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The Intern Group

User Research | UX Design | 5 weeks

TIG hero image_edited.png

An internal portal that increased employees' time to focus more on work they enjoy.


The Intern Group offers 2,000 international internship programs across 14 destinations. They wanted to improve their communication method and reduce drop-off rates for younger participants by building an applicant tracking system for their Placement Team to execute daily tasks, communicate with stakeholders, and track data points.


User Research Lead | Synthesis | Sketch | Usability Testing | High Fidelity Prototype

I was a consultant for 5 weeks for The Intern Group.


2 UX/UI Designers

1 UX Writer

1 Developer

2 Clients


I wanted to understand the Placement team's objectives, challenges and encounters with their existing internal tools to enhance workflow efficiency and satisfaction, resulting in more placements of participants with excellent internships and ultimately boosting the company's revenue.


User Interviews

To gather information directly from the tool's end-users, I conducted 45-minute interviews with three Placement Leads and two Placement Coordinators from the Placement team.

User interviews


By utilizing a Venn diagram affinity map, I identified the pain points Placement Coordinators have between companies, participants, and colleagues. I then created a persona named Cristina Morales, revealing Placement Coordinators' desire for growth and automation and what they enjoy about the company. The purpose of the user journey was to determine her feelings and thoughts at certain touchpoints.


Multiple communication platforms

Placement Coordinators were struggling to keep up with their workload because they were being inundated with multiple communication methods - emails, WhatsApp messages, Slack, and phone calls. They used their shared inbox of Gmail, but they lose details amongst the coordinators.

Image by Omar Lopez

"Our main source is email, but we have to keep track of unread messages and calendar items. It's the tiny things that we need to keep in mind."

Image by Mathias Huysmans

"Management takes 70% of my time and another 30% just for placement."

Multiple + manual communications = More time

Multiple and manual communications take up much longer than they would want to. For example, scheduling interviews take too long because they are too busy, "chasing interns (participants), chasing companies, and chasing other placement coordinators." They wanted automation for tedious tasks and would rather focus on nurturing their participants.

KPIs do not reflect workload

The Placement team did not find the KPIs tracked on Salesforce reflective of their workload. They manually input these numbers daily but only tracked how many participants I placed. Their tracking did not account for non-participant tasks such as administrative duties and talking to other stakeholders.

Image by Samuel Raita

"Our job is about so much more than the data we track, especially with stakeholder management."



Define & Ideate

To simplify communication and allow for more time spent interacting with placing participants, my team designed an intuitive internal portal that included a chat function as the primary feature. This design aimed to reduce time spent on daily tasks, increase response rates with participants and stakeholders, and ultimately focus more on the placement team's main business goals of placing participants.


Placement Coordinators were struggling to keep up because there were too many communication platforms.

Multiple and manual communication takes up much longer than they want.

KPIs they track on Salesforce used for reporting are not reflective of their workload.


One-stop shop for communicating with multiple stakeholders


Chat function and automating placement tasks

KPIs section on the landing page to show key data for daily tasks and report purposes


User Flow

The flow shows when a placement team coordinator sends a template message to a participant on the chat function. The diamond determines a point where the user has to decide, and the filled box shows major touchpoints of messages.


Beginex Team 3 User flow - Page 3.png


Usability Testing

I conducted usability testing on two placement leads and three placement coordinators in three days, followed by Round 2 testing with developers and clients to assess if they could locate the chat function and follow the described user flow.

Main Feedback

Chat to Message Feature

Users liked the landing page's overview and staying on the same platform, but 40% missed the chat function since they expected emails. From our discussion, Placement coordinators were not comfortable with the idea of an immediate response. However, because of the clients' request to phase out ineffective emails, the team chose a messaging function after a competitive analysis. This allowed the placement team to respond timely and personalized manner without feeling pressured.

Refine and Repeat

Landing page.png
Dashboard Landing page 2nd round.png

Final Changes

Message feature

The message feature is docked on the top right of the landing page and with each intern in the Placement preview to reflect a messaging feature rather than a customer service chat function.

Final changes landing page
Messaging multiple stakeholders

Placement coordinators can easily communicate with multiple stakeholders through the internal portal, which includes a contact list organized by participants, companies, and colleagues. Templates are also available for quick communication, reducing the time spent on back-and-forth emails.

Final changes chat

Documentation is important for the Placement coordinators because there are many employees interacting with one participant. A notes preview is available for easy access to documentation.

Final changes participant profile




A centralized platform (four platforms to one) has saved Placement coordinators and leads 25% of their time by consolidating data and daily tasks into one place, reducing clicks and search time. Automation of certain tasks and the switch to a messaging function have also allowed for more personalized communication and freed up more time for nurturing participants.


Customization vs. Integrations

Balancing out customization and using what is already available helped decide what key feature to focus on. There were some parts of the dashboard that could be customized, but there are also existing applications that were easily available to integrate into the dashboard.

Looking to the future

Creating features that users expect may not always be the best in the future. Incorporating trends and the future outlook is also necessary. The final product took into consideration the potential for the placement team's scaling up, sustainability, and interaction with future participants.

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