Meet Eidvilė and Agnė – our newest Product Designers – who joined Vinted after graduating from Vinted Academy, our internship programme. During our talk, the alumni get into the details of their internships, the opportunities they provided, the lessons they learned, and tips for future interns.
Hi! Can you introduce yourself and tell us what your roles at Vinted are?
Eidvilė: Hi, I’m Eidvilė, and after my internship, I joined Vinted as a Product Designer in the Monetisation domain.
Agnė: Hi, I am Agnė. I joined the Design System team at Vinted as a Product Designer as well.
So, Agnė, tell us a bit about your professional background and what led you to apply for an internship at Vinted.
Sure! My background is in architecture, where I worked for eight years. My work consisted of creating functional, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing designs, which I enjoyed. But then I found out that designing products is very similar. It’s also about creating a structure that should be useful, usable and visually appealing – but in the digital world.
Eidvilė, what about you?
My road to product design also wasn’t straightforward. After several years across different roles in tech marketing, communications, and visual design, I switched my career to product design. During this time, I got to know myself and figure out where my professional curiosity lies. Product design seemed to combine it all – technology, visual aesthetics, and human-centric problem-solving. I love the multidisciplinary aspect of this field, where I can put my curious explorer nature to use.
Splendid! Let’s move on to the Vinted Academy itself. What are the most important things you’ve learned during this internship?
A: I think I learned many valuable skills. One of them was time management. Because we had to narrow down the scope and deliver designs that developers could implement in quite a short time – we had to plan and prioritise the main features without getting lost in ideas.
Another valuable skill was collaboration. It may seem simple, but in truth, it can be hard to stay open-minded and listen to different ideas and solutions all the time without getting defensive. Receiving feedback from a diverse audience was a great thing! Not to mention the design critique sessions, where we could listen to other designers' feedback and share our thoughts as well.
E: I share many similar thoughts to what Agnė mentioned. What I would add is that, most importantly, I learned how to better frame problems and have a clear approach to what I am trying to tackle with the designs.
Receiving and giving feedback was also a crucial piece of learning. Gathering relevant information and feedback is essential in this role, and I am happy to have had space to develop the skill to do this better.
Eidvilė, has the mentorship you received during the internship boosted your career?
It definitely did. During the Academy, mentorship was at the core of our learning. We had personal mentors who helped us address general professional growth questions. Also, we received more project-specific mentorship in the form of design critiques and such. I learned a great deal from the questions they raised to challenge us. They helped to create a solid base for our decision-making.
I also got a more realistic view of what a product designer's role means. Each of the mentors had a unique way of approaching the same problem. I found this inspiring, and it helps me when I'm looking for a way to tackle the challenges I face.
Agnė, what's your outlook about the mentorship you received?
I found mentorship at Vinted a valuable experience, especially at the beginning of my career. Eidvilė and I were challenged to think, find the most suitable answers and make independent decisions with the given tools, guidance, and honest feedback. That helped us to move forward and be able to navigate almost independently.
In addition, I had 1:1 meetings with my mentor to talk about future growth possibilities, how I was feeling, what challenges I was facing, etc. Sometimes that helped as mental support as well.
How were you feeling before the application? Did you have any hesitation? What finally made you apply and go for the opportunity?
E: At the time, I was already well invested in switching my career to product design. It was yet another lockdown, and I’d spent my after-work hours doing upskill UX/UI courses.
So when my sister shared a post about Vinted looking for interns, I was sure that it was the opportunity and place I’d been waiting for, so there wasn’t much hesitation, to be honest.
A: Back then, I was actively looking for a start-up or company I could join to gain real on-the-job experience. So I did not hesitate and applied immediately. I had heard many good things about Vinted’s culture from a few people who work there and was thrilled to see the UX track added to the Academy that year. After a while, I received an email about proceeding with the selection process and was very excited!
How would you describe the people who work at Vinted? What should anyone applying for an internship have in mind?
E: Well, every person applying should have in mind that they will have a chance to work with many talented people. Vinted is a positive work environment where everyone seems to share the mindset that in order to reach the best result collectively, one has to be open to diverse perspectives. Generally, I feel lucky to have joined colleagues who have a sense of purpose and are excited about what they do.
A: The atmosphere is quite relaxed at Vinted. People are encouraged to express themselves, be proactive, and share their opinion. I find people here very professional and would describe them as friendly, supportive, and collaborative colleagues who enjoy what they do.
What are you currently working on within your team, and how much time at work do you spend learning new things?
A: I work in the Design System team. We are responsible for maintaining a unified visual language at Vinted. Our task is to help designers and developers collaborate more efficiently and optimise their work by creating UI and UX elements they can use as a kind of LEGO blocks in their designs – made to build anything.
A collaborative atmosphere helps immensly and prevents you from getting lost in too many technical details. I learn all the time with every task I do. It’s fun and exciting because there are always supportive colleagues who are glad to help and share their experiences or resources. Besides, at Vinted, every designer has a learning budget for books, courses, and conferences which helps you gain knowledge as well.
E: During the first couple of months in my new position, I learned new things every day, including processes, tools, and the best ways to collaborate with the team across different roles. Once everything settled down, I started using another great Vinted perk for employees – the learning budget. Currently, I am attending a Behavioural Design course at Hyper Island. I’m happy that Vinted provides me with so many ways to grow.
And last but not least, a question for both of you: are there any unsung heroes that help you in your work (perhaps people from other teams)?
A: Vinted people are so collaborative, willing to share their knowledge, give feedback, and be friendly, supportive, and positive. I would say that everyone is an unsung hero at Vinted.
E: Thanks to all the unsung heroes, Vinted is working smoothly across several different countries and offices. We have the best work conditions and equipment and do not have to worry about anything. What's left for the rest of us is to focus on how we can do our best work.
Would you like to join Vinted for an internship? We're now accepting applications for spots at our offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, Utrecht and Vilnius – you’ll find a list of open positions below. Choose your favourite and apply before 27 May 2022.