We spoke with Bellemare about the Yohomo community and how his success in UX and product design helped him build a career and passion project.
Meet Ryan, who previously worked at Telus as a financial analyst. Having designated with his CPA and CMA, he’s no stranger to further education and learning. Learn why he decided to invest in his career and pursue our Full-Time UX Design Program at our Toronto Campus.
What were you doing before the program?
Right before the program, I was working at TELUS International as a financial analyst on their financial planning and analysis team. I had taken finance/accounting in university, and continued that career path after graduation by gaining my Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified Management Accountant designation and working various finance/accounting roles.
What led you to BrainStation?
I was contemplating what my next move would be in order to take my career in a direction that I felt true excitement for. I’d always been interested in consumer technology and design, which is what led me to learn more about user experience (UX) design. I went down the rabbit hole of reading up on UX articles online, and that led me to check out BrainStation’s course offerings.
What led you to enroll in the Full-time User Experience Design Program at BrainStation?
I chose to enroll in the Full-time User Experience Design Program at BrainStation because it would provide me a solid kick-start into a career as a user experience designer. It would provide me an opportunity to gain that foundational knowledge needed, get feedback from experienced mentors, and it would open up the opportunity to build a larger network of relationships with people in the industry.
What were your feelings going into the program?
Going into it on day one, I felt like a little kid on his first day of school. Except more excited than nervous this go around, since I was going into a class that I had an honest interest in.
Did you have any prior experience with the content?
I had no prior experience with the content. Coming from an accounting/finance background, this field was almost entirely new to me. And so naturally, there were some reservations about whether I’d be “good” at this whole design thing.
What was your experience like in class, with your educators and with the content?
My experience in the course was nothing but positive. It was challenging at times, but ultimately rewarding. The content was sort of like drinking water from a fire hose. A lot of teachings were learned within what seemed a short period. But the instructors (and TAs), with their vast and varied personal experiences, were always helpful and insightful while balancing that healthy push to encourage improving my work. I made huge strides over the 10 weeks and I feel like I’m now in a strong position to continue that trajectory into a UX/UI design role.
Would you recommend this program to others?
I would definitely recommend this program to others if you’re looking to start a career in user experience/user interface design. The regimented schedule of the 10-week full-time course encourages your full attention to the subject. This is an advantage over traditional education offerings, where sometimes you’re forced to take required classes that don’t interest you. Also, in the BrainStation course, you’re surrounded by classmates that are in the same boat which I found created an environment where it was more collaborative and supportive rather than competitive.
Is there anything else you’d like to add about the experience?
One thing about the experience that I hadn’t anticipated was the friendships created over the course. You’ll meet a lot of great people from various backgrounds. It’s cool to say that there’s a handful of them that I can see myself carrying on the friendship in the future beyond the classroom.