Interview Dirk de Vries – UX Design Intern at Ahold Delhaize

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If you’re interested in a career in the FMCG industry but not sure where to start, our interview series is here to help. We feature conversations with current professionals in the sector, providing personal insights and experiences from top companies like Ahold Delhaize, Pon, and Unilever.

Let us introduce Dirk de Vries, an UX Design Intern at Ahold Delhaize. In this interview, Dirk offers a glimpse into his role, unravels the distinctive qualities that make Ahold Delhaize an extraordinary workplace, and provides valuable guidance and advice to students seeking internships in the exciting field of (UX) design.

What is your full name and what is your position at Ahold Delhaize?

My name is Dirk de Vries, and I have been working as an UX Design Intern at Ahold Delhaize, in the Technology Labs team of Albert Heijn for the past three months.

What did you do before starting at Ahold Delhaize?

Before starting at Ahold Delhaize, I completed an Associate Degree in Digital Technology and Media at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences in Amersfoort. During that time, I undertook an internship as a UX Designer at an agency, where I currently work part-time. Upon completing my degree, I progressed to the third year of the Bachelor’s program in Communication and Multimedia Design at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences.

In addition to my studies, I worked as a freelance Web Designer and Webflow Developer through Upwork. Over the past year, I have been dedicated to establishing my own business in (Web) design and development.

How do you experience your role as an UX Design Intern?

The decision to join Ahold Delhaize (Albert Heijn) was driven by my interest in learning about the methods used by large companies and the management of stakeholders. This internship presents a challenging opportunity as I am part of a team responsible for building prototypes for innovative ideas within Albert Heijn, utilizing the Lean Startup method.

Working in collaboration with both developers and business teams enables me to enhance my skills in various areas. The AH Technology Labs team and the AH UX team provide excellent guidance, offering support and expertise to assist me in creating new products.

There is no typical working day as the projects are diverse, and I also have the option to participate in other teams such as the UX Research and UX Design teams. My responsibilities encompass designing appropriate solutions for users, preparing presentations for stakeholders, conducting research, and validating my designs with real customers.

What is it like working as a UX Design Intern?

Because Ahold Delhaize is such a large company, you get to meet numerous interesting and fun colleagues from different teams. There is a relaxed and enthusiastic atmosphere in the office, which I have observed not only within our team but also across all the teams I have interacted with so far. There is a lot of knowledge within the company, and colleagues are eager to contribute to projects. This is how we work together to take the end product to an even higher level.

Despite Ahold Delhaize being an enormous company, there are plenty of fun activities organized, such as hackathons, game nights, and, of course, gatherings at our own Brouwers Café for drinks.

What is something you wish you knew before you started working in your role as a UX Design Intern?

What convinced me even more to aspire to this internship was the collaboration with developers. The process of clearly communicating a design and taking responsibility to ensure that the end product aligns with my vision is extremely instructive.

It’s important to consider your desired direction as a (UX) designer and determine if the job tasks at the company align with this path. During conversations with potential employers, make sure to express your interests, as companies often appreciate seeing this enthusiasm. Additionally, it’s beneficial to talk to fellow students or specialists in the field about your aspirations. They can certainly advise you on making specific choices that will help you advance.

Can’t wait to get started at Ahold Delhaize or at one of their brands Albert Heijn, Etos or Gall & Gall? Connect with Ahold Delhaize on via this link!