Where are you working currently, and what do you do there?
I work at the U.K.-based fintech startup, Cleo.
Our mission is to “fight for the world’s financial health” by offering tools and insights that allow users to improve their relationships with their money outside of traditional banking. The method of delivery is the chatbot, Cleo, who serves financial resources with dry wit and sarcastic humor. This is not your typical fintech app.
As a UX Writer, I help voice Cleo through conversation design using UX processes.
Can you tell us more about what your typical day looks like as a UX Writer?
I work 100 percent remotely. Because of the time difference between the U.S. and the U.K., my mornings are meetings with Managers and the teams I work on — some cross-functional, some consisting solely of writers. My afternoons are filled with my current projects and keeping my teammates up-to-speed with where I am in my processes.
I am always on Slack taking note of where we are collectively headed. I am constantly in Figma files, Miro boards, slide decks, project managing tools, and data analysis boards.
The structure of my days is consistent, but what fills them is never the same.
Can you tell us a bit about your education and career background?
I have a bachelor of fine arts in acting. I spent the last 13 years acting professionally in commercials, television, theatre, and comedy. I also worked in food service for those 13 years to remain financially stable.
In short, before Cleo, I was a SAG-AFTRA member and waitress since 2009.
Why did you choose to study at BrainStation?
After a great deal of research, BrainStation stood out for many reasons. I was drawn to the rigorous program and the three-month timeline. I appreciated that the content thoroughly covered UX as well as UI principles and that the robust Career Success program extended beyond my date of completion into my job search.
Reading up on the experiences of past grads, I saw so many people who found a new path by entering BrainStation. I also saw that it would take a lot of work and dedication but could have a significant payoff.
What motivated you to start digital skills training?
I wanted to make a total change in my career trajectory for a long time. Acting as a profession is a hard life. Waiting tables is a hard life. I enjoyed both but felt underutilized and stuck. A master’s degree was off the table because of the cost.
After finding out about UX design, I felt it was the perfect way to showcase my storytelling and interpersonal skills while making a difference in a growing industry. It sounded amazing.
What kind of support did you receive as a student at BrainStation?
I received enough support to cultivate industry-standard level skills while remaining self-sufficient. Educators were always available when I needed personalized guidance and support. My cohort was a constant resource as well.
BrainStation offers multiple touchpoints with industry leaders, like guest lectures and fireside chats. Did you have the chance to explore these and if so, what was your favorite?
I adored the industry leader visits and lectures. We had one with Shopify, for example, and everything they shared with us was immensely informative. Their product team is among the best, and I’m so grateful to have had access to their industry knowledge and storytelling skills.
What was it like collaborating with students from other bootcamps in BrainStation’s 4D event?
It was a great lesson in that one of the first steps to being strong at UX is developing the ability to explain to others what UX is and why it matters.
Because of that unifying experience, I am still in touch with and supported by Web Developers and Data Scientists I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
What was your Demo Day experience like?
Demo Day was a great way to get exposure to industry leaders and an excellent chance to flex presentation muscles by sharing thought processes as a cohesive story. I was super proud of my work and how I shared it. I felt supported by my cohort and Educators.
I saw it as an opportunity to allow my personality to come through my work and make a strong case for why I should continue to occupy the UX space.
How has your BrainStation experience impacted your career?
I would never have been allowed to switch to a career in tech without my BrainStation experience and rising to the challenge it presented.
What would you say were the most valuable skills you learned? How have you incorporated those skills into your current role?
Agile learning, and an ability and willingness to learn quickly to meet expectations. I apply this every day as a UX Writer — it helps me deliver on projects and allows me to cultivate skills throughout the process continuously. Because I am new to my position, demonstrating this skill also helps build trust with my team.
What was your job search experience like after the bootcamp?
It took just as much focus and care to search for and apply to jobs as it did to complete the bootcamp. However, I felt supported by the Career Success team and took full advantage of those resources throughout my job search process to ensure its success.
Were you able to lean on the Career Accelerator Program?
Yes. The Career Accelerator Program had a significant impact on my ability to find a position post-graduation. I highly recommend taking advantage of all the post-bootcamp standups, staying in touch with your cohort, and researching the job market in your area in tandem with this part of the program.
What advice would you give to professionals considering a BrainStation course or program?
The educational structure is dense, demanding, and will force you out of your comfort zone. Recognize that virtually everything you are exposed to is of value, so take advantage of as many resources offered as you can.
Your cohort is just as great an asset as your Educators. Ask questions, share thoughts and observations, afford yourself the time to work outside of class, and have fun.
This is a fantastic opportunity to develop a skill set that may change the course of your life.
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