Emily Campos had zero design experience, but hoped she could find a career to combine her passion for people with her fascination in high-tech. After studying 3 months at Shillington in New York City, she moved to Tel Aviv to become a UX/UI Designer and now works at Wix.
Read on to hear more about Emily’s story, including the hiring process for her first UX role and advice for students looking to get into digital design.
And if you’re curious about how you could become a UX Designer, read fellow New York graduate Irina Manning’s recent Medium article –> How I Became a UX Designer in Less Than a Year
What were you up to before Shillington?
Before Shillington, I finished my Bachelors degree in Psychology, and started working in Marketing at a hi-tech start-up. I hoped I could combine my passion for people with my fascination in hi-tech, and so I decided on graphic design, and found Shillington.
Going into the course I was still skeptical that I could be a designer, because I never sketched or painted, and that’s what I always thought graphic design was about. I didn’t think I’d really grow to become so passionate about it.
You moved from Tel Aviv to NYC to become a UX/UI designer. Why did you choose Shillington over other courses?
I did my research when choosing a school, and from the get-go Shillington really stood out. If I was going to completely pause my life for three months, it had to be worth it. All the schools I looked into promised to teach the same concepts, but the way Shillington went about it really stood out to me. I didn’t want a traditional college experience, I wanted something as practical and real-life as possible.
Shillington teaches by doing, and I really believe that is the best way.
You landed your dream job right after graduating from Shillington. Tell us about the role and hiring process!
The hiring process was really fast paced, I had to always be available and ready for interviews, often planned for the next day.When I would show my portfolio, interviewers would always point at things and ask “did you do this?”, expecting to hear that it was downloaded from somewhere or that it was given as part of the student brief. Everyone was blown away when they heard that we would do everything from scratch, including the branding, as part of a brief.
Every company I interviewed with would also give me a test, and I was really happy to find that they were very similar to a typical Shillington brief, with a similar deadline.
I applied mostly for roles as a Product Designer at tech companies, and it took a little searching to find one with a good fit. I accepted a job as a UX/UI Designer on the product team of a start-up called Commun.it. The people in the company are great to work with and learn from, and that’s what I was looking for more than anything.
How has Shillington’s holistic approach to design education helped you in this new role?
It’s impossible to learn everything there is to know about design in 3 months, just like it’s impossible to learn everything in a 4 year degree. In this field, with the ever-changing design trends and new technology, we are always learning.
What I loved about Shillington is that it gave me a great basis in design thinking, color theory, branding, typography, and digital design, to go out and confidently dive into something deeper on my own.
At my new job, when I’m faced with something I haven’t done before, I don’t have to doubt whether I’ll be able to do it.
What part of the Shillington journey did you enjoy the most and why?
I really loved the professional environment Shillington created. It really mimicked a day at work, the strict timing, the fast paced projects, the multitasking. It made the whole experience much more practical, and applicable to everyday life in the field.
Could you share some advice for design students who want to get into digital design?
Definitely start a ‘100 Days of UI’ challenge or a similar personal project. This may seem obvious, but the more you really practice, the more confident you will feel at your first job. I would also suggest taking a User Experience course too, because knowing how to anticipate people’s reactions to your design, and use your design, is really important.
Huge thanks to Emily for sharing her Shillington story! Be sure to check out her website.
Would you like to study design and learn about UX/UI? Study at Shillington in New York, London, Manchester, Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane –> www.shillingtoneducation.com