Online learning can be challenging.
Outside a classroom, it can be difficult to manage your time and stay motivated. That’s why it’s even more important to lean on the supports available to you; to stay connected to your mentors, course advisers and fellow students.
With that in mind, we asked some of our recent alumni to share their advice on how to make the most out of your studies. After all, who better to guide our new students than our former ones?
Jenny Björkman: UX Lead at Sustainably
“Make sure that you’ve got your work done for the scheduled webinars so you can have it critiqued.
Make sure that your course mentor knows that you’ve handed your work in and that you want it reviewed. That advice and feedback really is gold dust when it comes to your progress!”
Azeem Butt: UX Consultant at FDM Group
“Don’t try and pressurise yourself to complete the course in six months. Watch all the lectures and take notes and just stick to the pace and order that works for you.
Another piece of advice would be when conducting user research try to create a list of warm leads that you can contact, people in your network who are likely to engage with you. If you’re going in cold, trying to reach people on LinkedIn, it can be really drawn out so think about who you could ask within your own network first.”
Christian Richards: UX Researcher at Equator
“Completely throw yourself into the course, really engage in all of the resources that are available.
Read all the books that are recommended as well, because they’re so interesting and provide real insight. A slightly wider recommendation is just network and attend all the meetups you can and join the Facebook and LinkedIn groups too.
That’s where you connect with people; potential mentors to review your work and potential employers. The way that you get jobs off the back of courses like this is networking. It shows you’re investing your time in the evenings or the weekends, so attend these meetups and really engage with the community.”
Angus Carbarns: UX Consultant at We Are Engines
“Don’t be put off if you don’t have a background in design. I was a bit worried about that before I started but I soon realised that being a good UX designer is not really about producing pixel perfect design. It’s a process.
If you follow the process and you understand why it’s valuable, you’re 80-90pc of the way there. Once I got into the course, I realised the tools and tech aren’t that scary, and I really enjoyed it.”
Alessio Ferracuti: UX/UI Designer at IES Ltd.
“One thing I learnt on the course was the value of sketches. I brought a full book of sketches to my interview, a really nice binder of sketches and notes and I gave it to the people interviewing me. They were delighted with it!
I think UX designers, supervisors, or senior UX designers look at your portfolio online. But hiring managers will look at stuff on paper, because it grabs their attention.”
Stephanie Bell: UX Designer at the Hut Group
“I would say to students to do your research; read reviews, speak to the UX Design Institute team, read Medium articles on UX to make sure it’s something you’re interested in.
Investigate companies you would want to work for, speak to the UX team there and see what their day-to-day looks like. It’s a great industry to be in currently and there’s a high demand for UX’ers all over the world.”
These alumni moved into UX from a number of different industries including digital marketing, graphic design, project management and recruitment. To read more from our students, check out our student success stories here.