Maverlyn Low: From intern to full-time Product Designer

As much as skilled fresh hires are important to us here at Grab, we also want to do our part in nurturing the next generation of talents, who will be the ones innovating and building our future. In line with this vision, Grab has implemented a robust internship programme that allows matriculated students a deep dive into the industry and offers them the opportunity to hone their skills before entering the workforce. Some of our interns enjoyed the experience so much they opted to stay and convert to full-time staff. Maverlyn Low, previously a Product Design Trainee, is one such intern! After her trainee stint ended in December 2019, she went on to become a full-time Product Designer in January this year.

Hey Maverlyn, thanks for having this chat with us. As a start, please tell us more about yourself!

Mav: I recently graduated from Singapore Management University with a bachelor in Business Management. Before Grab, I have done design internships in Shopee and Razer and dipped my toes in public relations in Havas Media.

How did your journey at Grab start? 

Mav: During my last semester in university last year, I joined Grab as a product design trainee under GrabFood while completing my last two classes. Although it was rather challenging to balance both on my plate, I really enjoyed designing and the satisfaction that I acquired from my work made it all worthwhile. After my internship, I joined as a full-time product designer on the driver experience team. As a product designer, we basically try to understand the flaws of the current drivers’ experience and find ways to enhance it.

What made you decide to apply for an internship here?

Mav: I applied for Grab because one, I was an avid Grab user myself and two, I have read about Grab’s design philosophy and I resonated with their human-centred problem solving processes.

Now that you have been in Grab for almost a year, what do you think of Grab’s culture? 

Mav: Personally, I strive to find a balance between staying active and honing my craft at work. The flexible working hours here allows me to work out in the morning before reporting to work.

Also, one of the reasons why I was able to grow so much as a budding business-student-turned-designer, was the autonomy given to me for my projects. Despite being an intern, I was expected to deliver quality work, no less as compared to a full-time designer. Having good working relationships and trust from my team to take charge of my own design projects have also propelled my learning greatly and allowed me to mature immensely in my design perspective.

Rate from 1-10, how fun has work been?

Mav: 10, 10, 10, all over again. 

If you could describe Grab in three words, what would they be? 

Mav: Diversity, Encouraging, Flexible

What is one thing that differentiates Grab from other companies for you.

Mav: I really like how the founders (Anthony Tan & Tan Hooi Ling) are so involved with the employees of the company. They strongly encourage us to ask questions whenever we are in doubt of any company-wide decisions. I really admire their feet-on-the-ground relationship with the Grabbers as it really gives us a sense of belonging in Grab.

What would you say has been the most fulfilling part of your internship with Grab? How so?

Mav: During my internship, I was able to test out my designs with our users. I visited Indonesia a few times to talk to our users directly and let them try out a working design prototype. Through that experience, I was able to truly understand how our design impacts them, for instance, seeing how they struggle through our interface which we initially assumed that we had the perfect design. These valuable insights would have been left undiscovered had we not tested them out with our users. Through such interactions, it has shown me how integral we are in shaping the impact that Grab can have on its users.

How have you grown as a designer since you joined Grab as a Product Design intern?

Mav: Grab is a big company with many products and challenges. The same way how a diamond becomes spectacular after polishing with pressure and time, the highs and lows during my design journey has made me a more resilient and mindful designer. Now that I have joined Grab full-time, I can reassuringly say that there is no difference in expectations and opportunities. This is great because you can be part of projects capable of tangible change and meaningful impact to our users.

Any advice for our readers who are also eyeing an internship at Grab?

Mav: Adopt the growth mindset and be a sponge. You won’t know everything and there are always opportunities to learn something new. In my current and previous internships, I have always challenged myself to take up side projects, such as creating illustrations, copywriting or learning SQL to understand business insights to support design decisions.

How do I know if I am the right fit to intern at Grab? 

Mav: If you’re ready to start creating solutions to solve real-world pain points in a meaningful manner, you should definitely apply! I can also attest that the pantry is awesome.