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Student Profile

Leanne Shuppe

Client Principal at Kin + Carta

Course Taken

UX Design

Course Type

UX Design Course

Key Skills Learned

  • User Research
  • Sketching and Wireframing
  • Prototyping
View Course Details
Leanne Shuppe

Interview

Where are you currently working and what is it that you do there?

I'm a Principal at Kin + Carta and part of the Digital Transformation business. We work with some of the world's largest companies, helping design, develop, and deliver new digital products and services to them.

I'm based in London and I work specifically on strategic sales for large value deals. And typically what that means is that I'm one of many on a team that helped bring in new clients.

What does a typical day look like for you?

It's always different and there's always a lot of plates spinning. It could be anything from working with a new client on a new logo to developing new business – a lead could come from any part of the business, so my days often involve starting those early conversations and bringing in key members and experts from my team to help facilitate those sessions and turn them into clients.

Can you tell us a bit more about your education and career background. How did you get to where you are?

I have a Bachelor of Commerce and after completing my degree I started working in advertising. I very quickly decided, though, that I didn't want to work in advertising anymore. But what I liked about my experience in that field was the client management aspect of it; I really enjoyed being the middleman between an internal creative team and an external client.

It's never been about having the degree for me, it’s always been about being really curious about something and wanting to throw myself at it for a couple of years.

And actually, I’m currently a student right now. I'm doing my Masters of Science and Organizational Design – I'm studying strategic change in enterprise systems and in multinationals specifically.

Why did you choose to study at BrainStation?

I had made the decision that I didn't want to work in advertising. I knew I wanted to get into consulting, I knew I wanted to get into tech, but it's a very hard industry to break into if you don't have that background. I think it would be easier for the next generation because students are getting exposed to computer science in their undergraduate programs. I was maybe the last generation that didn't.

So, I wanted to develop a skill set that was very niche and that would help me stand out when I went for those jobs. And for me it was UX Design because I felt that even if I wasn't a Designer, having that knowledge and understanding would help me with clients and the design team.

What would you say was the highlight of your learning experience?

I liked the flow of it. It fit into my schedule really easily. I did the evening classes with my flatmate and I liked that it was really engaging. It never felt like you were getting theory thrown at you; it was really a matter of getting hands-on experience, understanding it, and collaborating with your classmates.

What was the most challenging part of your learning experience?

Design was new to me, so that was a challenge because I didn't have that background. So it was my curiosity that was fueling it. So it was a real challenge to learn something new, and build in time to study while I worked. It took time and dedication.

How would you say that BrainStation experience impacted your career or the way that you approach work today?

Honestly, I don't think I would have broken into tech as quickly if I didn't have the experience. And I don't think I would have gone back and done a long traditional program. So it was the perfect way to upskill myself.

I think without it, I wouldn't have transitioned into tech; I probably would have taken another job for more money within the same industry and I would have been kicking myself later because I never really loved advertising.

What were the most valuable skills that you learned at BrainStation?

It really was the hands-on approach and understanding how integral empathy and user feedback was in the design process. You know what your experience is like as an app user, but when you're actually going through and building an app and designing for it and understanding that you have to please so many people, it becomes a bigger challenge. It's not just about you and your experience – it’s also about the feedback you're getting that you never would have expected, and learning how it impacts the overall experience with the app and the brand.

It just made the design process feel real, and it showed me the value in proper UX design, and how much time it can save people. It gives you a new appreciation for all of the subtle things that go into great user experiences.

What advice would you give to other professionals that are considering a BrainStation course or program?

Ask yourself, what's my end goal? Are you looking to upskill yourself? Do you want to break into a new field? There are a lot of reasons to get training, and knowing what you’re trying to achieve can help you choose the right course and keep you motivated.

Also, if you’re thinking about it, I’d say just do it. It really doesn’t take much time, and it can have a real impact on your career – BrainStation just gives you so many more options.

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