tackle.
I believe that a UX Design Internship with LinkedIn would be the perfect opportunity for me to learn from some of the best in the world about how to expand economic opportunity through design, and for me to contribute my own questions to the team. Below, I’ll share a few of my ideas for improving the LinkedIn experience for students. Thanks for reading!
Discovering the power of the alumni tool to find connections from Santa Clara at companies I admired was a major revelation for me, and one that more students should know about. Bringing the alumni tool to the profile page, menu (perhaps under “Me”) and/or the newsfeed could promote this handy tool. (Though I love projects such as this video series I participated in with LinkedIn employee Rob Humphry as a way to educate students).
During my own internship searches, I have always been disappointed by both the number of openings and difficulty of finding them. Many informal internships are not posted and only available through networking, but publicizing posted internships and allowing filtering based on time period (i.e. during the school year part-time, summer full-time) would help students find more relevant opportunities.
Jobs are changing so quickly that students are often unaware of how their skills will match up with the needs of companies. For example, while my peers in business are aware of accounting or marketing jobs, many have never heard of product management, quality assurance or database administration, three booming career fields in tech. LinkedIn has data on the workforce trends, and this data can be to make recommendations for jobs beyond just what the student searches.
Rather than only showing posts by friends, why not show students opportunities to take courses or watch videos to discover new career fields or build skills?