Four things that I learnt from my internship experience at Deliveroo
It’s been a whirlwind 6 months, between finishing my Psychology degree at Exeter and landing my first full time job as a Junior User Researcher for Deliveroo. It feels like only 5 minutes since I put on my robes and crossed the stage to shake hands with a man who I had never met before. A fun yet surreal day spent trying to suppress the overwhelming feeling of ‘What next?’. I can happily say I am now finding my feet with Deliveroo and now the daily ‘What next?’ is something to embrace.
I wouldn’t be in this position without my internships at Deliveroo. I was lucky enough to do one in marketing and one in user research, and I didn’t make a single tea or coffee in that time. I am here to tell you why I think internships are so valuable for those of you starting off in the wonderful world of work, or even for those of you looking for a brand new direction.
Here are 4 things that I learned along the way:
- Internships are the perfect opportunity to try something
I knew I wanted to go into User Research, (you can learn more about that here), but when I finished university, graduate opportunities were few and far between. I realised that if I got some sort of experience in technology, I could gain a foundational knowledge of business and tech, both of which are incredibly relevant to a User Researcher.
My internship in marketing gave me a first hand understanding of a core part of our business: our restaurant partners. I spent my days out in the field delivering marketing initiatives to hundreds of restaurants. But it was hard for me to focus only on the task I’d been given. I couldn’t help but empathise with the restaurant owners I met, and wanted to learn more about their needs and challenges. This gave me a feel for what it would be like to be a researcher, and I knew it suited me.
What I’m trying to say is that you can figure out what interests you by putting yourself out there. Take any opportunity you can get (even if it’s not perfectly aligned with your end goal), and through that you will learn what you’re passionate about. See it as a chance to build knowledge and develop skills in a new area, and no doubt these will put you in a great place for the next step on your journey!
- The power of reaching out to people
On day one at Deliveroo HQ I was taken aback by the open and collaborative nature of the office. Energy levels are always high, and I now realise that this is a product of everybody’s drive to do great things. As interns, we were reminded that we should take any opportunity we can get to talk to people, as people aren’t just willing to help, they really really want to. I can testify to this.
During my marketing internship, I decided to reach out to Charlotte, the User Research Lead, to learn a bit more about user research and how to get involved. After a lovely and helpful 45 minute phone call, not only did I have insight into life as a researcher, but she had offered me a month shadowing the team in the London office.
Reaching out has turned into a theme — and it continues to be the best way to learn. I must have done around 20 one-to-one meetings during my user research internship. It was a little overwhelming at first, but I was building this comprehensive understanding of all the moving parts of the business. It’s critical to my role here as researchers are embedded in tech teams with product and content designers, engineers and data scientists.
- Deliveroo is more than just a food delivery app
During my student days I used Deliveroo a lot, and I thought I understood the business. It’s an app people use to order food from their favourite restaurant, which a rider will deliver, relatively simple. I couldn’t understand how over 800 people work in our London office alone.
In reality Deliveroo is a complex three-sided marketplace. We need to build products for riders, restaurants and consumers. That’s already three different user groups, with many different kinds of people in each. What this means is that the scope of the projects is enormous. We like to get things done quickly here, so the nature of our work is always changing. One minute I was observing customer usability in Manchester, the next I was running my first research project with riders in London.
- Every day is different
There is no ‘sit down at your desk all day’ mentality at Deliveroo. When in the office you’ll be bouncing from workshops to one-to-one meetings to ideation sessions. As a researcher, you’re often in the field conducting research yourself, and there is always the chance to sign up to observe research from different teams. The type of research you do also varies, and this can happen anywhere in the UK or even in our international markets. The first few days of my internship were spent usability testing in Berlin, which I think is pretty cool.
To wrap up, I had a lot of fun as an intern at Deliveroo. It made the transition from student life to adult life seamless, and I learnt many things I use every day as a researcher. Deliveroo creates an ideal work culture that allows both innovation and collaboration, and I look forward to seeing how we continue to grow. If you would like to join the team, we are currently looking for interns in both product design, and content design. Keep an eye out for more user research internships later this year!
I am happy to answer any questions over email, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.