I joined the Design Thinking team at Fidelity Labs as an intern in the summer of 2016. Fidelity Labs is a group that houses all of Fidelity's internal startup incubators, where new products and programs are developed. Incubators are formed around opportunity areas in finance; at Fidelity, there are incubators focused on Bitcoin, financial wellness, financial planning for college and student loan management. Incubators rely on human-centered design strategies like ethnographic interviews, rapid prototyping, and user testing.
The incubator team I joined was called Employee Experience, which meant that we created internal-facing programs to ensure that workers were empowered to enjoy a long and rewarding career inside the company. During interviews with phone associates at Fidelity's call center, the team uncovered a problem: opportunities to move up within a department were available, but it was hard to transition to a brand new department, especially into technology. The technology department often recruited outside the company, and positions usually required a computer science degree. However, there were many people already in the company with the passion and skills to succeed in this role.
Our team created a pilot program called FidelityMade. This program allowed Fidelity employees who were passionate about technology to apply for a program that would train them for and then place them into a Mainframe Developer Role at Fidelity. We designed the promotional campaign, application process and training curriculum. My background in design allowed me to function both as a Design Thinker as well as a designer; I designed all communications related to the launch of the program, including the website, logo, informational pamphlets, and promotional video and print materials.
The pilot program launched in July, and at the time of my departure, they had narrowed the applicant pool of 79 down to 16. My internship ended in August so that I could return to school, so, sadly, I left before finding out who the final 6 would be!
Design Thinking Crash Courses
Outside of the incubator, the Design Thinking team also hosted periodic design thinking crash courses for internal and external groups. I helped facilitated two sessions that occurred during my time there: one for an initiative with Fidelity Charitable, and one for local high school students preparing for college. When it was over, I put together this video and sent it to participants.
Fidelity Charitable Design Thinking Session Wrap Video:
I had a great time at Fidelity this summer; I miss it very much! I'm looking forward to seeing what innovative ideas they come up with next!