As a new hire I had a unique situation where the director role was vacant. I decided I needed a way to grow in the user experience field and Gannett sponsored my admission to General Assembly in Washington, D.C. The ten-week part time course allowed me to still work a full day at the company and attend classes at night. While in the class I learned UX principles, persona development, user research techniques, user testing practices, and tools for prototyping. It was inspiring to see how many diverse fields lead to a profession in user experience.
Create an app or website and go through an entire user experience (UX) workflow.
Problem Statement: Students need a mentor to compliment their design education and assist them in becoming highly sought after graduates.
*All names and companies in the deck are placeholders and fictitious entities for the purpose of a class project.
semester Project proposal:
As a recent college graduate, I realize some of the gaps in my path to be a professional designer. College courses can shape design fundamentals; however, many students are not familiar with critique or iterations of a design unless they are experienced in the field. Professors also vary in their teaching style and may not be able to keep in touch with the latest trends or tools available. When I was interviewing I was fortunate enough to have a friend in the industry critiquing my work before I went on interviews. While in school, professors or career counselors were focused on the content of my work and not nearly enough the presentation of the content (which is your first impression to an employer). I unfortunately did not take advantage of my friend’s knowledge early enough in my college career, but even the few pointers enhanced the quality of my work and ultimately landed me a job. I was initially inspired to help students land jobs, but I feel the content can be useful for the professional community as well.
An online mentorship program would be a win-win solution as students will have their work refined before they even apply for jobs and employers can partner with highly driven and talented students. Even though I have found myself assisting with friends resumes without pay, my project idea is that this resource would pay mentors (professional designers) for their time/efforts. In my research, I noticed that both designers and students were looking at multiple sites to find the latest trends. A solution for this overwhelming aspect is that mentors could collaborate and put what they believe are the most valuable resources in one site for students.
I still question whether I should create a mentorship program that is national or local. At a national level, larger companies may be willing to participate and there would be more networking opportunities. At a local level, these mentors would know these college curriculums well and could assist in specific areas where they are lacking. Another local benefit is these mentors could meet up in person if desired. I also have an inclination to make a website to account for the resume upload as oppose to an app.