Avery Antal

Hometown: Canton, MI
Major and class standing: Experience Architecture, Junior
LinkedIn: Avery Antal
Where you interned at: Viget, Falls Church, VA

What was your internship title and role/responsibilities?
As the UX Strategist Intern at Viget, my main responsibility was to develop the Information Architecture for our Intern group project. Additionally, I assisted and shadowed real-world UX client projects, completed a curriculum covering topics such as Accessibility and Wireframing, started two professional development personal projects, and executed a solo presentation to all of Viget.

How did you obtain your internship? What resources did you utilize to secure your internship?
I heard about the internships offered at Viget from the MSU XA newsletter. I then contacted an MSU alum who had interned at Viget previously. This alum offered me helpful guidance through the multi-step Viget interview process.

What did your daily routine include?
I worked from 9 am to 5 pm out of the Viget HQ office in Falls Church, Virginia. Here, I started my day by either commuting (30 mins) to work from the university I was staying at, or opening my laptop to work remotely for the day. Approximately half of my day was spent attending meetings for either our intern group project or client meetings. I also met 1:1 with my mentor every day for check-ins, to ask questions, or just to chat. The rest of my day was spent completing practice activities through the curriculum my mentor provided, working on personal projects, making 1:1 meetings with other Viget employees, or collaborating with the other Interns.

Your favorite experience from the internship?
My favorite part of working at Viget was experiencing the company culture. For example, each Friday we had “FLF” (Free Lunch Friday,) where the whole company would come together to have a catered lunch and a member of the Viget team would give a short, fun presentation on a topic of their choosing to share their interests and practice presenting. I had the opportunity to do one of these presentations myself. This pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it was very rewarding to see everyone’s interest and support in my presentation and practice my presentation skills.

What was your least favorite part of the internship?
Overall my internship experience at Viget was extremely positive, valuable, and grew my UX skills immensely. With that said, for students considering this opportunity, it is important to note that Viget does not accommodate housing expenses for their interns.

What skills did you learn and/or build upon during your internship?
From these experiences, I walked out of Viget with greater confidence in both my UX skills and myself. I got to deep-dive into topics like Information Architecture, Accessibility, Wireframing, and more. Working with a multi-disciplinary group of interns to develop an MVP mobile app in just nine weeks also taught me a lot about effective team collaboration and how to navigate a time budget. In addition to industry skills, I formed authentic connections and gained an appreciation for the impact of good company culture.

What did you learn about the industry or your career path as a result of the internship? What are our future plans?
At Viget, I had access to several people with different specialties, including Visual Designers, Back-end developers, and UX Researchers to name a few. In this multi-disciplinary environment, I developed a more holistic understanding of the digital building process. This made it more clear that I want to pursue UX Design or Product Design positions in the future.

What advice do you have for other students seeking internship opportunities?
Viget showed me the power of exercising my curiosity and asking questions to facilitate learning and growth. So, for other students seeking similar experiences, my best advice would be to maintain an optimistic growth mindset.