Weekly Recap #07: So Grind, Much Work

When the work keeps coming but time don’t stop running 🙃

I spent way too much time thinking of a title for this week’s recap, and wow does it suck.

Let us not waste any time dilly-dallying! As requested (by no one), here is the tl;dr for those in a hurry: taking on a PM role with no experience, round 2 of podcasting, and yet another backseat to my side projects.

Quora for Tritons

but do you even PM?

So a fellow in the UCSD Design group has been posting every couple weeks asking if anyone was interested in working on a learning/information platform for the tech community at UCSD. Kinda like a Quora…but UCSD-ified 🤔. Found it to be interesting, although at the time I was a little swamped (still am rip) with other projects.

But fast forward to this week: having listened to Mills Baker on Design Details and finally having what I told myself was an opening in my schedule, I went ahead and messaged the guy. I showered him with questions and by the end of it, found myself debating if I should join as a UX Designer for their Notifications team or as a PM for their User Activity team.

Now, I’ve never worked in the capacity of a PM before. To be quite frank, I’ve never been a full-on designer-at-a-company-that-did-not-hire-me-as-a-contract-or-intern. So what makes me even remotely capable of serving as a PM? Still asking myself that. But I was assured that this whole endeavor was aimed to help everyone grow and prior experience isn’t quite necessary. Thank god, because it’s about to be a straight-up learn-on-the-job experience. Granted, I’ve found myself in a more leadership-y role in my past school projects and I hope that in itself speaks to my potential. I guess we’ll see, right? Looking forward to it though, and I think it’ll give me the insight I’ve been searching for in other designers 😸.

We’re on iTunes, baby!

two episodes in and no end in sight just yet

My lovely co-hosts and I are onto our second episode of Up+Coming! Just a reminder, Up+Coming is a podcast series I’m starting with two good friends to talk design from a jr. level perspective. This episode we explored a recent article posted by Fortune that talked about how user experience extends beyond an app: it’s the whole darn thing.


We dive into what “user experience” means to us and how it’s affected our processes as designers. What with the industry becoming more and more important, it’s crucial that terms like UX be defined in a way that’s understandable to everyone. I’m not going to “spoil” anymore at this point, but I do want to say that the amount of support we’ve been getting since we’ve started this has been so nice.

d’aww shucks, y’all 🙈

Personally, it’s been really motivating to know that others like us — in that good ol’ jr. position — have found our episodes to be a pleasure to listen to + inspiring overall. By providing this dialogue that you might not get outside 1:1s, we hope to share insights of our experiences and remind other junior designers that we’re all going through some of the same problems.

Embedding doesn’t seem to work currently so here’s a link instead: https://bumpers.fm/e/b5rod9tn5340015rslh0 💩

Feel free to give a listen! I promise, it’s no more than 30 minutes of your time (commutes, anyone?) and any feedback is always appreciated. And speaking of feedback, join us on Spectrum, a place where you can stay better connected to the communities you care about. We just established our community there today so let any and all questions come in, as we’re happy to answer 🤗

Hush little projects, don’t say a word

Papa Alex’s gonna get to y’all soon

I’ve found that there’ll just be some weeks where you don’t have time to really touch your projects at all. For me, this week at my actual work — Test Engineer at Cisco — actually required me to do things so I didn’t have the hours of free time I normally had. And my partner found herself in the same situation of work overload, so there was no advances in that department.

Regardless, I’m okay with it. I know that these projects are still something I want to complete, despite the deadlines not being too set in stone. The goal is to just make the most out of this learning experience. So far, so good.

But moving forward into the week, it’ll be good to set some attainable goals just so I can be shooting toward something. Whether that be user interviews or some dabbling with design iterations, keeping myself stimulated with my projects keeps the motivation going. At least that’s what I found.

No pictures for this section sadly, but it’s also 12AM now and I want to play some Overwatch before I feel compelled to sleep 😴.

One last thing: I also wrote this little piece on the “Linkedin/Design Twitter kerfuffle” (a Linkedin endorsement free-for-all gone wrong?) and kept it separate from the recap because I figured it’s a lot of my own ranting that I didn’t want taking away from the “recap” aspect of this here story. Check it out if you’d like to read, but be warned: I am for endorsements…in the most neutral, borderline-apathetic way. 👶🏼

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