Radio Flyer ID Internship: Innovate new designs to inspire imaginations

Jul 7 2021 - 10:06am
Radio Flyer ID intern alum working in CAD on the Tesla Model S for Kids


You may know Radio Flyer as the maker of the iconic Little Red Wagon. For over 100 years, Radio Flyer has been innovating awesome kids’ products that bring smiles and inspire active play. Radio Flyer’s passion for impeccable design has expanded beyond the well-known wagon to exciting new products such as the Tesla Model S for Kids by Radio Flyer, the first battery-operated ride-on that runs on Lithium Ion. Our team of industrial designers develop new concepts within product categories like wagons, trikes, bikes, ride-ons, battery-ops and beyond. We welcome interns to the design team each summer for an infusion of new ideas and energy. 

Award-Winning Intern Program

Radio Flyer’s intern program provides high-performing students the opportunity to work, grow, and play at our Chicago headquarters. Industrial Design interns at Radio Flyer work right alongside our team of industrial designers, product development engineers and design researchers. We give interns meaningful projects that inform our future product line and further our sustainability mission of designing products that help improve our world.

Past interns have had the opportunity to help bring products, such as the TOTY-Award Winning Ultimate Go-Kart, to life. Former Radio Flyer Intern and current Product Development Engineer, Kyle Kenagy, shared, “The best part about an internship at Radio Flyer is that the work you do really impacts the business. During the first few weeks of my internship, I was working on several exciting projects like the Ultimate Go-Kart, where I helped design and test the frame. It has been very rewarding to see one of my intern projects turn into such a fun toy for kids.”

Radio Flyer interns get a first-hand look at the life cycle of a product, from the initial concept sketch all the way to the retail store shelf. Akeem Kennedy, a class of 2019 intern who was hired on as our first Electrical Engineer, talks about his first intern project.

“One of my first intern projects was to create electronics for a prototype that was going to Tesla the following week. To my surprise it was for the Tesla My First Model Y, released late last year. I was able to see this product go from prototype, to market, to out on the sidewalk being enjoyed by families.”

Industrial Design Interns focus on a multitude of tasks, including:

  • Participating in team brainstorms to ideate future products in our top-secret Engine Room
  • Developing sketches and renderings of new product concepts
  • Making mock-ups and rough prototypes to test out ergonomics and feasibility in our best-in-class Prototype Lab (onsite!)
  • Researching product categories and participating in user observation in our PlayLab
  • Working in CAD to refine designs, finalize aesthetics, create Keyshot renderings and help move projects into production

Intern alum working in onsite Prototype Lab


In addition to diving into invigorating work, interns are also expected to develop themselves professionally. We foster this growth through our professional development series, Wagon U. Interns participate in classes facilitated by our Senior Leadership Team; courses include “Breakfast with the Chief Wagon Officer,” “Know The Product,” “Great Communication with DISC,” and more. Interns also receive one-on-one mentorship with designers to help refine technical skills.

Former industrial design intern and current Senior Industrial Designer & Research Lead, Anne Goodman, says, “One of the things I appreciated the most about my internship was the opportunity for professional and technical skill growth. My sketching and CAD skills grew so much over the course of my internship through coaching and mentoring from the design team. I learned so much about business factors beyond the design that help make a successful product.”

Our interns also get paid to play! Outside of project work, interns collaborate with fellow Flyers (full-time employees) in various inclusion events created by our Committees. Notable annual rituals include our Summer Active Challenge sponsored by the Wellness Committee, monthly social hours organized by the Social Committee, and a KaBOOM! playground build, where the entire company builds a playground in one day for a community in need of a safe space to play.

Want to become Radio Flyer’s ID Intern?

Radio Flyer is currently accepting applications for our Summer 2021 Industrial Design Intern role. We look for students who bring ideas and will deliver breakthrough results through effective problem solving. The ideal candidate will be a college student at the junior or senior level, majoring in Industrial Design with a 3.0+ grade point average. We specifically look for technical skills including the below:

  • Strong 2D visual communication skills required - should be comfortable drawing on a Cintiq tablet with Sketchbook Pro, Photoshop, or similar.
  • Creating 3D CAD geometry using SolidWorks or Rhino
  • Developing 3D CAD renderings in PhotoView 360 or KeyShot

Above all, the individual must commit to our values:

FUNatical Customer Service

Live with Integrity

Yes I Can

Excellence in Everything

Responsible for Success

We are looking for students who live our values and support our vision and mission! Our internships are 3 months in length and all internships are paid. To learn more about our program and apply for our Summer 2021 Industrial Design Internship, please visit our website.