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UW HCDE Corporate Affiliates Program offered to CoMotion Labs members at a discount

Written by Debra Bouchegnies / May 4, 2020

The Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) Corporate Affiliates Program (CAP) offers companies and organizations a way to foster long-term relationships with HCDE students that lead to technical exchange, collaboration, job and internship recruitment, industry networking, and access to highly competitive faculty, students, and alumni.

Affiliates choose their level of membership and tailor engagement plans based on their company needs and desired level of involvement with HCDE. All CAP member companies are invited to HCDE’s annual Career Fair and other events, to host on-campus information sessions, and to share job openings with their students. Learn more about member benefits here.

In addition, corporate affiliate members sponsor student projects, propose research topics for faculty and students, host design jams and workshops, and enjoy a high-touch connection with the department.

As a startup, offering internships is a valuable way to connect with vital, relevant, skilled workers in a flexible arrangement. One of the best recruiting opportunities as a member is to host a table at the UW Career Fair. It is a way to have face-to-face interaction with potential student interns and also gives companies visibility among the student community which helps with recruiting on the HCDE job board.

One of the many challenges a startup faces is the need to show investors quantitative evidence of market demand. Much of this evidence can be shown from user experience (UX) research. The Corporate Affiliates Program can help in providing access to UX researchers who can identify your company’s value proposition and sculpt the product and market fit.

HCDE is great for startup companies because it is a relatively large program, offering both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees as well as academic credit for internships. A few benefits of having interns from HCDE include:

  • UW is on the quarter system, so internships last 10 weeks but extensions can be made, if desired, which allows for a lot of flexibility for an ever-changing startup.
  • A company can hire an international student without needing to get work permission from US immigration.
  • Students come from both undergraduate and Master’s programs, so there are a variety of skill levels.

Students tend to seek opportunities for a variety of reasons and as a startup, you can customize an internship to appeal to different goals, such as:

  • Contribute to work that aligns with their interests
  • Gain work experience
  • Add experience to their resume
  • Add projects to their online portfolio
  • Find out what it’s like to work at a startup

More specific opportunities to engage with HCDE include:

  1. Propose a capstone project (BS or Master’s)
  2. Propose a directed research study topic
  3. Post internship and job opportunities on the HCDE job board
  4. Be a judge at the Capstone Showcase in June (a great recruiting opportunity)
  5. Network with other tech companies at Corporate Affiliates Day
  6. Hear about and attend numerous talks and events


One of our CoMotion Labs’ members, KLOA,  has been a member of the HCDE Corporate Affiliates Program. KLOA founder Michael Murphy shares his experience with HCDE. Michael says, “We currently have undergraduate and Master’s level capstone projects underway. We learn a lot from participating in these and the learning is actually two-way (student-to-company, and vice-versa).”

One of the biggest benefits of the program is the ability to recruit interns from the University of Washington. Michael adds, “We currently have two internships underway, one formally through HCDE (for credit) and another informally (not for academic credit). Both students are UX researchers. They are driving our effort to find product/market fit and collecting data that shows customer demand. Their skills are impressive. I personally learn a lot from them!”

HCDE offers their Corporate Affiliates Program to CoMotion Labs members at a discounted price. Follow this link to learn more: