Bridge is a professional development program for experienced designers. Since its inception, we’ve hosted five iterations of the program and each has been met with great interest from both top designers and companies. Today, we have nearly 100 Bridge Alumni, rigorously selected from more than 4,500 applicants from all over the world. More than half of our alumni are female and nearly a third have international backgrounds. Bridge has become one of the most prestigious and diverse design programs while remaining free for designers.
We’re excited to announce an evolution of Bridge in 2017, which will enable us to impact more designers than ever before. This year, we’ll be hosting three Bridge programs that focus on different design disciplines: Product Design, Product & Communication Design, and Design Management.
The three distinct programs will explore craft and leadership skills with a curriculum that’s tailored to the unique challenges each discipline faces. Over the past few years we’ve seen the growing importance of communication design teams that are responsible for building and extending a company’s brand to every customer touch point. In addition, design management is becoming more critical as design teams grow and play an integral role in the success of a company.
Once a designer is accepted into a program they become a Bridge Fellow, along with a small group of experienced designers from the Bay Area’s best companies for design. We gather on Tuesday evenings for family-style dinners, workshops, and inspiring talks from leading creatives. Bridge Fellows have the opportunity to see the creative process behind noteworthy examples of design and are given exposure to off-the-record insights during our intimate gatherings. Fellows also get to participate in unique weekend events to connect outside of work and special events like our Women in Design series.
At Designer Fund, we believe the world needs better-designed products and services. To further our mission, we partner with companies committed to fundamentally improving the user experience in industries that need it most, such as financial services, digital health, education, and enterprise tools. We select partners who have a meaningful mission, invest in their design team, and use design as a key differentiator.
For Bridge 2017, we’re excited to partner with mission-driven companies across a range of industries and stages. We welcome many returning partners, including Asana, Dropbox, Eventbrite, Medium, Gusto, and Omada.
Bridge supports designers seeking new job opportunities and designers interested in professional development in their current role.
Most designers participate in Bridge by interviewing and accepting a new full-time role at one of our partner companies. If you’re looking for a new role, we facilitate the process with one simple, common application that’s visible to all our hiring partners. If you want to stay and grow as a leader at your current company, you can still apply to participate in a program using the same application process.
All you need to get started in the application process is your LinkedIn profile and an online portfolio. Learn more about how to become a Bridge Fellow here and in the FAQ.
You can apply for all three Bridge programs starting on January 23rd. Our first program is Product Design; to be considered submit an application before March 1, 2017.
By expanding our programs in 2017, we’ll better serve our partner companies and exceptional designers throughout their careers. When we look back 10 years from now, we want to see that we’ve accelerated the growth of thousands of designers who’ve become great leads, managers, principal ICs, directors, VPs, and founders.