UX intern in Silicon Valley – Summer in the Labs
Meet Jennifer, an intern working at Ericsson Research in Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the world.
Students from many different fields join Ericsson Research for internships or thesis work. You could be next. Follow our blog to learn about the students at Ericsson Research this summer.
Information and communication technology for social development
Jennifer has spent the last year studying in University of Colorado’s ATLAS Institute. ATLAS stands for Alliance for Technology, Learning, and Society and is part of CU’s college of Engineering and Applied Science. It is a place where those who are interested in interdisciplinary work surrounding technology, the arts, and people come to create, design, learn, and explore. Jennifer is focusing on information and communication technology for development (ICTD). During this program students learn how to leverage technology to address human need. The program focuses on technology deployment within humanitarian sectors and with marginalized and disadvantaged communities. Students take technology, global development, policy, and fieldwork courses during this two year program.
Name: Jennifer Lee
Unit: Advanced technology lab
Education: Information & communication
technology for development (ICTD) at
University of Colorado Boulder
Location: Silicon Valley
Developing technology by understanding people
Here at Ericsson, Jennifer is helping develop an internal protocol for user experience studies within Ericsson Research Silicon Valley. The goal is to have a process in place so that researchers can more easily learn about the users of their technologies and apply that understanding to their development practices. Her specific project is looking at how people engage in, manipulate and experience video media. She is collecting data through a semi-structured interview process with low, medium, and high video users. With a clearer understanding of how people integrate video in their lives, Ericsson Research can develop a technology which will help people experience video content in more personalized and seamless ways.
“It’s been an exciting process,” Jennifer says, “to apply what I’ve been learning in the classroom to a global company setting. It’s been enlightening to see how we go about creating a pathway to conduct this research internally. I’m gaining a better understanding of the interplaying complexities of the many stakeholders within a large company.”
Along with having guidance from her university instructors, Jennifer is also enjoying the support and advice she’s receiving from the Ericsson researchers and local UX groups in the Bay Area.
“People have been really amazing here! I feel like I have a strong support network to help me further develop my skills in user research, whether that is with the fellow researchers at Ericsson, the local UX communities and researchers in the area, or my instructor back at the university.”
Opportunities at Ericsson
Jennifer has not only been learning about user research, its place within a global company, and practicing methods, but has also noted Ericsson’s other learning opportunities. She is participating in the Toastmasters program. This program is focused on improving public speaking, communication, and leadership skills. She is also working on Ericsson’s intern showcase project. The intern showcase project is a cross-functional project and competition hosted by University Relations in North America. It lets interns explore different areas of Ericsson business and work with other interns in multiple locations. This summer’s project is about applying information and communication technologies (ICTs) to tackle one of the 17 UN sustainable development goals.
“I was excited to hear about the internship showcase project since the topic is directly applicable to my master’s program. Not only is it something I am personally interested in but I am also gaining communication and coordination skills from working with other interns located all around North America.”
Overall, Jennifer says she is enjoying her internship here at Ericsson Silicon Valley, and is happy to see so many opportunities to learn and participate.
Facts about Silicon Valley
- Known as the capital of tech.
- In 2015 there were patent applications for 655 different products.
- The area was first dubbed ‘Silicon Valley’ in 1971 by American journalist, Donald C. Hoefler.
- The name “Silicon Valley” is derived from the large amount of silicon semiconductor manufacturing companies located in the region.