Furquan Ahmad - How to increase your chances of success in product design


Furquan Ahmad's advice on how to you can increase your chances of becoming successful in product design. Read the blog below and listen to the full episode for more valuable advice!

👏 Find ways to get your name and work out there! Whether you immerse yourself in the design community, create a YouTube channel, attend design meet-ups or build something to help others learn, creating your personal brand is a great way to expand your network.

🔥 Never underestimate the importance of politics in design. You never know who in your network could bring you your next opportunity! Learn how to manage ambiguity and treat people on your team and in the larger organization with respect.

📢 Remember that you are allowed to be passionate about things outside of work. You have a home and social life that include interests outside of your work. Keep finding the things you are passionate about and lean into those interests when things aren't going well at work.

How to increase your chances of success in product design

In episode 11 of The Product Design Podcast, Seth Coelen interviews Furquan Ahmad, a Product Designer in the UK. Furquan has a unique journey into product design, where he completed an apprenticeship at Ford. The experience he gained during his time at Ford prepared him to move into a new role in big tech. Furquan is heavily involved in the Figma community, provides excellent content on his YouTube Channel, and has a massive amount of advice to share to help you along your career path!


The unique way Furquan fell into product design

Since Furquan was a child, he had an interest in tech. He even had a YouTube channel where he would do tech reviews. At the age of 18, he had planned to go to University to study computer science and get a business degree, but when he couldn't go to the University of his choice right away, he decided he would hold out a year to go then.

Some of his friends told him about a degree apprenticeship opportunity at Ford. In this degree apprenticeship, he would attend University one day a week and work at Ford full time the other four days of the week, and Ford would pay for his University degree. He was excited to land this opportunity and believes it was better than any other option he had previously considered.

In the first two years of his apprenticeship, Furquan started as a software engineer. During the next two years, he rotated into a role as a product designer, which is where he found his passion for product design.

"It's funny how things work out like that in life, where you might not get your immediate goal, but the second or third option might actually have turned out to be the better one."

What is coming next for Furquan?

During his degree apprenticeship, Furquan gained experience working both in-house and with an agency for Ford. While he was gaining loads of practical experience in the workforce, he also earned his degree from University. At 24, he will take all of his knowledge and make the next giant leap in his career. He shared that he will be moving from Ford to Facebook and is beyond excited for this opportunity to enter big tech.This article will focus on the learnings that Furquan has collected through his degree apprenticeship experience. When applied in your way, the advice he shares will increase your chances of success in product design.

How to stack the cards: get from where you are now to where you want to be

Furquan believes that you can stack the cards in your favor as you move along your career path. By putting this advice into action in your career path, you will gain more experience and expand your network while setting the stage for your next leap!

📢 Get your name out there by sharing your work and designing in public.

Sharing your work online allows you to build your network and gives you something to look back on to see how far you have come!

🔥 If you have the ability - participate in a design UX degree apprenticeship or some training to strengthen your skills.

This opportunity will give you so much practical experience alongside earning your degree.

🛠 Build something for someone else.

Get involved in the Figma Community, launch a YouTube channel, or even share your learnings on social media. Giving back will help others to learn while continuing to build your own experience.

💡 Don't burn bridges; stay in touch with people you have worked with previously.

You never know when they will come across a job post and think of you.

"People don't see how many interviews I failed. All of those failures will eventually lead to success."

How to keep the long game in focus

Near the end of our chat with Furquan, he shared the advice he wishes he would have known starting in his career. These golden nuggets will add some fun, help you find your passion set your mindset correctly for your long-term goals!

🎨 Don't underestimate the importance of design meetups.

Not only are they fun and engaging, but you can learn so much while expanding your network!

🎯 Remember the importance of politics in design. Learn how to manage ambiguity and people changing things that you designed.

Working well with other departments and being open to feedback will separate you from junior team members in the eyes of mid to upper-level managers.

❤️ It is great to be passionate about your job, but remember your home and social life as well.

Don't bring the stress outside of your work and into other areas of your life.

👏 Having a side hustle can give you an area of focus when things aren't going well at work.

Whether it is a YouTube channel or something that gets you outside, these interests can give you something to put positive energy into and provide you with fulfillment.

Thank you so much, Furquan!

This episode with Furquan was full of great advice for anyone in product design. Listen to the complete episode on The Product Design Podcast, which includes more about Furquan's experience at Ford and further details on how he stacked the card in his favor to find his success! We are so glad that he joined us to share what he has learned.

Don't forget to follow Furquan and watch as he moves to big tech and continues to build on his success in the product design industry. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and his website!

Where to find Furquan Ahmad

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