New to the UX Design world? So am I.
I just finished my first work of learning UX, and I could not be more excited. I am locked in, addicted to the material. At the same time, I'm a floored by the amount of information there is to learn in this world. I have so many questions. Oddly enough, the biggest question that I have right now is "how do I get an internship?"
You see, I have reasoned with myself that I should be in a position where I can be fully immersed, and switching to an internship from my current job is the way to go.
When I shared this thought with my mentor (which I HIGHLY recommend getting ASAP), I received a fierce tongue lashing that put things in the right perspective for me. Seeing as how she is a well established UX designer, I listen to whatever she has to tell me.
With that said, I want to share 5 insights she gave me in regards to securing an internship and, ultimately, a job:
It's all about the Story!
It is important that you have a cohesive and interesting story to tell when it comes time to speak to employers about getting that J - O - B. I am still trying o understand the why behind this, and you might know the why. If you do, leave a comment below and let's engage. All I know is that is what employers want to hear. The more cohesive and interesting the store is, the easier the sell will be. Thus, the more likely you will get the job.
You might ask "how do I create a cohesive story to tell?" Keep on reading....
DO NOT quit your day job!
Honestly, I assume that who ever is reading this is a college student. You may be someone looking to change careers, but that is not my assumption so forgive me for being an ass. But with this assumption comes the assumption that you are currently working a job in customer service, sales or some sort of customer facing job solving a persons problem in some way. If that is true, you are in the place to be! You're on the front line with a golden opportunity to understand the pain points and desires of customers. This is the heart and soul of UX design. Take advantage of your current position as you learn UX.
Whether this is or is not the case, the next bit of advice goes for anyone...
Get an Internship
The benefits of an internship goes without saying. It gives you real world experience which a class cannot teach you. Employers feel better about someone who has real world projects to show over someone who is a recent graduate with straight A's. That's just the reality.
But internships seem to be only available to those attending accredited universities. What does one do if they are learning UX outside of an accredited university? What if they are building their skills at a reputable school such as Career Foundry instead of a university?
Well, you can still hit up some companies and see if they would be willing to let you work on a project for free or minimum wage with a 1 month trial period. I'll cover this part in more detail in a later post. Remind me to do so in the comment below.
This also goes without saying. Going on a journey with no one to help you just makes the journey that much more difficult. Having a mentor is invaluable. Get you one of these.
Establish your online authority!
You can do what I am doing. All I'm doing is offering some sort of information that could be valuable to you in your UX career. You can do the same. It does not have to be a blog. It could be a YouTube channel, Instagram, Facebook group, Twitter account, email list, whatever! There's many ways to do this. Pick one.
By getting involved in the community, it shows that you are genuinely interested and active in UX designing because you're not getting paid for it! That's a beautiful thing to see as an employer. They want to make sure they are hiring people who are genuinely interested in UX and this is just one powerful way to prove that.
Welp, there you have it folks. Leave a comment below. Provide feedback. Give me your thoughts. I would love to know what you thought about this information. Take care!