The Symba Spotlight Part 15: Maycon Cesar de Paula Santos
Maycon Cesar de Paula Santos interned with Anheuser-Busch Inbev as a product design intern this summer. One of his final projects as an intern was creating a guide for future interns, because the company is starting a new program in Brazil. Read more about his incredible story below.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a junior at Tufts University studying Engineering Psychology/Human Factors with a minor in Computer Science. I'm primarily a Product Designer, but have been trying to break into Product Management. Also, I’m proudly a first-generation student, LGBTQ+ advocate, and have recently been named by Food Tank as one of 18 youths inspiring change across the Global Food system for my Ag-related App designs and agvocacy.
Tell us about your remote internship. What is your title, and what are the projects and daily tasks you work on?
I worked as a Product Design Intern at Zé Delivery, a beverage delivery startup within Anheuser-Busch InBev. I was responsible for “rethinking the way Zé creates proto-personas.” Zé has been developing its own Design System, and crystallizing the proto-persona creation process was part of my PM’s plan. Throughout 7 weeks, I worked creating a proto-persona guide containing shortcuts to find information about the customer base on Zé’s Google Drive, a proto-persona framework and layout, examples of proto-persona cards, and strategies to implement them at Zé.
What are you enjoying most about your remote internship?
I absolutely loved the peer learning culture at Zé. The employees at Zé made themselves available, even when they were super busy. I had 33 1:1 talks over the course of 7 weeks. The opportunity to learn from so many talented people opened my eyes to a world full of possibilities within a Product career. At the end of my internship, I got the chance to share a bit of my background as an Engineering Psychology student. I facilitated a workshop on cognitive biases and how they impact the way we design new products.
What new skills have you learned so far?
I have mastered my Product Design skills, including topography, consistency, symmetry, interaction design, and prototyping. Also, I was exposed to Design Thinking (Double Diamond, specifically), Scrum and Agile methodologies. I had heard about Agile before joining Anheuser-Buch InBev, but had never had any hands-on experiences with it. Throughout the summer, I was able to participate in training sessions that the Zé team put together. But the main skill I was able to master was project follow-through. I learned how to create weekly mini-schedules with short-term pressing deadlines to keep my team posted about my project.
How have your company and internship manager supported you through your internship?
I had a Product Manager and a Product Design “buddy” at Zé. My buddy was this amazing Product Designer who guided me through every design decision I had. I had daily calls with her to check-in on my summer project. My PM was this super cool guy who has been at Zé Delivery for a long time. He helped me build a roadmap for my summer project. Also, he connected me with Zé’s peer companies (other parts of Anheuser-Busch InBev), including ZX Ventures, HBSIS Soluções em TI Ltda, Z-Tech, and Master of Malt.
What advice would you give to other interns about to embark on their first remote internship?
Have a corner for you to work and keep it organized! Be faithful to your start and end times for your workday, as well as your lunch break and coffee break. Use and abuse of Slack, Zoom and Hangouts! Do not be shy! And arrange quick alignment meetings with your peers, buddies, and managers if necessary. Finally, align expectations with your family or the people you live with. Sometimes, it can be very hard to say NO to children, pets, parents, etc. But, you have to set boundaries so that they're aware of your work schedule.
By Anika Pasilis