Being a service design intern at tree
About a year ago, I’ve decided to take a break from my full-time job as an interaction designer in Tel-Aviv, and go study abroad. My husband and I packed 2 huge suitcases and moved to Italy, where I started the specializing master program in service design, in Politecnico di Milano. As part of the program, I’ve joined Tree srl for 4 months as a service design intern.
On my first day at tree, I was surprised to discover how friendly everyone is.
I met all the Milan office employees over a nice lunch and then had a video call with the people who work in Rome and Catania offices, so I got to know everyone on day 1. It was also great to discover that since the company is relatively small, there is no distance between the top management and the other employees, so there is no problem just chatting directly with the CEO.
I joined the R&D team, which is a new department led by Paolo Lombardi. Its focus is on developing new workshops and creating tools for innovation training.
Things I’ve worked on
My first task was working on tree’s design thinking workshop. We wanted to create a tailor-made version of the workshop for each company, by customizing the exercises and examples. I had the opportunity to join the team’s ride to Brescia, where we facilitated the highly interactive workshop to Beretta employees. It was a great chance to observe and think of more ways to improve the workshop.
My other project was building a new tool, called “the pitch box”. The idea was to create a physical product to be used in training sessions, in order to help startups improve their investors’ pitch. The working process started with interviewing a few startup CEOs in order to understand their needs. Then we’ve created rapid prototypes of the box components, as we kept iterating and improving the tool.
During my internship, I had a lot of freedom in managing my time and tasks. I was autonomous and met with Paolo only once in a few days when we needed to sync or brainstorm. This approach worked great for me, but I believe that some people would prefer to have some more structured mentoring and guidance during daily work.
At tree, I also learned the term “smart working”, which basically means that the employees are allowed to work from home every once in a while. I think it’s a healthy approach that respects the employees’ needs and gives them the credit for knowing how to manage their time correctly.
To summarise, this was a great internship! tree is a welcoming, warm company to work in. I met friendly and professional people and was given responsibilities that fit my interests and skills. And finally, I’ve learned a lot from Paolo who has introduced me to the business side of services and products. It was an M.BA crash course 🙂
Hope we’ll meet again, a presto!