Elizabeth, a UXUI10 alumni, has landed a role as a Junior Designer at Mindwave Ventures! 🥳
We checked in to see what advice she has for us based on her experiences!
"Before UX/UI Design, I worked at an SEN (Special Education Needs) School. I studied Psychology at university because mental health is an interest of mine, so the work I was doing at the school allowed me to apply a lot of what I learned.
Nevertheless, during lockdown, I started designing for fun and even volunteered to create designs for my church. I soon discovered UX/UI Design and was fascinated by how multifaceted it is. Being able to express my creativity, solve problems and apply my psychological knowledge to create seamless user experiences and interfaces seemed like a great intersection for my interests.
I started teaching myself about design, and then after networking on Twitter, I heard about Love Circular and took it seriously. I enjoyed the course and quickly realised that design would be a great career transition.
Interestingly, there is a lot of overlap between working in an SEN school and design. Both involve complex needs or problems that require solving. Although the execution is different, the thought processes have a lot of similarities, making my transition into design smoother than I expected. Now I can work for a healthcare tech company passionate about mental health, express my creativity through designs and apply psychological principles all at once!"
"The interview process was smooth and positive. I talked through my portfolio and a design task I completed whilst my interviewers asked me questions. I think they really enjoyed hearing my explanations as it helped them understand my design process and if I was a good fit for the company. They particularly enjoyed my second case study because I linked it to healthcare and mental health, the company's industry.
I was asked a lot of questions, but I think it was a smooth process because I was able to expand on answering questions due to my background knowledge and experience in healthcare/mental health."
"I would say that it's a good idea to showcase work in your portfolio that reflects the industry you want to work in. If you don't know what industry you want to work in, I think creating case studies or designs about topics you care about or interest you is a good idea. Hopefully, it will be easier for you to explain your design decisions and increase your chances of enjoying the role."
"My advice for students/alumni job hunting is to apply for both junior and mid/senior roles. The job I secured was initially for a Senior Role, but I still applied, and they agreed to take me on as a Junior Designer. It can be tiring to apply for jobs that seem beyond you as well as junior-level jobs, but it could be the difference between landing a role.
I would also recommend posting your work on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. I know it's scary, but it can show Lead Designers or Hiring Managers your growth, determination and willingness to develop your skills. It also shows that you have a degree of faith in your designs and can take feedback (which you will receive as a designer in a role).
Lastly, I recommend writing out what kind of role you want and why you want it (particularly if you are transitioning careers). Sometimes interviews may be organised sooner than you expect and you want to be confident, so I would recommend practising answers to questions and knowing your content well. You may be asked unpopular questions too, so it's good to be prepared to increase your chances of getting the role amongst other candidates!"