Danielle Justilien shares her advice on approaching the early stages of your UX learning path. From how she found the right Bootcamp to networking as you learn, from writing case studies to building your portfolio, this episode covers so many tips to help you prepare for and land your first job in UX! Read the blog below and listen to the full episode for Danielle’s great advice!
How a Bootcamp and a strong portfolio can launch your career
In episode 21 of The Product Design Podcast, Seth Coelen interviews Danielle Justilien, a UX Designer at IBM who works on software design for IBM's partner experience. Danielle's early interest in graphic design and her expertise in marketing led her to UX.
Once Danielle decided to make this change in her career path, she determined her next steps. She started with a free Bootcamp, extended her network as she learned, perfected her portfolio, and after starting her search for her first job in UX, she quickly landed her position at IBM. Danielle has tremendous insight into how to get a strong launch into UX Design. During our interview, Danielle shared what she did to boost her portfolio and set herself up for success in the interview process as she moved into UX Design.
How Danielle stumbled into UX design
Danielle initially found an interest in graphic design when she was in high school. She had a freelance business through college, doing brand design for small businesses. At this time, she was not aware of UX, but as she started to look for potential career path changes, she stumbled across UX as a viable and exciting option.
She quickly realized that her marketing background and graphic design skills would transfer to this new career path. To Danielle, UX seemed like something she had already been doing in her life, so she continued to dive deeper into what this change would look like for her and started working towards making UX the next step on her career path.
Strategies Danielle used to break into UX
When Danielle stumbled into UX and realized that her skills could transfer to this new career path, she began to set herself up for success. These strategies, used during her learning process, helped her quickly find a great first UX job when she was ready for that next step!
Never underestimate the power of preparing for the next step as you are learning; you never know when you will need to be ready to jump at a great opportunity!
“LinkedIn is definitely a place where you can share your journey. It is a great way to connect with other designers and recruiters.”
Build a strong portfolio to help you land your first UX job!
Building a strong portfolio allows you to easily share who you are as a UX Designer with potential employers.
Before you lean in and ask your network for feedback, check out these tips to get your portfolio ready for review! Ensure you highlight your work while telling the story of who you are as a designer by allowing your personality to shine through!
Hiring managers are busy! You want to make sure that when they are viewing your portfolio, they can quickly and easily digest the work you have done, understand who you are as a designer, and decide whether or not they want to move forward with you in the interview process.
“UX opened my eyes to a whole world of possibilities for myself. It really gave me a new perspective on the world and what I'm able to do with my own skills.”
Thank you so much, Danielle!
Wow! We had a great time talking with Danielle about changing her career path and launching herself into UX. We hope that she inspired you to see the potential UX design has and how you also can take action to move in the direction she has gone. We are so thankful that she shared so much actionable advice on how to get yourself set up to find your first job in UX successfully.
Listen to the complete episode on The Product Design Podcast, which includes information on the Bootcamp she participated in, interview tips, and advice on being a solid junior designer on a team once you land your first UX job!
Where to find Danielle
- Website: https://www.daniellejustdesigns.com
Other mentioned and additional links for aspiring designers:
- DesignWorks UX Training Program
- UX HER
- Danielle’s Mentor Ying Yao - helloyingyao.com and https://www.linkedin.com/in/yingyao/
- Hexagon UX Slack channel
- Danielle's Becoming a Designer Resource List
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