My name is Ariana Bernstein and I am in my senior year of my 5-year BS/MS Information Systems program minoring in Interactive Digital Media. I’m from the Main Line of Philadelphia, hold a coordinator position in Delta Phi Epsilon, and am captain of the Drexel Cheerleading Team.
My first two co-ops were incredible experiences with teams that I loved working with; however, the roles I held were not what I was passionate about. As a BS/MS student, I had to drop my third co-op in order to take an extra term of classes to graduate on time. I had the option of taking the summer off or registering for classes so I could go part-time senior year, but I felt there was something missing from my past co-op experiences.
Since sophomore year, I learned I had a passion for human–computer interaction and user-experience (UX) design, and decided I wanted to work in that field. My two co-ops didn’t fit that criteria and I knew I wanted something that would get me experience in my preferred field. I decided to try to get a co-op in UX design, but not just any co-op. In order for it to be worth it to forgo classes over the summer and have a more strenuous senior year, I had to land an out-of-the-park co-op. I knew I wanted to be at a major company and wanted to experience living in another city. I applied to many of the big-name companies; Airbnb, Spotify, Facebook, Google, Nike, NFL, and the list goes on. After a few months of rejection emails, I was pleasantly surprised to have gotten an interview with the NFL. A few weeks later, I was offered the position and before I knew it, I was packing my bags and heading to LA for the summer.
From July to the middle of September, I held the role of User Experience Design and Research for the NFL. I worked on making the NFL app and website more user friendly and spoke to users about their experience using our products. I also had the chance to sit in on some ideation sessions for future features of the app. My team and I collaborated to come up with new designs and ideas to enhance the app for special events. We conducted ethnographic research and went to training camps where we saw fans in their element and even met some NFL players! The best project I worked on was creating an application that utilized future technology capabilities that one of the NFL’s stakeholders asked us to work on. Two of my teammates and I worked on the idea for only 3 days but came up with an incredible prototype. We then pitched our idea to the stakeholders, who reacted very positively to it.
I had such an incredible experience working for the NFL and am so grateful for the opportunity. I know that Drexel has prepared me to even be considered for a role like this and might not have gotten the role if it wasn’t for the co-op program. I finally got experience in the field I am most interested in and I am excited to see what my future holds.