Let Me Introduce Myself
Hi, my name is Laura and I just did something crazy! I quit my comfortable job as a Structural Designer, took a trip to Guatemala, and signed up for General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive program. In less than a month, I have undone everything I’ve been working towards since I graduated from college…. and I’ve never been so relieved/nervous/excited!
How did I end up here?
I graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2013 with a BS in Industrial Design and a Marketing Certificate. During my four years at GT, I became very passionate about understanding people, their needs, and how they interact with the products around them. I loved solving their problems through my designs. Having the opportunity to prototype and test these designs was a huge plus.
After graduating, I found myself accepting a job as a corrugated packaging designer. It wasn’t exactly my dream job, but it seemed relevant enough to my degree (I’d still be working in a CAD program and prototyping) so I thought I’d try it out. A year later, I accepted an offer from another company doing structural design for corrugated point of purchase displays. It was a step closer to what I thought I wanted to do, but I was also digging myself further into this niche industry.
I wasn’t challenged or excited by the work, but I stuck around because I liked the company, my coworkers, and the security of a full time job. After two years, I knew I needed to make a change. I started job hunting, but I couldn’t get excited about any of the postings and no longer felt qualified for jobs outside of my current industry. I felt trapped.
My friend was attending General Assembly’s open house for WDI. She dragged me along because she didn’t want to go alone. It was then that I heard about their User Experience Design Immersive class and suddenly, I was excited about something again! I had been exposed to UX during my time at GT and have a few UX Designer friends, but had never thought of doing it myself. I immediately reached out to my UX friends to discuss what their job is like on a day-to-day basis. It all made sense. Why hadn’t I thought of doing UX before? I already have experience with research, am passionate about designing for users, and know a bit about usability, mapping, feedback, and graphic design. I know there is still a lot that I don’t know, but I look forward to learning it.
So here I am, unemployed, moving back home, and going back to school. All in the hope that I end up with a career that will challenge me, I will love doing, and will have a positive impact on society (or at least make someone’s life a little bit easier).