Frequently Asked Questions


How Do Applications Work?

Fantastic! You should have received a confirmation email from us. (Please reach out to [email protected] if you haven’t.) When you apply for Bridge and indicate your interest in a new design role, your application and portfolio will become visible to us and our hiring partners. We review applications on a rolling basis and if there's a fit with one of our partners, we'll send you an email introduction. Introduction requests from partners will be sent via email (to whichever email you provided when applying to Bridge), so please keep an eye on your inbox! This begins your interview process with the company, which may include an introductory phone call, onsite interview to meet team members, portfolio presentation and possibly a design challenge.

One of the benefits of applying through Bridge is that our partners prioritize Bridge applicants and we’ll support you throughout the process by providing portfolio reviews, practice presentations, general interview tips, advice during the offer stage, and more. Our partners may eventually extend you an offer, generally for a long-term, full-time position. If you join, they can nominate you to participate in Bridge.

If you indicated on your application that you’re only interested in a professional development program, the Designer Fund team will review your application and may reach out to you for a discussion to determine your eligibility and your employer’s interest in sponsoring your participation.
If you’ve been accepted to a Bridge program, you’ll receive a welcome email from us after you’ve gone through one of two paths to join Bridge. In the first, you can interview for and accept a full-time position at a Bridge partner company, and they can nominate you for Bridge. In the second track, your current company offers to sponsor your participation and you'll speak with a member of the Designer Fund team about your eligibility.
When you apply for Bridge and indicate your interest in a new design role, your application and portfolio will become visible to us and our hiring partners. We review applications on a rolling basis and if there's a fit with one of our partners, we'll send you an email introduction. This begins your interview process with the company, which may include an introductory phone call, onsite interview to meet team members, portfolio presentation and possibly a design challenge. If you apply and interview through Bridge, we’ll support you throughout the process by providing portfolio reviews, practice presentations, general interview tips, advice during the offer stage, and more.
We’re glad you’re excited about our partners! You’ll be given the chance to mark your interest in specific companies on your application. If there’s one you missed, you can log in and update your profile. You can also reach out to us at [email protected] to let us know; we’ll share your interest with the partner and they’ll reach out if they see a fit.
You are welcome to interview with other companies. Please let us know at [email protected] once you begin interviewing with other companies. If you keep us informed about your status with companies you’re in conversation with, whether they’re Bridge partners or not, we’ll best be able to support you and provide guidance at key decision points. We can also request that our partners accelerate their hiring process with you if you have a decision deadline coming up with an outside offer.
On the login screen, click “Forgot Password” and enter your email address. You will receive instructions in your inbox with next steps.
Still apply! If you're looking for a new job, you can still join one of our partner companies who can nominate you for our next Bridge program. We encourage you to submit your application early for the next session of your top choice program and consider joining a different upcoming program. All Bridge programs cover design leadership, best practices, and trends. They also have a similar core structure: weekly discussions, talks from design leaders, group outings, and community support from current fellows, alumni, and leading designers in the Bay Area. You can also email us at [email protected] to discuss your situation after submitting.
Each of our three 2017 programs has a deadline by which you must submit your application in order to be eligible to participate. For instance, if you apply before March 1, 2017, you will be eligible to participate in all three programs: Product Design, Communication Design, and Design Management. The Product Design deadline is March 1, so if you apply after that date, you won't be able to participate in Product Design but you'll still be eligible to participate in the Communication Design and Design Management programs. Even if you miss your preferred program deadline, still apply and you may be eligible for a future program.

If you’re not available to participate in a Bridge program but want to join one of our partner companies, you can submit your application anytime. Our partners will review applications for open design roles throughout the year, independent of our Bridge program deadlines.

Is Bridge for me?

No, Bridge is not an internship. Bridge is a professional development program for experienced designers. The majority of Bridge fellows work as full time employees at Bay Area companies that set an industry standard for design in tech.
Yes! Many of our partner companies are able to sponsor visas for their new employees and assist with the transition. Be sure to research the time it takes to process a work visa from your country and discuss it with your potential employer if you begin the interview process with them.
Yes! We encourage you to apply. In the job preference portion of the application we will ask, “Are you interested in pursuing a new role with one of our partner companies?” Simply check “no.” Ideally your current employer can sponsor your participation. If your company is not already one of our Bridge partners, please discuss the program with the appropriate decision makers that would need to support you. In the meanwhile, we’ll review your application, and if we think you could be a fit for Bridge we’ll reach out via email to schedule a time to meet with you.
Bridge Fellows typically receive full-time, long-term employment offers with competitive salary, equity, and benefits. You would discuss compensation directly with our partner companies and we're available to help advise you throughout the process.

What do Bridge programs entail?

Bridge Fellows meet weekly at Designer Fund’s studio, usually on Tuesday evenings over the course of a program, which runs for about a quarter. These Bridge evenings involve family-style dinners, talks, workshops, and peer feedback sessions and run up to four hours long. During the program you can choose to be matched with a member of our Bridge Guild (Bridge Alumni and leaders in our design community) for occasional one-on-ones to discuss your work, challenges, and career growth. In addition, our partner companies will host unique events you'll be invited to (and more designers from your team can usually attend these). We'll also host a weekend outing to connect with each other beyond work and Fellows will often self-organize optional social gatherings. By becoming a Bridge Fellow, you are committing to actively participating in the majority of Bridge hosted events during the program and giving back to our community. Each program will end with an Alumni Event so you can become part of our growing alumni group.
There will be three Bridge programs in 2017 that each focus on a different design discipline: Product Design, Communication Design, and Design Management. Each program is geared towards designers who are currently in these roles along with select designers who recently transitioned roles. Each program will cover topics related to craft, leadership and design trends for that discipline. Programs are roughly the same length, about a quarter, and will involve weekly gatherings at Designer Fund, a weekend outing, one-on-one guidance, partner and alumni events. We'll also welcome you to our growing alumni community which includes designers from all programs.
The majority of Bridge Fellows accept full-time, long-term offers from our partner companies, so their role extends beyond the end of the program. Occasionally, Bridge Fellows work with one of our partners on a short-term contract. In this case, you and the company can decide whether to transition to a full-time, long-term position.
If you work at one of our partner companies, there are a few other ways to be involved in the Bridge community. Occasionally Bridge Fellows are welcome to invite a guest from their company’s design team to each Bridge evening, so speak with your company’s Fellow about when you can attend. Your company can also host a Bridge event, which opens up participation to your whole design team. (If you think your company might be interested in hosting, please reach out to us at [email protected])

If you don’t work at one of our partner companies, you unfortunately won’t be able to attend weekly Bridge evenings, but we do host a couple events each year that are open to the broader design community, such as Source (a daylong summit for design leaders) and Women in Design (an evening discussion with women leaders). If you’re on our mailing list, you’ll be first to hear about upcoming events and opportunities to get involved.
Bridge Fellows work full time at one of our partner companies and meet weekly at Designer Fund’s studio in San Francisco. We meet usually on Tuesday evenings over the course of a program, which runs for about a quarter. These Bridge evenings involve family-style dinners, talks, workshops, and peer feedback sessions and run up to four hours long. During the program you can choose to be matched with a member of our Bridge Guild (Bridge Alumni and leaders in our design community) for occasional one-on-ones to discuss your work, challenges, and career growth. In addition, our partner companies will host unique events you'll be invited to (and more designers from your team can usually attend these). We'll also host a weekend outing to connect with each other beyond work, which may involve an overnight and often takes place outside of San Francisco. Fellows will often self-organize optional social gatherings as well. By becoming a Bridge Fellow, you are committing to actively participating in the majority of Bridge hosted events during the program and giving back to our community. Each program will end with an Alumni Event so you can become part of our growing alumni group.

How do I become a Bridge Partner?

We select Bridge partners on an annual basis and look for the following attributes: (1) A great mission and potential for meaningful impact at scale, (2) Founders who value design and use it as a key differentiator, (3) Culture that supports and develops its design talent, (4) Significant user or customer traction, and (5) Substantial funding (generally Series A or later). Bridge 2017 Partners were finalized in Fall 2016, however, we have reserved a select few partnership opportunities to be filled throughout 2017, including hiring support, seats in our professional development programs, and collaboration on our community events Source and Women in Design. If you’re interested in becoming a Bridge Partner or nominating a Fellow, please reach out to us at [email protected] to learn more.
We help our Bridge partners hire exceptional designers year-round. We source qualified designers for open roles, help assess candidates, make introductions and offer advice throughout the interview process. Typically, we work with designers who are looking for full-time, long-term roles and have an average of five years of professional experience. If you’re interested in partnering with us, reach out to us at [email protected].


Upcoming Programs

Product Design

Share the latest methods for designing successful apps and digital products.

Date to be announced

Communication Design

Exchange best practices for creating leading brands, visual systems, and content.

Jan 23 - May 23, 2017

Design Management

Focus on the best ways to manage your creative process and team as a design leader.

Jan 23 - Aug 8, 2017

Apply to Bridge

Want to know more? Check out our eligibility info and FAQ page.