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Student Profile

Mackenzie Carnovale

Product Designer at Port 443 Inc

Program Taken

UX Design Bootcamp

Key Skills Learned

  • User Research
  • Sketching and Wireframing
  • Prototyping
View Program Details
Mackenzie Carnovale


What was your educational and career background before you came to BrainStation?

I had worked in sales and retail for the past 10 years. This was a complete career transition. It’s entirely different.

Coming from that background, why did you decide to pursue digital skills training?

In a sense, everything that I've done in the past connects to UX and UI. That's how I always perceived it.

I was always talking to people, applying empathy to my conversations, and trying to problem-solve and innovate. I just always liked being involved with people. That’s what led me to UX and UI.

And I’m very into tech. That’s the environment I enjoyed being in. I just thought: “OK, I have to find something that combines all of these things.” And here I am now in the digital world.

Why did you decide to choose BrainStation?

Because I was making such a massive career transition — I had quit my job — I wanted a very fast-paced program. I also needed a school that would help me build a good, solid network, whether that was through guest speakers or solid support after graduation.

After doing research and talking to prior students, BrainStation was obviously the way to go. It checked off the boxes for everything. It was the perfect, perfect place.

What were some of the highlights of your learning experience?

The collaborative environment was the highlight. I built some incredible friendships and I obviously learned tons — not just from my Educators, but I learned so much from my peers as well. I was able to leverage their backgrounds and use their different strengths on our projects.

Another highlight was the immense amount of support I received from my Educators. I really enjoyed the one-on-one time we had. And I still talk to all of my Teaching Assistants — we have such great relationships and they all have amazing backgrounds.

What did you find challenging about the program?

I came to BrainStation with no UX or UI background. I was learning a new language. I didn’t know the terminology they were using and didn’t know anything about the role.

I was immersing myself in a brand new world.

What was your Demo Day experience like?

It was incredible. I just loved presenting my capstone because it was a passion project for me.

It was like the cherry on top of this entire program.

How did BrainStation impact your career?

I would not have this job without BrainStation. One of the reasons FoodFund hired me was because of BrainStation and my sales background. Clearly, BrainStation stood out to them, which was amazing.

BrainStation provided me with all of the skills to go into this job, and I felt fully confident applying them right away. I know in some college programs, you’re taught these skills that you’ll probably never use — but with this program, I used everything I learned.

I literally went from knowing nothing to being able to land my dream career.

How was the job search experience?

I started applying to jobs as soon as I graduated. The job search wasn't too bad, but any job search can be stressful.

I think where it really turned around for me was when people actually started reaching out to me because of BrainStation — that was really cool, because those were jobs I actually hadn’t applied for.

I think having BrainStation on my resume and LinkedIn really did help, which was very impactful for me.

Did you take advantage of the Career Accelerator Program at all?

While I was in the program, I did. I attended workshops, and that really helped me out. Once I graduated, I leveraged all of that advice and the skills taught throughout the program. I was 100 percent confident when I finished the program.

What advice would you pass along to somebody considering BrainStation?

I actually talk to a lot of current students, as well as students who are considering going into the program. I have been open about allowing people to reach out to me on LinkedIn so I can have a discussion with them about it.

I find that I’m always giving the same advice: be ready to give it your all. Be present in every lab and every lecture. You’re not just learning from your Educators and TAs, you are learning from your peers as well.

It can be very intense, but you get what you want out of it. I wanted everything out of it — and I got everything out of it.

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