Hi, I am Lutfi, I was a first year grad student at New York University majoring in interactive telecommunications when I did an internship in Somia from June 2015 – August 2015. It has been such a long and wonderful journey interning at Somia. I was lucky because I was assigned to a project that started one week after I start my internship, so I could prepare myself and get familiar with the project that I was going to work on. I cannot tell the detail of the project, but the project was indeed challenging, fun and rewarding. I’ve been practicing interaction design in academic context before the internship. But doing it professionally is different, the stakes are beyond academic grade. This professional situation encourage me to put extra effort, not compromise with design and constantly seeking for better solution. Fortunately, my boss and co-workers are supportive with my effort. Most of the time, I forgot the fact that I was only an intern.

Working in Somia is also a fun experience indeed. What I can say about Somia is a tight-knit group of experienced, talented and cheerful interaction designers. Somia team travel to Bali frequently, and I had the opportunity twice. It was so fun! Really, working in Bali is a privilege. Not anyone has an opportunity to have a rewarding job and work in relaxing environment.

When we worked in Bali, we set up a pop-up office in Kumpul co-working in Sanur. It was such a vibrant work environment. It is located on second floor of Rumah Sanur, a creative hub with large open space, large windows, abstract paintings on the wall and and plants inside the room. There was always something cool happening in the first floor of Rumah Sanur, from music event to art exhibition. Entertainment and leisure is in your backyard (including Sanur beach which is only 10 mins of walk away). Forget the typical playful Googlish office, this is the best!

Another great thing is you don’t have to worry about the traffic jam, there was little to none. Although we walked from our homestay to the co-working space, the absence of traffic jam and pollution is awesome and very relaxing. And also our homestay was very close to Sanur beach. So, morning run or breakfast on the beach is something that you have to expect! One more thing, for the first time in my life, I learn what is work-life balance. We worked hard during the day and we rewarded ourselves during the night. We always did something after the work is over. Either we ate out, visited cultural event or just hanging out on the beach.

We had a great day in the end of my internship. We went to “Jazz Market by The Sea” in Nusa Dua. It was a music festival flooded by delicious food stalls. Aldi, one of the consultant in Somia won a paper plane contest and won a voucher for two-night stay at a 5-star hotel in Nusa Dua. Somia team ended up staying and working there for next two days. And the team gave me a farewell present in form of a notebook with some memorable stories of my internship written on random pages, that was really sweet.

If you want to up your interaction/experience design career, you should apply to Somia, I really mean it. I had been trying to find Indonesian design firm who specializes in interaction/ experience design (think of Cooper, IDEO, Frog Design or Fjord) and there are only few who do it seriously, probably one or two. And for me, Somia is the only one who stands out. And also, since they’ve been asked to work for clients from different countries, I believe that it is possible to reach the pinnacle of interaction design career in Somia, to be a globe-trotting designer (Something like what Stadio D Radiodurans do).

Lutfiadi Rahmanto
Master’s Candidate at NYU ITP