Having been at IDEO for almost a month now, I’ve learned a lot of things about a lot of people. By now I feel like I’ve gotten IDEOers more or less figured out in my mind: a bunch of Designers and Techies who like to nerd out on systems maps, font pairings, and user research among other things. So it was by complete surprise that one afternoon I came across an entire group of IDEOers standing in front of one of the office monitors tensely watching, wait….no way….could it really be??….a SPORTS GAME!!!
That’s right. The World Cup. Even designers are sports fans and are prone to getting all riled up when X Team wins or Y Team misses a goal. I’ll admit, I was slightly fascinated myself (I’ve never really watched soccer) and would, from time to time, insert myself into the ogling crowd and ask the person standing next to me just what the heck was happening on the screen. Now I know why goalies have different uniforms from the rest of the team and wear gloves!
Yes, You Can Bring Your D🐶g to Work
The number of dogs I’ve seen walking around the IDEO office is nothing short of amazing. Big dogs, little dogs, sleek dogs, fluffy dogs—especially fluffy dogs. They’re all around and they’re completely normal and welcome. They lay quietly under desks while their owners are working and every hour or two both owner and dog take a break for a walk outside. It’s times like this when I wish I had a dog…or perhaps it’s times like this when I wish I was a dog.
You’re Never Too Good to Volunteer
While not specifically related to IDEO, I was given the opportunity to work as a volunteer photographer for an industry event halfway through the week. Under normal circumstances I hate doing event photography and avoid it at all costs, unless I’m being paid for my time. So, naturally, I was tempted to make up an excuse to not go, but I knew that would be a cop-out move and since the event was after business hours and it’s the summer, I really didn’t have anything to lose. So I did it. And it wasn’t bad.
While I wasn’t technically earning any money for the photos I took, I did get free admission to the event and got a personal introduction to the speaker before everyone else arrived—neither of which would have happened if I hadn’t volunteered. It was also really nice to feel like I did something that was going to be so valued and appreciated by the team behind the event, even if I thought of it as this rather mundane and uninteresting task. So if you, like me, have a great internship and are doing cool work and getting paid for it, it’s important to remember that you’ll never be too good or too high to volunteer and make a difference in the work and lives of other people.
Also, sometimes there’s free wine—but you didn’t hear that from me 🙊