Jakita: Hey, I'm Jakita, and I'm an Experience Designer at BT!
Winnie: So, what's your origin story? We want to know how you became the Jakita we see today!
Jakita: From a young age, I've always been interested in making things from scratch. I have never been overly academic, and designing has always been limitless to me. When I was in Year 6, a friend introduced me to Photoshop, and I used to edit family photos to add a duplicate
of myself and claim I was a twin to my classmates (only child problems 😂).
Once I was in college, I knew I didn't want to go to Uni but didn't really know what I could do. As a BTEC Art and Design student, I considered myself a Jack of all trades but a master of none. A teacher at the time suggested that I look into studying fashion buying at the fashion retail academy as an alternative to Uni, and I liked the freedom being a buyer would give as a career.
On the weekends, I would sketch out apps and games using pen and paper. Still, at the time, I didn't know that was a job I could have without being a coder or web developer (missed opportunity). As my buying career progressed, a friend who studied graphic design at Uni mentioned UX design to me. He was using Adobe XD and Sketch, and we would go to cafes on weekends to practice making new designs. As time went on, I thought there weren't many free ways of learning outside of YouTube that would allow me to totally change my career. I definitely lacked confidence as I knew I wouldn't be able to fully commit while working on multiple business ideas and two jobs.
A few years later, a business I was working on needed a website. I wanted to freely change the formats without having to pay someone each time, so I used wordpress.org to make a website for free. I used plugins and integrated my own designs into the website, which made me reconsider my capabilities, but I still couldn't commit. At the time, I was a data analyst, but I was lost with what I wanted to do as a career. I had tried and failed multiple businesses and wanted this business to work to quit my full-time job. It wasn't until almost a year later that a friend mentioned that she was looking into UX design. I told her about Love Circular on Twitter and thought, "why not take the plunge for myself?". I was in a better mental situation and was somewhat happy with every other aspect of my life, so why not? And the rest is history.
Winnie: Congratulations on taking the leap! How are you settling into your new role?
Jakita: Now, as an XD designer, I'm still getting to grips with the way BT functions connect with each other. At any given time, I can be working on projects with Business analysts, Process designers, Product Managers, Project Managers, and the list goes on. Depending on the project, there can be various different discussions at a time, but my immediate team members are all XD designers, primarily working on their own projects. Only if additional help is needed would they reach out to another team member for assistance.
Winnie: Sounds like a supportive environment! What do you like the most about your job?
Jakita: I like the fact that although our main job is to map out journeys, we can make recommendations to other teams. At the moment, there isn't any part of my job that I don't like. Still, as a new starter, I think that's usually the case. As I get more responsibilities, my mind may change, but at the moment, it's my main focus to learn the BT way.
Winnie: The rose-tinted glasses we all have when we start a new job, right? Is there anything you're looking forward to, career-wise?
Jakita: The thing I am most looking forward to within my career is continuing to grow as a designer and seeing how I can make an impact inside and outside of my full-time role. I plan to work on more personal projects to keep my mind fresh and updated with the latest trends, so nothing learnt from the Bootcamp is lost. My background within Buying and Data definitely allowed me to view aspects of my career from a different angle. I think it is a massive benefit to wear multiple thinking hats at a time. There are loads of opportunities up for grabs as a designer, and it is a great industry to network and meet like-minded people.
Winnie: Thanks for chatting with us! Any final thoughts? How do you feel now that you've broken into tech?
Jakita: I feel extremely grateful for what Love Circular has created for the community. I feel they have provided the tools and the connections for me to apply my skill set. Even after graduating, I always feel that if I ever have questions, there is always someone to assist.
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