A Texas iSchool student is heading to Google world headquarters this summer.
Tim Salau was chosen for the User Experience Design Internship at Google’s offices in Mountain View, Calif., where he will conduct user-experience research with the company’s Google search team.
“I'm embarking on a childhood dream that I didn't expect to happen so soon,” said Tim, who is in his first year of the School of Information Master’s of Science in Information Science program.
Tim said he became interested in UX design while completing his undergraduate studies in psychology.
“The responsibilities and creative power that UX designers have are compelling and high-impact. That’s why I’m a UX designer,” he said. “My position demands that I make sound and thoughtful decisions when devising or optimizing new and existing experiences. Right now, my focus traverses two parallels, the physical and digital, and soon a merging of both. I believe the product is the medium, but the people are the reason.”
The ambiguous relationship between products and people makes designing for people a challenging endeavor where people don't consistently express their possible needs and wants from a product, he added.
“Delayering what those desires are is difficult, but also the most significant aspect of my profession,” Tim said. “I am excited to own that challenge at Google this upcoming summer.”
Associate Professor Lynn Westbrook congratulated Tim for receiving the summer internship.
"Tim’s rich understanding of the socio-cultural framework within which information technology develops gives him a nuanced perspective on information technology growth," Dr. Westbrook said. "His integrated social and technological approaches will enrich his Google internship."
When Tim returns to the iSchool this fall, he said one of his top priorities is to decide on a Capstone project that addresses a social need and can be implemented immediately. He also wants to serve as a mentor for other people.
“Mentorship has drastically fast-tracked my learning curve and growth rate,” Tim said. “I want to pay the experience forward for people who are not receiving the same proper leadership or influence. Good mentorship is currently affecting how I approach my personal life and professional career. For example, the advice and shared resources of the iSchool's Career Development team were crucial to the success of my internship search, and we have a faculty of professors who never hesitate on sharing their wisdom. I take advantage of all the resources and great minds that we have at the iSchool, and I want to be a reliable and similar resource for others."