Work With Us

17a is a boutique strategy firm focused on improving public service delivery – we are working to change the game for how top talent and the best tech tools get deployed to big public problems.

Design Intern


Innovation Design Interns will work to understand a key public problem and develop innovative solutions for the largest gaps in service delivery. As a design intern, you will work alongside the summer analysts, the 17a team, and experts in the field to build a ground-level understanding of your chosen problem, and will receive training in both classic and creative design and problem-solving strategies to transform that problem into a clear and consistent product vision. With guidance, you will lead every step of the product development process, from brainstorming broad ideas to ensuring design quality for launch.

Available sectors for research include, but are not limited to, the following. If your area of interest isn’t on this list, let’s talk!

Criminal justice
Foster care
Early childhood and motherhood
Economic development or workforce
Behavioral health payment innovation
Affordable housing
[your suggestion here]


  • Become the expert! Coordinate and lead interviews with key stakeholders to gain a holistic understanding of the public problem area - including through interactions with “end consumers” and others with experiences on the frontline of the issue

  • Survey existing data sources and analyze innovative initiatives already present in the space to develop a deeper understanding of the issue area

  • Participates in project research and brainstorming activities.

  • Generate inventive, fresh ideas expressed through hand sketching, digital sketching, industrial design surfacing and computer rendering, while providing aesthetic solutions that meet functional requirements (i.e. ergonomics, manufacturing, branding, assembly, etc.)

  • Clearly articulates design approach and rationale behind proposed design solutions.

  • Takes ownership of assigned work from inception to delivery; keeping manager abreast of progress, challenges and opportunities along the way.


  • Curious

  • Highly motivated with a strong desire to learn

  • Willingness and ability to own a workstream of increasing complexity

  • Effectively clarify and communicate concepts and ideas through models, sketches, and stories

  • Comfortable working independently in a fast-paced environment

  • Creative problem solver

  • Strong time management skills

Other Details

  • Cincinnati, OH; 8-12 weeks

  • Position is unpaid (but we can help you find funding!)

  • Applications accepted on a rolling basis until April 15, 2019

  • Reach out to if interested or with questions!