Experience Architecture Major Gains Valuable Internship Experience with the College of Arts & Letters

Owen Widdis, a senior Experience Architecture (XA) major with a minor in Computer Science at Michigan State University, currently is a User Experience (UX) Designer and Research Intern with the College of Arts & Letters Content Studio. He gives some insight into this internship experience in the following Q&A that originally was published by the Excel Network.

A picture of a man with short brown hair smiling.
Owen Widdis

What are your internship responsibilities?

Within the MSU Content Studio, I play a variety of different roles, such as website management, recording site analytics, content and accessibility auditing, quality assurance checks, and much more. My time at the Content Studio has exposed me to incredible people, environments, and learning experiences.

How did you obtain your internship?

Last spring, I took the course, AL 250, which taught me all about career strategies. Toward the end of this class, I decided to reach out to my professor, Maggie Harris, who helped me network and apply for this position.

What does your daily routine include?

During the summer, I work four-hour shifts five days a week, and during the school year, my schedule is built around my classes. One thing I love about this internship is that I am always working on something new each day and I am constantly learning new things. I usually spend my time working on large projects alongside the lead website manager, Ben Tobey. We focus on many different projects at once and it is very cool to see all the different moving parts come together.

What has been your favorite experience from the internship?

I really love seeing UI [user interface] and UX principles in action! It is so cool to see what I am learning in my classes being applied to the work that I am doing. Seeing all the different aspects of the XA major reflect themselves in my job is very exciting.

What has been your least favorite part of the internship?

It has been remote for the majority of the internship. As someone who has worked at jobs in environments around people all the time, this was definitely a big change of pace for me. Although the internship is mainly remote, I am able to go into the Content Studio and work with the team from time to time, which is always a refreshing experience.

What skills have you learned and/or built upon during your internship?

The main thing I have learned is how to work effectively in a team and project management. Our team is constantly juggling multiple projects at once, but we always find a way to stay on top of it all despite the overwhelming workload at times. Alongside these skills, I have learned many valuable UI and UX skills that I will be able to carry throughout my professional career.

What have you learned about your career path as a result of your internship?

I learned that I really enjoy studying and doing UI and UX work and I am eager to see what the future holds for me!

What are your future plans?

As for my future plans, I am still unsure of the exact position I may want to fill, but this internship has taught me that I am in the right field of work.

What advice do you have for others seeking internship opportunities?

Networking is so important! It may seem daunting at first but chatting with your professors and other classmates is so key. You will learn so much from them and they are always willing to help you.