The Bridgeable Designership

The Designership Program

The Bridgeable Designership is our summer internship program. It gives us the opportunity to both teach and learn from bright minds in design, strategy, and research.

Our 2019 Summer Designership application phase will be opening in December. The program will run from May to August 2019.

Come back in December to apply!

Designership Program

The Bridgeable Designership is our summer internship program. It gives us the opportunity to both teach and learn from bright minds in design, strategy, and research.

We will be hosting a Designership Open House in January 2020. Details to follow.

The Designership is a paid, full-time internship working on a social impact project.

Here are the key details:

  • The Designership team works out of our office in downtown Toronto.
  • A note: While we can accommodate time off in the middle of the Designership, it is crucial that successful applicants be available to work at the beginning and end of the program
  • We typically hire 3–4 team members.
  • We welcome anyone to apply.

How Do I Apply?

Applications will open in December 2018. Details to follow.

We have a three-stage application process:

  1. Submit your application, including the materials listed in the job posting. We’ll review your materials, and put together a long list of applicants.
  2. Talk to us via video interview. If you’ve made the long list, we’ll contact you to film a very short video interview. These are typically 10-15 minutes, to get a really quick sense of who you are. After the long list interviews are complete, we put together a short list.
  3. Respond to a brief and present your solution in person. If you’re on the short list, we’ll contact you to set up a time for an interview at our office in Toronto. One week prior to your interview, we’ll send you an assignment: this is usually a prompt or brief that we’d like you to respond to creatively and thoughtfully. You’ll give a 10-minute presentation on your response, and after that we’ll talk about it and get to know you better.

Application Tips

  • Design your application for readability. Even if you’re not a designer, think about how you can make it easy and pleasant for us to read your application.
  • Follow the application instructions carefully. If you don’t submit all four components, we won’t consider your application.
  • Tell your story; hearing your genuine voice is a great way for us to know if you’re a fit or not.
  • Pay attention to the details. An application with no typos or errors suggests an attention to detail that you’ll bring to your work as well.
  • In your resume, focus on relevant experience and try and give us a sense of your skill set.
  • Cover letters that are focused and give us a clear sense of who you are and why you want to work with us go a long way.
  • Your mission statement is a crucial piece of the application; it’s an opportunity for you to distill your approach to the world into a single, clear statement.
  • All applications must include a portfolio or a piece of work you are proud of. 

Have additional questions? Email us at

“The Bridgeable Designership is more than a summer internship program. The networks we build strengthen our client and community relationships as we always find ways to collaborate again.”

Who can be an intern?

It could be you. You don’t need to be a trained designer, and there aren’t specific tools or frameworks that you need to be familiar with. Instead, we look for people who are tenacious, self-directed, and thoughtful in how they frame problems and arrive at solutions. In articulating those solutions, we like people who pay close attention to both social and technical factors in implementation. In the past, we’ve had interns whose backgrounds include public health, urban planning, sociology, and film. We love to be blown away by an amazing application coming from an unexpected direction.

We try and make our selection process somewhat “credential neutral”: we evaluate each applicant on their potential, and where they are in their own learning and career journey. In other words, if you’re a great undergraduate student, you have as much of a chance as a great graduate student. However, we do have a preference for applicants who will be returning to school following the Designership.

While we require our interns to be eligible to work in Canada (and cannot support work permit sponsorship), we do provide a small travel stipend for successful applicants who don’t reside in Toronto, to help defray the cost of moving here for the summer.

Finally, it’s important to us that we don’t contribute to the cycle of unpaid internships, which can close out great candidates who can’t afford to work for free. The Designership is competitively compensated. You’ll be paid a weekly salary based on your education level and experience. Our Designership salary range starts at $800 per week for undergraduate students.

Check out some profiles of past interns below, including where they’ve ended up afterwards.

Sally Chan

“During my four-month Designership at Bridgeable as a Design Intern, I had the opportunity to design and prepare an array of visual assets for the MaRS Health Innovation Forum. I was also part of the Oncology Experience project where I helped conduct ethnographic research, translate insights and visually communicate the data on a topic that is complex and broad in scope. Although challenging, the experiences were both rewarding and invaluable.”

After leaving Bridgeable, Sally went on to work at MyPlanet Digital in Toronto and now works as a product designer for Spotify in New York, NY.

Spencer Beacock

“During my designership, I was a design research intern. I worked on the FoodShare/Field to Table Catering project. We built an architecture of interlocking systems, processes, and tools to help Field to Table Catering grow into a thriving social enterprise. One of my favourite memories from the Designership was showing our partners what our early prototypes during our co-creation workshop; you could see them starting to envision how the end result might look and they were pretty excited.”

After the Designership, Spencer continued to work at Bridgeable as a design researcher and strategist. He worked on challenges related to behaviour change for a chronic condition, smoother experiences for millions of telecom customers, and designing co-creative experiences for doctors and patients. After leaving Bridgeable, Spencer went on to work at the Department of Energy, Government of Alberta, as a systemic designer.

What kinds of projects might I work on?

Each year, Bridgeable works with a community partner who has a great project. We select our project partners concurrently with our intern hiring process, helping us create a great fit in terms of skills.

We’re typically looking for systems where we can fundamentally change how they work, contexts where we can actually implement things (not just make recommendations), and projects that give back to the world in a tangible and meaningful way.

This broad category means that our projects are pretty different, year to year. You can see some case studies below.

Common Cents Lab: Spend and Save

The 2017 Designership team partnered with Dan Ariely’s Common Cents Lab to design an app for San Antonio-based Credit Human. They wanted to create an app to help low-to-moderate income members better manage their finances by targeting their behaviour of living paycheque-to-paycheque and frequent “balance-checking” (where the member would make purchases, and constantly check their balance and do mental accounting at the point of purchase to decide if they have enough money to spend). Credit Human hoped to introduce a this app called Spend & Save to do the heavy lifting by helping members plan and manage their finances in order to begin saving and improve their financial well-being.

Heart and Stroke Foundation: Younger Hearts

In 2016 the Designership team and the Heart & Stroke Foundation started with the question “how might we enable older adults to live healthier lives?”. Through play, prototyping, and deep ethnographic observations with users, our team uncovered the hopes and fears of older adults and developed clear ways to tailor a health program to make change easy. The team engaged with 68 Stakeholders and spent 214 hours with users. Through a Human-Centered Design approach, they brought the voice of older adults to ensure health and wellness programs fit their needs.

Have a look at the project and process here.

MaRS: Maternal and Infant Health

The 2015 Designership project focused on the intersection between maternal/infant health and the increasingly open nature of our health data. Working with MaRS, the Bridgeable team conducted research with more than a dozen parents, health care providers, and other health and technology experts. Working with stakeholders like these, they co-created new ideas for making key points in the maternal journey more manageable, and delivered a prototype application for helping moms keep track of their baby’s health.

You can get a closer look at the project here, and learn about the details of the process through the documentary video series we produced through the summer.

Prosper Canada: RESPs

In 2014, our Designership team tackled a challenge in financial services related to education.  The Canadian government provides a number of financial supports for higher education in the form of registered education savings plans (RESPs); unfortunately, many of the low-income families who would benefit most from these plans don’t take advantage of them. The team produced educational pieces and tools for financial advisors to encourage adoption.

Read the RESP case study to learn more.

FoodShare: The Social Enterprise

Our 2013 Designership interns looked at how a social enterprise can be redesigned to deliver more value and better service to its clients while staying true to its values and mission. We worked with Field To Table Catering and their parent organization FoodShare to help streamline their service and improve service standards. In January 2014, Field To Table Catering saw their catering orders double over the previous January.

Explore the Field to Table case study to learn more.

What will I learn?

It depends on the project, but generally speaking Bridgeable has a focus on the following skills, methods, and tools:

  • Design research (including interviews, ethnography, and literature review)
  • Co-design/co-creation
  • Service design
  • Systems thinking
  • Prototyping
  • Project management
  • Managing client relationships

This learning is both structured, in the form of a “bootcamp” at the beginning of the summer, and organic, through the course of the project itself.

What’s it like to work at Bridgeable?

Here are some of the things that we like best about the experience of working at Bridgeable:

  • We’ve got free fruit, yogurt, and other healthy snacks.
  • We participate in improvisational theatre workshops regularly.
  • An employee experience committee organizes fun events, like Summer Camp.
  • Every Monday, we convene for “scrum,” which lets us reconnect with coworkers working on other projects.
  • Quarterly staff meetings let us talk about the business as a whole.
  • As a general rule, our colleagues are thoroughly committed to producing excellent work.
  • We cultivate a supportive atmosphere where sharing your work early and often helps make it the best it can be.
  • We encourage team members to have generally reasonable hours, leaving evenings and weekends free; however, we do have occasional long hours to get everything ready for a deadline.
  • We pride ourselves on building a team of people who are kind to each other and support each other no matter what.

In terms of the experience of the Designership itself, it’s perhaps best to think of it like a Ferrari. It’s definitely fun, definitely exciting, and has a whole lot more cool factor than most other internships (at least, that’s what we think). But the reality is that you need to take it seriously to get the most out of it and to prevent it from crashing and burning. So, these are things that our Designership teams have to hold in tension.

Contact Us
+1 416.531.2665

About Us
We’re a service design consultancy. We work with organizations and people to create a more human world, one experience at a time.

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