Erika Varga

I lead to teach and understand.


June-August 2017

I was the Site Leader for the IBM Intern Developer Program in Littleton, MA during the summer of 2017. In addition to my regular work, I was responsible for the execution of the developer program to provide 39 interns a seamless and rewarding summer experience. I was the direct point of contact for the interns and provided support to both interns and managers.

I ran onboarding sessions to welcome the interns to IBM and get them setup to join their teams. I also coached them and helped answer questions.

Through out the summer I ran several events with the interns. I ran a 3-day hackathon where interns learned IBM emerging technologies and I hosted an executive speaker held in Littleton and broadcasted to other intern sites in North America. The interns also participated in fun activities outside of work, such as a community service event where they collected invasive plants along a river near Boston.

I was nominated by my colleagues and won the Mass Lab Engagement Champion award for the work I did with the interns. This award is given quarterly to IBMers in Littleton who demonstrate strong leadership and make the lab a fun and engaging workplace.

Interns participating in a 3-day Hackathon across North America using high-end, emerging IBM technology

Team working on the Hackathon project

Collecting invasive plants for a community service project

Having fun at the rock gym


I’ve facilitated dozens of design thinking workshops for

product teams, clients, new hires, interns, and students.

Highlighted Workshops

Design Thinking for High School

July 2019

I created and led a 1-hour design thinking session for a local group of high school students working on a technical project to prevent the collapse of New England buildings during large snowfalls. I led them through the basics of design thinking and ran hands-on activities to understand their user, the maintenance personnel, who clean snow off buildings.

Read the full article at the Lowell Sun

Hands-on empathy map activity

Playing back user needs statements

Early Career Design Bootcamps


Several product development new hires and interns in the IBM Collaboration Solutions group in Littleton, MA were not involved in formal training on IBM Design Thinking.

The solution was to create and run, a 2-day design bootcamp for new hires, and a second 2-day design bootcamp for interns. I worked with two IBM colleagues to create and facilitate the two design bootcamps in Littleton, MA.

New hires and interns practiced their design thinking craft by doing hands-on activities to understand the user, explore big ideas, prototype new experiences, and evaluate these new experiences. New hires and interns ended their training by presenting what they learned to IBM stakeholders.

Learning about the problem space from a technical mentor

Capturing the current experience in a journey map

Hands-on design thinking activities

Incorporating big ideas into storyboards

All Workshops

Client Workshop

IBM, September 2015

I co-created and facilitated an on-site workshop with a client near Boston who wanted to learn design thinking and apply it to their sales processes.

Client Workshop

IBM, June 2016

I co-created and facilitated an on-site workshop with a client in Germany to identify their pain points and to envision their future with enterprise collaboration software.

Cognitive Workshop

IBM, May 2015

I co-facilitated a 3-day workshop for a product team to define their future with cognitive. Team members completed design thinking activities to understand their users, reflect on the current experience, generate big ideas, and envision the future.

Event Planning Workshop

IBM, October 2015

I co-created and led a one-day workshop for an IBM product team wanting to create a better event experience for attendees.

Girls Who Code

IBM, May 2016

I taught a session about design thinking to a group of Girls Who Code at IBM and ran a hands-on design activity.

IBM Connections Product Workshop

IBM, July 2017

I co-created and facilitated a 2-day, multi-location product workshop to envision the future of IBM Connections. The team aligned on a vision, which set the direction after the workshop.

Design Guide Workshop

IBM, November 2015

I created and led a one-day workshop for a team wanting to provide a better way for designers and developers to get the information and assets they need to work effectively.

Daughters & Sons Day

IBM, April 2015

I co-created and facilitated a session with 10-14 year old children to teach design thinking and ran hands-on activities.


I've represented my design team at several conferences to

engage clients on product design and to conduct design research.

Highlighted Conference

IBM Kenexa RUG

St. Louis, May 2019

I had the pleasure of speaking at the IBM Kenexa Regional User Group (RUG) to talk with clients about improving their HR processes.

All Conferences



I was part of the IBM Collaboration Solutions Design Lab where I demoed the latest updates to the Connections home page and gathered feedback from clients.



  1. I was part of the IBM Collaboration Solutions Design Lab where I shared a prototype of the new Connections home page with clients and gathered their feedback.



  1. I facilitated several design sessions to gather feedback about Connections from clients.

Social Connections 2017

I had discussions with clients to gather feedback about how their teams collaborate online to help inform our design process.