Product design internship @ Apna

I spent the summer of 2021 with Apna as a Product Design Intern. Here’s how it happened.

Finally…Apna Time Aagaya!

Well, it was hard…very hard…
to crack that very procrastinated unwillingness involved in the extensive thought process & penning down the intro of this…BLOG! No no…the internship was pretty smooth, I was talking about the intro of this blog though 😅

Hello you awesome people! Here’s my side of the story of working in India’s second-fastest startup to become a Unicorn — Apna 🦄


Bare Beginnings 👍

Due to the ongoing COVID restrictions most of the academic requirements of my post-graduate were fulfilled online. This allowed me to leverage more & more time in learning new skills to compensate for my online mode of education.

Thus, I started looking for various certificate programs, online competitions & most importantly remote internships to gain a hands-on experience in a real corporate setup & this is when I came across Apna.

The Application Phase ✉️

It all started when I came across a LinkedIn post from Sanjeev, who spearheads our current design team, regarding openings in Apna’s newly formed design team. I knew this was going to be a super crazy experience; the team is new, so I could get working on things right from scratch…woohoo! Designing 0-1 products 🔥

Best email of 2021 🙂

After multiple rounds of case studies, interviews, and phone calls, I was finally offered a chance to join the design team. It was Sept. 2021, the COVID situation was still not normal in the country, thus it was a remote internship experience.

But here comes the fun fact – Apna has been a fully remote, work form anywhere company right form its inception back in Dec. 2019! In fact, till mid-2022 we didn’t had an office & most of our workforce is still working remotely. 😎

But do you know what’s so special about working remotely?

You get to work with people whom you’ve never seen, whom you’ve never met, but still leaving no stone unturned to collaborate & work for a larger good! This is what binds us all at Apna, with a common goal of bringing India back to work (after the pandemic) #Accelerating India 🚀

Haters still don’t believe me 🙃

Only after I joined the team in Sept. 2021, the company raised its series C funding in Oct. 2021 & became erstwhile India’s fastest startup to become a unicorn 🦄

A report from the Economic Times

Everyone was happy, everyone was celebrating. Our leadership team was too happy to have me & congratulated the HR team for their best decision to have me on the rocketship 😎

Time to Onboard ✈️

This was the first time I got to work in a fast-paced, VC-funded startup. As I was expecting the joining week was chill; I loved casually catching up with my PMs, and designers; seeing their ongoing/ previous works, and getting a hold of how things have worked there & how to take it further.

When I joined, our design team had just 3 folks while I was followed by 2 more interns. Working as a Designer at a fast-growing early-stage startup is a lot of fun. The roles are muddy, processes are vague, requirements need to be clearer and the products need to be more polished. Everything is in a constant iteration mode.

I still remember the first task I got was to find out flaws throughout the journey, as a user on our app & I did it quite sincerely. I used to come up every morning in our internal scrum call like a devil’s friend with a long list of things that I found annoying 😅. It was then that I learnt the concept of ‘Stakeholder Empathy’ & ‘Prioritisation’.

24 weeks at Apna

I was allotted to the ‘Community’ vertical of the org. When I joined, there were some really exciting projects lined up for me.

Sneak peek at our internal design review meeting

My main project was around building a professional community for blue & white collar. This included various domains of the Apna Community — the content Feed, making the right connections, building profile entities etc. The process was not linear and had a lot of exploring, observing & experimenting along with hands-on designing.

The design that shipped to Apna App 🙂

Hands-on User Research

My other project involved conducting user research for our consumers’ persona building. I’m glad that I got the opportunity to try my hands and brain to learn something new. In addition to this, I worked on a few side projects (posters, stickers, logos, etc.) to take a break from my main projects and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Glimpse from our user calls & the final deck

It is often tempting to work on something familiar, but one can only grow if they are ready to step outside their comfort zone. This is one of the most important things that I have learned here. But here comes the best thing about Apna – along with the tremendous amount of ownership for my projects, I simultaneously received the right amount of mentorship needed as a beginner designer.

The Real Joy 😍

Me doing the design QA before the updates go out for production 🥲

Shipping is a feature. A really important feature. Your product must have it — Joel Spolsky

Seeing one of my projects getting shipped was one of the most satisfying things as a design intern. I discovered the many steps that go into the development of a product, starting with the initial brief and continuing through solution exploration, prototyping and testing.

We always have a part to play in a lot of them as product designers. When you go through all these steps to see your design solving real-world problems, it significantly increases your self-confidence. You see that the stuff you design does have a significant impact on the social and business aspects of people.

Workathon 2022 💯

This one is the cherry on the cake!

We have all been working remotely, ever since we became operational. This was almost 2 years. This was when we were delighted by the announcement of ‘Workathon 2022’, a 7-day fully sponsored offline meetup schedule to celebrate our journey, our mission & most importantly the lovely team.

Yes, the interns were invited too! What could be a better farewell to my 6-month-long internship journey 😃

Glimpse from Workathon. Our CEO addressing the Townhall session

Closing Notes

It was a memorable 24 weeks journey and looking back I have nothing but learnings and happy memories. I will always look back at this experience with a lot of fondness. A big thank you to all the folks who were part of this experience! Onwards and Upwards 🚀

& yes I even got a PPO after this 😎😊

Thanks for reading it to the end! Hit the clap 👏 button if you like it.

If you have a project to work on or just wanna say hello, ping me at

To know more about my work follow me on LinkedIn.

Product Design Internship @ Apna was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.