Applications for the 2022 DSD program have now closed. Please check back in October 2022 for updates.
Please read the detailed Frequently Asked Questions below prior to submitting questions. If you are not able to find the answer to your question, email us at .
To hear more about the Design Strategy Development program from DSD alumni, listen to our two informational webinars from November 15 and November 16, 2021.
What additional materials are needed to apply?
Refer to the How To Apply page for detailed application requirements.
What is the timeline for applications? When will I find out if I have been selected for the program?
Applications are typically open from October through January. Refer to the How To Apply page for a detailed timeline.
If I were to get an interview, would I be able to do it via Skype or a phone call?
There will be no in-person interviews as a part of the application process. However, if requested, all applicants must be able to do a video interview. Refer to the How To Apply page for the anticipated dates of this interview.
Will I get to choose the host office I work in? Can I apply for multiple locations?
During the application process, you will apply to your first choice of host office, then identify up to two (2) additional offices where you are willing to work. Gensler will take into account your first preference, but will also consider your additional preferences if the first location is not available. Only select offices where you are willing and legally able to work.
Am I able to apply for this year if I applied in the past?
Yes, there is no limit to how many times you can apply to the DSD Program.
May I submit the same Personal Dossier as I submitted in the past?
You may submit the same Dossier, but we highly encourage you to create a new Dossier that reflects the experience you have accumulated since you last applied. Be aware that the Case Studies may have changed since you last applied.
How can I improve my Personal Dossier and chances of getting accepted into the DSD Program?
Be sure to carefully read all content on the website and downloads. Follow all directions. Clearly exhibit a strategic approach to design. Display excellence in visual and written communication. Exhibit a process-oriented approach to your case study.
Can I receive feedback on my application if I do not get into the DSD Program?
We are not able to provide specific, individualized feedback on your application, Personal Dossier, or interview.
What if I miss the deadline for application?
No late applications will be accepted. If you fail to complete your online application by the deadline then you may apply the following year. We highly recommend that you submit your application days before the deadline to avoid any last minute technical issues.
Does Gensler sponsor work permits?
Due to the length of the program, Gensler will only sponsor the following individuals:
For U.S. offices: H-1B's (only for those who have already counted against the H-1B cap and have at least 4 years of H-1B eligibility left), E-3's, and TN's.
For the London, U.K. office: Gensler will sponsor Skilled Worker visas for individuals. Gensler will cover half the costs associated with the Skilled Worker visa.
Who is eligible?
Anyone who has a background in designing for the built environment and who meets the criteria as outlined on our Who We're Looking For page.
Am I eligible to apply if I will be completing my undergraduate/graduate studies in May but my graduation ceremony is after the start of the program?
Yes, as long as your educational studies have been completed, you are still eligible to apply. If requested, the school must be able to provide confirmation that you have completed your degree.
How do I know if I am legally able to work in the U.S. or U.K.? Are you able to tell me if I am eligible to work in the U.S. or U.K.?
Gensler is unable to inform you of your employment status. You should seek information from your local labor laws.
What if I am unable to begin on the start date of the program or unable to participate during the upcoming year?
Due to the structure of the program, all participants must be able to begin the program on the dates outlined in the program timeline as seen at the bottom of our How To Apply page. Gensler is not able to accommodate deferment of the program, however, you may apply the following year.
I am an F-1 student applying to work under an OPT (Optional Practical Training) EAD card. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, you are welcome to apply as long as you are eligible for a STEM OPT extension that covers the entire 18-month period of the program. To qualify for the STEM OPT extension, an F-1 student must hold a bachelor's degree or a higher degree in an eligible STEM field from a SEVP-certified school that is accredited (by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education). Please contact your school's International Students Office to confirm that you are eligible for a STEM OPT extension.
I will be graduating mid-year, around January, am I eligible to apply prior to graduation?
You may apply to the DSD Program before you graduate, but you must already have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree by the beginning of the program in August in order to be eligible.
I already have a bachelor’s degree and currently working on a master's. Can I apply to the program while I’m still in school?
The program is full-time employment so you must evaluate your ability to work full time and attend school. There may be times that you may be expected to travel for the program or for work. In your Personal Dossier, clearly indicate how you propose to manage both school and work.
Are current Gensler employees eligible?
No, current employees are not eligible for the program. Current or past interns, scholarship winners, fellows, and co-op students are eligible.
Do I need a design background? Which majors does Gensler usually seek for the DSD Program?
You must possess experience and education relating to the design of the built environment in areas such as: design strategy, interior design, environmental design, urban design, industrial design, and architecture. We are especially interested in graduates with experience in other disciplines that augment your design background, for example: business, finance, research methods, technology, engineering, brand strategy, anthropology, psychology, sociology, organizational development, and other fields beyond design that can contribute unique insights into solving challenging design problems.
Do I need previous experience in consulting or design strategy to apply?
No past experience in consulting or design strategy is required. However, you should look carefully at the Who We're Looking For section of the website to get a sense of the types of projects we work on and the services we offer. You should have a close affinity with analysis, strategy, synthesis, and storytelling.
What skills do I need?
You can find a list of required skills on our Who We're Looking For page.
Where is Gensler’s Design Strategist Development Program located?
The DSD Program is hosted in twelve (12) Gensler offices, including:
London, United Kingdom
Los Angeles, California
Morristown, New Jersey
New York, New York
Raleigh, North Carolina
San Francisco, California
Is this a paid position with Gensler that includes benefits, bonuses, etc?
During your time in the program, you will receive a competitive entry-level salary and the full benefits package that Gensler offers in the host office where you are located. See the great rewards for working at Gensler.
How long is the DSD Program? How long is my commitment to Gensler?
The program is 18-months long. By applying to the program, we anticipate that you will be fully committed to Gensler for the duration of the program and beyond as a full-time team member.
Is it possible to complete the program early or leave the program before it ends?
As long as you remain at Gensler, we anticipate that you will remain in the DSD Program until its completion. However, just as with any job, circumstances may warrant an early exit.
Will I be able to transfer to another host office during the program?
Though we prefer you to begin and end the program at the same host office, we understand life is full of unexpected turns. We will review transfers on a case-by-case basis.
What types of experiences will I have and skills will I gain during this program?
Refer to the Who We're Looking For page for a detailed idea of the types of work you will be doing, and to the Program Details page for a summary of the curriculum elements of the program.
Will I be able to work towards an architecture or interior design license during the program?
Yes, you will have opportunities to gain some experience needed to obtain a license. However, it is likely that you will not gain all experience needed due to the nature of the design analyst role.
How many other participants will be in the program?
The exact number of participants in the program will be determined at the end of the application process, although we anticipate around 8 to 18 participants across all host offices.
Can I take time off during the program for vacations, family emergencies, etc.?
Upon hire, you will adopt the same Paid Time Off (PTO)/Annual Leave policy as any Gensler employee at that host office. All time-off requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
How do I know if the Design Strategist Development Program is right for me?
This program and a career in Consulting are not right for everyone. To be a Gensler design strategist, you must have a passion for design and helping clients solve tough problems that go beyond the built environment. You should have an interest in defining a problem and developing strategic solutions that give guidance to our design teams.
Will I be expected to come into the office?
Yes. Currently there is flexibility for team members to work in the office if they are comfortable or to work from home. Anyone working in our office is required to follow our COVID-19 protocols regarding vaccination, mask wearing, and health screening. As the COVID-19 situation improves in our communities, we expect that our offices will be the primary place of work for most of our team members. We will assess the need for flexibility in alignment with our people philosophy, client needs and culture of collaboration.
Will Gensler pay my expenses for relocating to a host office for the program?
All expenses regarding your move, housing, and living during the program are your responsibility.
What happens at the end of the program?
DSD participants that successfully complete the program will continue as full-time team members in their Gensler office unless there are special circumstances to consider. New employment opportunities within Gensler will depend on our business and practice needs, along with your professional goals and degree of flexibility.
Do I remain in the Consulting practice after successful completion of the program?
The intention of the program is to develop the next generation of talent in our Consulting practice area. However, the role you play within the firm after completing the program is dependent upon your career goals and Gensler’s business needs. Your position may require you to utilize more of your educational background while also drawing upon your new skills as a design strategist. We will take your passions and interests into consideration as we work with you in post-program career planning.