RID+I Internships

Bobby Snell sketching a clipper design during his internship at Wahl.

It has been an incredible summer, I was more just a part of the design team than an intern. I was incorporated into most of their major projects, helped with sketching, prototyping, just the full design process.

Bobby Snell
Interned at Wahl

The Richmond Institute of Design provides a practice-based education in design.  

Before graduation, all students complete 300 hours of work experience in conjunction with a Design Internship course uniquely designed for design-based career leadership. The majority of RID+I students land internships with regionally and nationally-known companies before the start of their third year.  This success is attributed to the unique geographic and industry-based reputation RID+I has with surrounding regional and international organizations. 

Students use the internship experience to prototype working in an area of design they find personal interest in. Throughout the years, this has resulted in board-based workplace experiences where students have secured recurring internships with local organizations that are operating locally, nationally and internationally such as Whirlpool, Newell Brands, Stryker, Eckert Wordell, Tower Pinkster, Progressive AE, Abonmarche Byce, Intersect, Fabr-Kai, Landscape Forms, Eaton, Steelcase, Herman Miller, Tekna, Haworth, Driven Design and many more. West Michigan, and especially the Kalamazoo area, offers a regional density of professional design organizations in the localized area of RID+I and WMU. This presents a unique geographic advantage that enhances our students’ exposure to professional networks and career opportunities. 

Internship stories

Fiat Chrysler / Danialle Baumgardner

They were impressed by my portfolio and wanted to schedule an interview with their color and materials team. The interview was conducted by a team of six people on Google Hangout. We began the interview by going through three portfolio pieces, followed by a few questions about how I work with people, and then personality-related questions. I received an email from my FCA contact and she told me they really liked me and that I would hear back in a couple of weeks.
Dreaming in color, how Danialle landed an internship at Fiat Fiat Chrysler Automobile

HASBRO / Madison Dempster

I work on creating new and fun board game ideas that could possibly be actually concepts one day. I also help with board games they are creating but just need extra help on. We sometimes come up with brand new board game ideas or different ways to play the classic games. It's pretty great!
WMU product design student helps envision games of the future as Hasbro intern 

Tekna / Aisha Thaj

I have learned so much during my industrial design internship! I now understand that good design is a mix of plenty of research, scrapped ideas and countless sketches, along with engineering/functionality considerations. From a skills standpoint, my sketching has improved, and I was able to dip my toes into the world of modeling software. But even more importantly, I have a better idea of my career goals with something tangible I can work towards―and that makes my experience at Tekna invaluable. 
Industrial Design Internship - Ellipses and I Have Come a Long Way

Textron Aviation / Aisha Thaj

The internship was a mix of graphic design, product design, VR/AR development, digital art, and interior design. In the interview, she asked me a specific software question, which threw me off, because I actually knew what she was talking about since it was about a process I had used through my job working at the VR development studio on campus. After that win, the rest of the interview felt easy!
From 20 internship applications to one perfect fit with Textron Aviation

Other internships

Fabri-Kal / Kylie Stroub (x2)

IDA Design / Scott Bridges

Wahl Clipper / Robert Snell

Wolf and Shepherd / Madison Dempster