Meet the Interns: Big Spaceships's Belinda Chan

What I found most impactful for me is how they fostered my growth in UX design...

Tell us about your internship, what are your main responsibilities?

I am the UX intern at Big Spaceship, supporting our JetBlue and Corcoran accounts. My main responsibilities are to conduct research to inform design decisions, wireframe initial design concepts for new features, and to support design system-based component work. 

Do you have a dream account or brand you’d like to work with? Which one?

My dream account would be Flatiron Health. I have always been fascinated with biotech and how big data can be used productively for personal decisions and life changes. Biometrics, exercise trackers, wearables, etc. had and are still having a big moment, and being shared with health care providers to improve overall personal health. Naturally, the next step is the application of this information to aid in potential treatment(s) for serious diseases like cancer.

Talk to us about the culture in your office, how has it impacted your internship?

There have been HBS studies conducted about Big Spaceship's culture, which speaks to the caliber of its employees. What I found most impactful for me is how they fostered my growth in UX design and genuinely wanted to hear my input and feedback, where most companies would view their interns as temporary help. The responsibilities given to me were more akin to a junior UX design position than a typical internship. Also, the thought leadership that takes place on the UX discipline and across the agency has also shown me how passionate and invested they are in their work life, their personal growth, and in their clients. 

What have you learned about the advertising industry that surprised you?

How much tech innovation there is in the advertising industry. When I first started in advertising 9 years ago, great work tended to revolve around beautiful graphic design and clever word play. Consumer behavior has changed so much in the past decade and it has been so interesting to see how brands have evolved to meet their needs.

Choose a current popular advertising trend and tell us what’s interesting about it:

The apology ads, like those of Wells Fargo and Facebook. While this trend is more topical to current business news, it is interesting to see how transparent the interaction between brands and their consumer has become. Big companies that previously may not have cared much about a PR hiccup, are now prioritizing trust and placing large budgets behind it. Whether they are successful or not is another thing. 

Imagine your dream job, where are you, what does a day-to-day look like?

My dream job would be either to work on improving a product or introducing a new product. Prior to my career change in UX/UI design, I was in client management and I have not lost that client-facing experience, how to utilize feedback, and how to concentrate on the human behind the experience. I'd love to take my hybrid background and apply it to my day-to-day. 

Are you considering another internship, or looking for jobs now? What are your next steps?

Post-internship, I am looking for a full-time position. I'm eager to take what I've learned during this internship and pursue a product designer role. 

What is your favorite ad of all time?

While not one specific ad, my favorite campaign of all time is Old Spice. I know it's an older campaign and most people can name a more recent "best of" ad, but Old Spice sticks out to me because Wieden + Kennedy completely revamped a 70+ year old brand so successfully that a much younger audience started talking about them and became part of Old Spice's consumer base. The campaign showed me much more than creativity—it is the amount of research, strategy, and work that must have went into the rebranding that stick out to me.