Can you tell us a bit about your education and career background?
I studied Accounting and Finance and worked in auditing at a public accounting firm.
Why did you choose to study at BrainStation?
I had a really creative childhood and grew up wanting to be an Architect, but I ended up making a pivot to study business instead. But the more time I spent in my classes and co-op terms, the more I realized that this career path wasn't for me.
I reflected on what really brought me joy and considered going back to my creative roots. Some friends in tech recommended that I look into User Experience and User Interface Design. Since I knew nothing about the field, I decided to look for introductory courses to get a foundational understanding of it. I wanted to validate whether it was worth completely dropping my accounting designation to pursue design.
What motivated you to start digital skills training?
I was looking to completely switch careers, and this required me to explore new skills and evaluate whether I enjoyed them.
What was the highlight of your learning experience?
The highlight for me was the moment when it clicked that I definitely wanted to pursue design – it was 3:00 AM, while I was sitting in my bed, furiously working away in Sketch on my final project. I realized I was doing all of this work purely out of my own free will because I was passionate about it.
BrainStation created their curriculum in a really digestible and effective way, where each class addressed a different step in the design process chronologically. Each week, we would be asked to apply learnings from class towards our final project. It was exciting to see my final project evolve, as well as my overall understanding of design, which developed much faster than I expected.
BrainStation made all the difference. It gave me the confidence I needed to seriously apply for jobs that could help me transition into design.
How has your BrainStation experience impacted your career?
BrainStation made all the difference. It gave me the confidence I needed to seriously apply for jobs that could help me transition into design. I applied the same design framework we learned in class to multiple passion projects and freelance gigs for over a year after I finished the course. These projects helped me build a strong portfolio to land the job I dreamed of.
What would you say were the most valuable skills you learned?
I would say user research. It was one of the first classes and it really emphasized the need to abstract away our personal bias in good design. To this day, the things I learned are still there: focusing on the user, getting impactful insights by asking the right questions, and creating a strong feedback loop.
To this day, the things I learned are still there: focusing on the user, getting impactful insights by asking the right questions, and creating a strong feedback loop.
What advice would you give to professionals considering a BrainStation course?
BrainStation courses are a great way to learn new skills or begin a career switch. It adds an extra layer of accountability and it gave me the confidence that I was picking up all the right pieces to build a strong foundation.
I think what you get out of the course is how much you put into it. Being fully engaged in the lectures, in-class exercises, group activities, the final project, and getting to know other students and instructors will really make this experience the most rewarding.
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