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Student Profile

Aya Ataya

Junior UX Designer at King

Program Taken

UX Design

Program Type

UX Design Bootcamp

Key Skills Learned

  • User Research
  • Sketching and Wireframing
  • Prototyping
View Program Details
Aya Ataya

Interview

What is your educational and professional background?

My background is in architectural design. After finishing my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, I was working as an Architectural Designer straight away. I took on some project management roles. It was a really exciting opportunity to learn the process of how you go from design to implementation in an architectural setting.

At the time I didn’t know this, but there are a lot of processes in architectural design that are similar to UX design. Once I started to learn more about UX, I decided I wanted to make a career change into UX design and start my journey there.

That’s what led me to BrainStation.

How did you decide BrainStation was the right fit?

Once I decided to start my journey in UX design, I spent a lot of time comparing all the different courses. I read a lot of reviews online. And I realized that BrainStation’s bootcamp was the most robust. I also liked that the Educators were industry experts with a lot of experience in UX design.

Another main thing I liked about BrainStation’s bootcamp was that it offered a diploma, rather than a certificate. I come from a traditional educational background and I wanted to make sure I learned this material properly. I felt a diploma would be more recognized globally.

What stood out for me from the start is that BrainStation teaches in the same way that you work in the industry.

And then I learned more about the scholarships that BrainStation offers. I applied and, with my background, I got it. That made the course even more affordable and practical for me.

What stands out to you now about your learning experience at BrainStation?

What stood out for me from the start — and it’s a big part of why I applied as well — is that BrainStation teaches in the same way that you work in the industry. For example, we really rigorously followed the Double Diamond design model, which I came to learn was the one I was going to use in my internship. At BrainStation, we were following a practical example of how we would work in the industry. I was equipped with all the tools I needed.

Another thing that stood out for me was the cross-functional group work. I always enjoyed that in architecture I got to work with people who were not Designers or Architects. Having those experiences at BrainStation as well gave me a lot of insight into how different professionals work together.

How did your Educators contribute to your learning experience?

First of all, just having the Educators available on a 1:1 basis was incredible. Coming from a traditional educational background, that’s never the case — it’s very hard to get in touch with your lecturers. It’s a laborious process that takes a while. But with the Educators at BrainStation, you could message them straight away and they had office hours.

My Educators always took the time to walk through my work and answer my questions. They set me up for my professional life by being critical and saying, “OK, your work is good, but this is how you can make it better.” Even though I was doing really well in the course, my Educator was always trying to elevate my knowledge and question how I could match industry standards.

That pushed me to do the best that I could do. It inspired me.

What advice would you give to someone who was considering attending a BrainStation bootcamp program?

The first thing is that if you’re thinking about moving into the tech industry from a different industry, you should just go for it — there are so many more opportunities. It’s a growing market.

If you feel like you know what UX design is from researching online or reading books, it’s just not the same. You’re actually completing projects and collaborating. You get a learning and professional atmosphere, all in one. And it’s not like a traditional learning environment where it’s very distant and you have to learn things yourself — you’ll actually be taught what you have to do.

At the end of the day, you won’t get these invaluable skills from a book or a website. At BrainStation, you’re being taught by industry professionals who are going to give you real insights into what the industry is like. You will be equipped with all the professional tools you need going forward.

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