• What It’s Like to Go from Design Intern to Full-time 3Mer

    • Shannon Vanderhill headshot

      At 3M, we're all learning, discovering, exploring and innovating together. Our internship programs allow students to join other 3Mers on their career journey. Here’s a deeper look at what it’s like to be a Design intern from someone who has experienced it firsthand.

      Name: Shannon Vanderhill

      Title: UX Designer

      Number of years and previous positions at 3M: One and a half years in current position

      Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts in design from the University of Texas at Austin; Master of Fine Arts in design management and Master of Arts in jewelry from the Savannah College of Art and Design

      Office Location: St. Paul, MN

    • Why were you initially interested in interning for 3M and the Design program specifically?

      My design degree in graduate school was jokingly called “the Post-It® Note degree” because we used them so extensively in our process. They are a symbol of innovation as well as an important tool in design work.

      I was interested in 3M because of its innovative practices and the growth the design function has had in the last ten years at 3M. I met a designer at my university career fair and was drawn in immediately. 

    • What made you want to stay with 3M after your internship?

      The team. 3M has built a community of designers that are collocated for collaboration, support and learning. Also, I was drawn to the breadth and scope of the problems that 3M solves for many kinds of users. There are great opportunities here to make a powerful impact. 

    • What types of projects did you work on in your internship(s) at 3M? What does your role entail today?

      During my internship, I worked as a researcher on the Health Information Systems (HIS) team. We uncovered insights and design implications for enterprise software used by hospital systems. 

      My role today is centered on Food Safety, which like HIS, is a very specialized domain with interesting opportunities for design. Currently, I’m focusing on software for microbiologists and technicians testing foods and environmental samples at labs all over the world. 

    • How did your internship prepare you for a full-time career with 3M?

      My internship prepared me to join the team as a contributing team member the moment I started as a full-time 3Mer. I was able to jump into new domains and problems more easily because I knew the company and the team and had allies and mentors that could guide me.

    • What advice do you have for those interested in a career in this area at 3M?

      One of the most important and influential parts of my internship were the informational interviews I did within 3M and the design community in the Twin Cities. My advice for those with an interest in design at 3M would be to take advantage of the access you have to mentors in the design community. They are amazing and give insightful feedback and advice. They can help you to figure out the best way to reach your goals. 

    • What has been the most memorable part of your career at 3M?

      The most memorable part of my career at 3M thus far has been the people. By working as a designer here, I have had the opportunity to connect with fellow designers in different disciplines, with technical and business experts on my project teams, and with mentees in high school and college internship programs at 3M. Working at 3M is a constant expansion of my comfort zone and network. 

    • Interested in an internship with 3M? Join 3M’s Talent Community and learn how your skills might be a fit at 3M when an opportunity opens up.