There’s nothing quite as terrifying yet exciting as embarking on a new career path, especially when it involves going back to school. For Sham Ravee, taking a leap of faith into the user experience design field through CuriousCore’s Career Accelerator program was life-changing. After many years in Academia, she found herself yearning for more creativity and purpose in her work. She heard about CuriousCore’s intensive 4-month program to train aspiring UX practitioners and jumped at the opportunity. Little did she know the challenges and rewards that awaited her in those 4 months and beyond as she worked to gain new skills and eventually land her first role as a UX researcher. Sham’s story of perseverance and growth shows that with hard work and an open mind, it’s never too late to pursue your passion.
Making the Leap From Academia to UX
Finding the Motivation to Make a Career Switch
Sham had been working as an academic researcher for years but felt unfulfilled in her role. She craved more practical, real-world applications of her skills that could directly impact people’s lives. The user experience field intrigued her, but she didn’t know how to transition into such a different career path, especially without any prior UX experience or training.
When Sham heard from UX professionals that taking a UX course could help facilitate a career change, she started researching various programs. CuriousCore’s UX Career Accelerator caught her eye because it offered invaluable hands-on experience through working with real clients, networking with others in the industry, and career coaching.
The four-month program provided a mix of theory and practical learning. Students attended live video calls to learn foundational UX methods and principles, then worked together on real UX problems for companies. They received guidance from seasoned UX instructors and mentors along the way.
While the program prepared Sham with essential UX knowledge and skills, finding her first UX role after graduating still took effort and persistence. She spent about a month actively networking, learning UX jargon, and socializing with others in the field. This additional preparation helped her feel more confident in interviews and understand what hiring managers sought in candidates.
Sham’s biggest takeaway was that UX is an ever-changing discipline requiring continuous learning. Although CuriousCore provided a robust introduction, she would need to continually build upon and adapt her UX knowledge on the job. Her new role as a UX researcher allows her to solve important problems, engage with users, and make a meaningful impact. By advocating for user experience, Sham hopes to help companies build products that enrich people’s lives. Her journey into the UX field has been challenging but rewarding, fulfilling her desire for purpose and practical impact.
The CuriousCore UX Career Accelerator Program Experience
Sham found the CuriousCore UX Career Accelerator program invaluable for transitioning into a UX researcher role. The four-month intensive course provided her with theoretical knowledge and practical experience through real-world client projects.
- Theory Learning
CuriousCore’s instructors, who were industry experts, taught Sham UX methods like user research, information architecture, and wireframing. The bi-weekly theory calls introduced her to UX language and concepts.
- Real Client Projects
For client work, Sham collaborated with other students to understand users’ needs, define problems, and propose solutions. Applying what she learned to actual projects enabled her to build a portfolio to showcase in job applications.
- Networking and Career Coaching
Sham took advantage of opportunities to connect with others in the UX field. Talking to hiring managers and UX professionals helped her understand what companies sought in candidates. Mock interviews and feedback from career coaches prepared her for the job hunt.
After completing the program, Sham’s job search took about a month. While many companies preferred hiring UX designers, her experience and newfound knowledge eventually landed her a UX researcher role. Looking back, Sham says the biggest lesson was that UX is an ever-changing domain requiring continuous learning. Although CuriousCore gave her a solid foundation, she needs to keep expanding her expertise.
For aspiring UX professionals, Sham recommends learning the UX language, building a portfolio, networking, and practicing interviews. With hard work and persistence, the doors to a UX career can open. Sham is grateful for her experience with CuriousCore and looks forward to using UX to enhance people’s lives through improved product designs.
Preparing for the Job Hunt After Graduation
After graduating from CuriousCore’s UX program, Sham knew she needed to prepare for the job hunt ahead.
Building Her Portfolio
Sham spent time refining and improving the case studies from her coursework into a professional portfolio to share with potential employers. She made sure to refine her UX process clearly, emphasizing how her research insights defined her design recommendations. Her portfolio demonstrated how she could apply the methods and skills learned at CuriousCore to solve real-world problems.
Networking and Growing Her Connections
Sham took advantage of CuriousCore’s networking opportunities to connect with others in the UX field. She joined the local UXPA chapter and started attending meetups to meet UX professionals face to face. Sham found mentors in the UX community willing to provide guidance and review her work. These connections helped her learn the language of UX and gain valuable insights into different companies and roles.
Practicing for Interviews
CuriousCore’s career coaching included mock interviews which helped build Sham’s confidence. She learned how to articulate her experience coming from an academic background and her passion for UX. The coaches gave her feedback on how to improve her answers to common UX interview questions. This practice made Sham feel well-prepared when the real interviews started coming in.
Sham knew that to succeed as a UX researcher she needed to keep expanding her knowledge and skills. She followed industry leaders and subscribed to UX publications to stay on top of trends. While searching for a new role, Sham took additional short courses to strengthen her research and design abilities. She was determined to start her first UX position with the mindset that learning never stops in such a fast-changing field.
With dedication and perseverance, Sham landed a job as a UX researcher a month after graduating from CuriousCore. The program gave her a solid foundation, but she built upon that through continuous effort and a growth mindset. Sham was ready to start her new career advocating for user needs through better research and design.
Finding the Right UX Researcher Role
Finding the right role as a UX researcher took some time for Sham. More companies were hiring UX designers, so UX researcher roles were harder to come by. However, Sham was determined to get into the field.
Through the networking opportunities in CuriousCore’s program, Sham met UX leaders and hiring managers. This helped her understand what they looked for in candidates. The career coaching and mock interviews also prepared her for the challenges of finding a UX researcher role.
After graduating from the program, it took Sham about a month to land a UX researcher position. She advises others looking to transition into UX research to learn the language of the field and network. Joining UX communities and events are great ways to connect with others in the industry.
Sham found that the biggest takeaway from her experience with CuriousCore was that UX is always evolving. The program provided a solid foundation, but she needs to continually build upon that knowledge in her role. UX researchers have to keep up with trends in user experience design and research techniques.
In her new position, Sham hopes to advocate for the importance of UX research. By conducting studies and analyzing user data, UX researchers can gain insights to help teams build products and services that truly serve people’s needs. For Sham, being able to contribute to better digital experiences and make a positive impact is very rewarding.
The path to becoming a UX researcher requires persistence and a dedication to continuous learning. With the right opportunities and guidance, people from diverse backgrounds can successfully transition into this growing field. Sham is a prime example of how with hard work and the support of programs like CuriousCore’s, new careers in UX are within reach.
In the end, Sham’s decision to take a leap of faith and enroll in CuriousCore’s UX Career Accelerator program proved to be a career-changing move. While the road has not always been easy, her dedication and perseverance paid off. Despite facing obstacles and self-doubt along the way, she pushed through with the support of her mentors and peers.
Today, Sham has built the confidence and skills needed for her career as a UX researcher with a regional airlines. Her story serves as an inspiration, demonstrating what can be achieved when you pursue your dreams with hard work and an open mind. For anyone considering a career change, Sham’s experience highlights the importance of finding the right support system. With the help of CuriousCore, she was able to overcome her challenges, gain valuable experience, and land her first role in tech. The future looks bright for this UX practitioner, and the sky’s the limit to what she might achieve in this exciting field.