Internship at Harborn
Due to corona, Jorn Meessen’s internship at Harborn was very different to what he was expecting. However, despite working from home, he learnt a lot in those five months as a UX Designer. He now knows exactly what he wants to specialise in. At the end of January, Jorn said goodbye to the User Experience Team, with a wealth of extra knowledge and experience.
What study are you doing?
"I’m following Communication Multimedia Design at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and I’m in my third year."
How did you get your internship at Harborn?
"I sent a message to all my contacts on LinkedIn, that I was looking for an internship. My eventual supervisor responded to my message: that they still had an internship available. I applied the same day, and within a week I was hired and could start. Harborn really appealed to me. To be honest, they were already on my wish list.”
What kind of work did you do in those five months?
"The UX team is responsible for designing user-friendly websites and mobile apps. The atmosphere, the colours, what should go where...
It was very instructive. I had the opportunity to work on several projects. Mainly internal tasks for Harborn, where I was given time for personal development. An example of this was a bot to process incoming emails, where I was allowed to create a boarding flow. These are the steps to guide the user through the process as quickly and easily as possible. I also participated in testing it. They are now taking the recommendations they came up with further. Very cool, because my work is really being put to use!”
Did you discover what you like doing best during the internship?
"Yes, of all the different things that fall under UX, I find the visual aspect the most interesting. Designing and experimenting with what looks and works best. Whether that's for websites or apps, it doesn't matter to me."
Did the lockdown bother you much? Were you able to go to “the office”?
"Unfortunately, because of corona, I couldn't work that much in the office. When I first started in September, I was still allowed to go there a few times a week. After that the measures became stricter and for the last three months I worked at home all week. Fortunately, the cloud-based design tool, Figma, provided a solution. It made it easy for us to collaborate on projects remotely."
Was that doable?
"It was a pity that I was no longer allowed to go to the office. You do miss the human contact. Although Slack, which is used for internal communication, works very well. And everyone responds within a few minutes. Fortunately, corona had no major consequences for my work placement. I was also very well supported.
Harborn is simply a very social company. Everyone knows each other, there is a lot of contact, and they really know what they are doing. I felt very much at home. You work in a small team and are involved in everything. Even as an intern!”
What is the most important thing you learned during your internship at
Harborn? "To look further and think, also by asking questions in advance. In the beginning I tended to start quickly and then make adjustments based on feedback. If you provide more and better input, you can immediately start working on a better product. Then many of the later adjustments are unnecessary. Fortunately, I was given a lot of freedom. That helped me to develop myself further."
How are you going to proceed?
"I'm currently doing my minor, Visual Interface Design at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, to specialise further in the visual aspect. Because I discovered during my internship that I really find that the most interesting. After the summer, the final year of the study begins. I don't know yet what I'll do after that: work as a UX or Interaction Designer, do a master's, or travel for six months to see a bit of the world. But whether that’s possible because of corona is the question. I'll just have to finish my studies first..."
“I was given lot of freedom and was involved in everything - Jorn Meessen, Trainee UX Design”