Design Associate Program
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes the Design Associate Program unique?
Associates participate in special development experiences in three other areas - feedback & support, business depth and breadth, and inspiration. Specifically, Associates receive feedback and guidance from a great design manager who will serve as an advisor.
Associates gain business depth and breadth by learning about other key functions like Product Management and Engineering, attending talks, and getting exposure to executives. In addition, associates attend training that will enrich technical skills and executive presence. Finally, they stay fresh through a range of inspiring experiences inside and outside of Yahoo - visiting other companies, attending conferences, and getting lots of exposure to great design and designers.
Lastly, Associates get the opportunity to interact not only with their fellow Design Associates but also with the members of the Product Management Associate Programs.
How is this different from an internship?
While internships have an end date and may not necessarily end in a full-time role, all Associates are full-time Yahoo employees from the time they start with the company.
What happens after you finish the program?
After completing their second rotational assignments, Design Associates will complete the program to a rock star senior designer. Depending on business needs, Design Associates may choose to stay on their second-year rotation project or rotate onto a different team.
How are Design Associates assigned to a team?
The first team is assigned based on the strengths and opportunities to grow we discovered through onsite interviews in addition to business needs. For the second year, Design Associates get to pick the top 3 choices from a list of teams with high-priority projects. The rotation will be arranged in consideration of preferences and fit of skills for project needs.
What are you looking for in applicants?
We're looking for passionate people with fresh ideas. People who understand the power of brilliant design to transform user experiences. Candidates should be able to demonstrate a deep understanding of user-centered design principles. Their portfolio should be of exceptional quality, and their design concepts should be complemented by a rock-solid ability to execute their ideas. A balance between design and critical thinking, their talent and dedication should be reflected by rich academic preparation. Being technologically savvy, such as doing front-end HTML5/JS and native app development, is a plus.
We're also looking for proven entrepreneurial skills, as shown by creating products such as personalized websites or a lively presence on social media. In addition, Associates need to work well across teams by using strong communication and project planning skills and thrive in a fast-changing environment by being scrappy, creative, and tenacious.
How big is each class? And when does each class begin? For how long?
The class size for each year ranges between five and ten Design Associates. Each new Design Associate class begins a two-year rotation of two one-year assignments in mid-July.
What type of projects will we get to work on?
The projects assigned to Associates come from different business units across the company. They can range from working on existing Yahoo products to being a part of the design team for an entirely new product. Some of these projects include working with Yahoo properties such as News, Sports, and Finance, in addition to the Ad Tech products. The program is thinking of expanding the opportunities to work with all the products under Yahoo's umbrella. As a result, not all the DAs are on the same team. However, this will depend on the project placement and can vary from year to year.