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All Success Stories

Student Profile

Meade Peers Mccoy

Product Designer at Lowe’s Companies Inc.

Program Taken

UX Design

Program Type

UX Design Bootcamp

Key Skills Learned

  • User Research
  • Sketching and Wireframing
  • Prototyping
View Program Details
Meade Peers Mccoy

Interview

Meade completed her studies at BrainStation Miami (Formerly Wyncode Academy).

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

I work for Lowe's Companies as a Product Designer. I've been through three titles since I’ve been there, but it’s been the same role, they just keep changing the title. I am a UX Designer, focused heavily on UI, and working extensively with UX Architects. I work on internal-facing applications, rather than our customer-facing applications like our website. I design proprietary software for Pricing Analysts, who use the software to set prices for all of our products.

Can you tell us a bit more about your education and your career background? Where were you before you landed here?

I have an undergraduate degree in hospitality management. I’ve worked in restaurants, hotels, and coffee shops for many, many years. I also have a Master's degree in human performance improvement, which is a complicated way of saying workplace learning and organizational development. I've also worked at software companies in sales and marketing, as well as working in nonprofit management for five years where I was a Director of Special Projects. I like to pick up and do all kinds of different things.

When I decided to switch careers to UX design, I figured that having a background in art, and experience in the computer world would help. It turns out that all of my prior careers and educational experiences were relevant to UX. All my customer service experience helped me see things from the user's perspective. My Master’s degree was also able to provide me with a business perspective. Having learned how to teach, I knew how to break something down into very small pieces and put them back together for somebody to understand a concept. Being able to do that really helped when developing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). It turns out that it all fit together extremely well for a career in UX.

What was it about UX design in particular that really appealed to you?

I'm not a coder. I have since learned I actually hate to code. I took the Part-time Front-end Development Course at Wyncode this last summer and it was a great experience, but my major takeaway – I hate to code. I made the right choice going into UX design.

I am a highly creative but also very analytical and logical person. It’s an odd combination to lean on for a career. I like looking at problems and finding creative solutions. I enjoy making something that’s visually attractive. The analytical side of UX also really appealed to me. I like the research and the very solid logic behind the design thinking process. There are no arbitrary decisions being made. All of those things really lined up with how I like to think so UX seemed like it was going to be a good fit, at least for now.

I told myself I’d give UX design a try and I went looking for different ways to learn about it. I know I’m not a good self-guided learner. I'm not going to be able to watch all the YouTube videos on the planet and read all the books and come out of it with a solid understanding of the subject. When I was looking to get into UX, Wyncode was still doing in-person bootcamps, and that was incredibly important to me. The fact that classes took place on campus and in-person helped me choose Wyncode for my journey into UX.

What was the highlight of your learning experience at Wyncode?

I really loved being part of a cohort of people, that all came from different life experiences, and who were all able to work towards the same goal. All of us were able to lean on our previous life experiences in our work. I was able to learn a lot from everybody around me, from the things they had already experienced, to learning to understand their perspective.

I think that as a learning experience, the highlight for me was working with the Developers. We were in the same building, we would talk to them every day, and we also worked on projects together with them. We had the opportunity to consult them on one of their mid term projects. We spent a couple of hours with them, helping them figure out what they were doing and then created really rough wire frames for them. This gave the Developers insight into what we could do. We also did our final projects in conjunction with them. Everybody worked on a team consisting of development and UX students. We had to work collaboratively on the project and I think that was incredibly valuable. It really mimics the real world.

I really loved being part of a cohort of people, that all came from different life experiences, and who were all able to work towards the same goal. All of us were able to lean on our previous life experiences in our work. I was able to learn a lot from everybody around me, from the things they had already experienced, to learning to understand their perspective.

What impact did the actual work in the classroom have on your professional development?

It provided me with a solid set of skills so that I could use industry standard software, create a portfolio, and understand the fundamentals well enough to get a job. That introductory set of skills meant that somebody would hire me. This meant that an employer was able to trust that I knew what I was doing. I was lucky enough to get a job within less than two months after graduation. In fact, I received three offers and chose one. Wyncode has proven to be a good place to learn, and it's something that I am now a big proponent of.

How did you find the job search process after you finished the User Experience Design Bootcamp?

I think that the job search process works extremely well if you commit to it. Wyncode covered networking, how to write resumes and cover letters, and included the tricks to use when creating your Designer resume and ASR resumes for automated systems. You were also able to use their connections to talk to people in the industry. There was a formula to all of it, it was logical and researched, and all of it worked well. I was only out of the bootcamp for three or four weeks when I was offered three different jobs.

What advice would you give other professionals who may be considering a Wyncode or BrainStation course or program?

Know what you want out of it. Don't go in there looking for a quick fix, it's a commitment being there during the program and it's a commitment once you’ve completed the program. Whatever job you get after the bootcamp, you're going to have to continue to learn quickly. This lays out the foundation for you, it's not all encompassing education. You can't do that in 12 weeks. The programs are a stepping stone to give you that foundation so that you can continue learning on your own and keep growing.

I interview people all the time at work. I interview many UX Designers throughout the year. I see what works and what doesn't work. You have to put yourself into your work and be able to explain it passionately. If you have a cookie cutter portfolio, you're not going to make it through an interview process. If you can't explain why you care about the subject before you go into the program, you're going to have a hard time. You really need to know why you're there. The most important thing to keep in mind is that any and all life experiences are relevant. No matter how much you think your background doesn't fit into UX design, if you can connect the dots, any life experience you have had will make you a better UX Designer. Even if you worked in the service or restaurant industry, that's incredibly relevant. You need to figure out how to sell that, because when you’re looking to get a job and can explain how your background as a Bartender makes you a better UX Designer, they are going to sit up and listen to you. I try to teach this to people all the time, how to connect their prior life experiences to what they want to do.

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