Janet: My name is Janet, and I'm a UX Designer! Well, soon to be.
Winnie: How did you come across UX/UI?
Janet: By profession, I am a Paediatric Nurse, and I've worked in the NHS for nearly 2 years after qualifying in the pandemic. However, I've always been a creative person; I draw, paint, write and sketch. Name anything creative - I do it! I used to do photography for my uncle’s company. Even though I’ve been training to be a nurse, my creative side has always been a part of me and made me thrive.
I discovered UX/UI when I started doing graphic design. Towards the end of my third year at university, I was unsure if I really wanted to do nursing, so I explored other options. I tried interior design, and it was a no from me - I did not like it as much as I thought I would. Once I qualified for nursing, I started getting into painting and writing again and noticed my mood would improve. I decided to take a Udemy course in graphic design, which I am currently completing alongside the Love Circular Bootcamp. I was intrigued by the UX/UI section of the Udemy course. After speaking to my friend, a Programming Engineer, she knew many people who had completed the LC Bootcamp and were successful afterwards. She strongly encouraged me to do it, so I continued the Udemy course whilst saving up for the LC Bootcamp.
Then Black Friday came about! My friend sent me the link again whilst I was asleep, and I woke up in the middle of the night, looked at it and went back to sleep. That's when I had a dream that I was a UX/UI Designer, which woke me up again. I signed up right there and then and went back to sleep. By the time I woke up again in the morning, it had sold out, and the Black Friday Sale was over! I'm so glad I did it when I did!
Starting the Bootcamp, I'll never regret it, I've learnt so much, and I enjoy it so much! When you're doing something that you love, and it's something that's a part of you, it doesn't feel like work. It's enjoyable!
Winnie: How are you finding the Bootcamp? Pros? Cons?
Janet: I love Love Circular. I kind of wish it was longer because I love the community and the people at Love Circular. I know that I will always be a part of it, but I think not having lessons will feel different and weird.
What I'm enjoying the most, honestly, is my lessons. My tutor, Laurence, is amazing. He's so great at what he does. He also works in the government, which is very similar to my work as a nurse for the NHS, so I've seen how I can link healthcare with design. I love seeing his work and how he applies what we're learning to what he does.
I love doing the presentations too! At first, I didn't like them. I was nervous and didn't want to go first. But I think seeing other people put in the effort makes you want to work harder, too. Sometimes it's inspiring, and sometimes it makes me feel down for a few seconds, then my coursemates uplift and encourage me to keep going. It’s what I love the most - the support at Love Circular and my course mates. Everyone is there to help. Around week 4, a student from a different cohort helped me understand Figma a bit better. She took her time to explain it to me. There's a real sense of community here that is missing elsewhere, where you can feel like you're on a journey by yourself.
I love Twitter now! I used to hate Twitter before because I didn't understand it. But since making my account for UX/UI, I have met so many other designers online and followed so many that are like mentors to me, and I look up to them. People always give you tips and advice even if they don't know you! It's really helpful. There's no toxicity on this side of Twitter.
My favourite part of the course is research because I have to find out what users need. That often takes a lot of time, but when you find it makes things better for them, it makes your designs more seamless. Before, I would create for myself, but research allows me to create for others. It provides a different perspective; it's not about you. It's about the users and what they need. I realised early on that what I put in is what I will get out of it. My mentor hammered that home to me, so even though I would, I always make sure I set aside time to design, research, read, or listen to a podcast related to design.
Winnie: What are your aims and goals when graduating from Love Circular?
Janet: Outside Love Circular, I have a blog, so post-graduation, I want that blog to be 10x better using what I've learnt at Love Circular. Secondly, I am doing this Bootcamp for my mental health because I am a creative person. When I stopped all my creative work to focus on nursing, I had a depressive episode. Many things happened in addition to that, but not doing what I love made me feel very low. Post-graduation, I know I will be a lot happier as I transition from healthcare to tech.
As a nurse, I am naturally empathetic, which I will carry me into the tech industry. I've given myself time to work on my case studies and portfolio then I am getting a job! I want to work my way up in the tech industry and make a difference. We live in a world where accessibility is so important, I want what I do to matter, similar to how it does when nursing. I'm excited to get a job in the summer! I know it will happen as long as I keep putting in the work and reaching out to people because people are willing to help as long as you ask for it. I've learnt that early on, it doesn't just come out of nowhere. You have to be consistent.
I know a senior product designer who takes an hour of her time every 2 weeks to speak to me and answer my questions. I also want to be able to do that one day for someone who needs it. There are people out there that genuinely want to help and mentor people, I'm excited about the future! I also want to come back to Love Circular in the future because I see the vision and beauty of how everyone works together and supports each other. It's where you want to be.
Winnie: Any recommendations for any wanting to join the Bootcamp?
Janet: Love Circular is where it's at. Love, community, and education. All things you need to grow and thrive. You need to come with an open mind and be prepared to make time for what you're doing. It could be an hour a day outside your lesson time. The achievements of others haven't come by them just sitting there. They've grafted, put in the effort and the work and set time aside.
If you're thinking about doing this Bootcamp, do it! But have that drive and passion, and it will work in your favour because companies need people who care about users. Please do the course! But put in the work to get the outcome that you want!
Winnie: Thanks for sharing your story!
Janet: This has been Janet Blessing, I hope you have a blessed day, and I'll see you next time.
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