Interning with hiCOlab

Copy of fry_k_designsprint_10.jpg

As a design intern with hiCOlab, I had the opportunity to directly contribute to a real project and apply skills I learned in my design Master’s program such as ethnographic research, synthesis, ideation, prototyping, and testing. The team had done a lot of pre-work to create scoped projects for our 10 week internship, so we were able to jump right in when we arrived. Being able to lead a project allowed me to hone my design skills, teach design to non-designers, practice public speaking and present to critical stakeholders. Abby and Jeremy were incredible mentors who gave us the space to work independently and lead our own project, while gently guiding us when needed. I really value this experience as it helped me grow as a designer and confirm my decision to pursue a career as a service designer in healthcare.

Aubrey Kraft

Service Designer at Kaiser Permanente Design Consultancy


The summer after my first year of medical school, I was accepted for hiCOlab’s inaugural summer internship. I had worked in healthcare management before, but never within design or innovation. I was excited to learn about the field and spend a summer at the UVM Medical Center, where Abby and Jeremy had created an Innovation Lab where brilliant, creative, and purpose-driven individuals came together to advance healthcare, an area of passion for all of them.

The beginning of the internship was a boot camp on human-centered design, during which I learned to move from “no, but” to “yes, and,” as well as how to facilitate interviews and record feedback. My specific project focused on delivery of information to patients during healthcare experiences. We discovered, synthesized, designed, and tested using patients and their needs as our guiding light, incorporating design principles and user experience research along the way. As a physician-in-training, it was a challenge to work in this new way, but hugely beneficial to gain an entirely new set of tools to identify, dive into, and try to solve problems in healthcare.

At the end of our project—and an amazing summer filled with new friends and colleagues, constant mentorship, and inspiring work spaces, plus sunsets over Lake Champlain, breath-taking drives, incredible food, and lots of hiking—we delivered a presentation to senior hospital leadership on our research, findings, and proposals. It was rewarding to work on the patient experience and exciting to do it through the lenses of design and innovation. I’m grateful to hiCOlab for the opportunity and for all that I learned.

I cannot recommend this summer program enough, especially to those who have little background but a lot of desire to learn more about design and innovation in healthcare.

Philip Maynard

New York Medical College

SOM Class of 2019

hiCOlab summer intern 2016