From the self-reflection of a young professional building her career

A few weeks ago I notified my team at Trunk Club that I would be taking a new job in a new city. It was terrifying and extremely bittersweet. This team of 8 product designers helped shape my career in Product Design. They taught me how to refine my design skills, provided me with an arsenal of problem solving techniques, and pushed me in ways I’ll be forever grateful for.

Trunk Club has a true “don’t ask for permission” mentality and I was given tremendous amounts of responsibility as an entry level Product Designer. Over the last year and 10 months (yes I do keep count) I began my journey at TC as a Design Intern was quickly promoted to a full time Product Designer. …

I’m 1:1 black women in my company’s tech department. Yes, this did affect my work.

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If you are at all plugged into the internet, then you should know diversity is a big problem in the tech industry. While finishing college (Woo! — Class of 2015 #wemadeit) and applying to UX positions, I was hyper aware of the white sea that awaited. However, I was not prepared for the emotional toll it would take on me.

I graduated from a top tier PWI (predominantly white institution) where the vast majority of my classes were filled with white faces and a speckle of brown. This wasn’t new to me given that all of my Advanced Placement courses in high school held this same pattern. Eager to enter the booming tech industry as a young black UX designer, I pushed aside the many warning signs — assuming that excelling in the tech industry would be no different than being the only black girl in AP Calc. …

As I near the end of my first semester of senior year, the pressure to figure out post-grad plans has steadily heightened. I’m pretty positive most of my fellow colleagues have skipped classes, not because they are lazy, but because the interviewing/job-hunt process is so overwhelmingly time consuming. As a young UX designer yearning for the right opportunity to break into the industry while attending a research-focused liberal arts school, I’ve found myself without much guidance from professional administrators when it comes to finding opportunities.

Due to the lack of UX knowledge at my university I have had to use a combination of my external UX mentors for advice and my intuition. Fortunately, my job hunt has come to an end and I’ve secured not one but two promising positions for myself post-graduation. …


Maya Patterson

Product Designer | Chameleon | Pasta Junkie

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