I'm from Colombia and I'm based in San Francisco, CA.
Here is a snap of San Francisco (SF), very close where I live and I bike every morning — Twin Peaks.
Curiosity and luck! I was looking at Zander's Instagram, and his videos are excellent. Also, his energy attracted me to see what else he was talking about. After finding out about his bootcamps, I decided to schedule a call with him and learn more about it because I wanted to improve my design thinking. We chatted, and I later attended the monthly Mingle event, where I taught all the participants about arepas (an exceptional dish from Colombia)! I love the energy and community. I joined the Greenhouse (a branch of the Memorisely Community) and started having more conversations with different designers. I saw the opportunity to become a teacher and thought it would be nice; yet, I still didn't apply. Zander and LA asked me to apply, and after progressing through the initial interview, I was tasked with teaching a live class about IA in Figjam. I later received the great news of joining the team. Best opportunity ever!
I love to teach and connect with people. When I first moved to the USA, I taught Spanish classes. Formerly, I volunteered as an English teacher in an orphanage back in Colombia. When I decided to switch careers, I studied a lot; and, of course, having someone who knew more than me helped. At the same time, while I was doing my program at Berkeley, I always imagined myself teaching design and inspiring others one day. From Visual designer, to UX designer, and now Lead Product designer, this gives me some experience to guide more designers. I think teaching is a gift — to be able to connect with more people who trust you to guide them.
When I decided to become a UX designer, I wanted to work remotely so bad, mainly because of my past work in SF where I needed to drive every day for about 40 min back and forth. The commute made me tired, and I wanted to have the possibility to work and travel anywhere I wanted! So I moved to Sweden before the pandemic happened, and that accelerated the remote work. I have been working remotely for probably two years now, and I love it! With Memorisely, we keep our conversation going every day. Now, we start to have online experiences. I love having the possibility to be in Sweden and still working with my team based in California, New York and the Memorisely team around the world. I have to say that sometimes it will be nice to see and hang out with my team in real life — for more than one hour, which is essentially the max you can do online.
I love how we communicate — we try to be very honest to each other, but positive energy is always going around, which I think is very important. We are preparing all the materials for our classes, and I received different books to gain more knowledge to teach my future students. We are also brainstorming how to continue helping the design community and world in general, which is fascinating. I LOVE my Memorisely team.
You must show up the way you are. Of course, having a good attitude matters and not being rude or anything. However, it is best if you are yourself and able to listen to your collages. We all suffer from imposter syndrome. I hosted and event with an art therapist, where I learned who to name this 'imposter', draw and leave outside my room every time 'it' wanted to come and attack me with negative thoughts. I have known over the years that sometimes people are having a bad day, but that doesn't mean you are the problem. It is hard not to take things personally; but, in the long term, the less you let that energy effect you, it will be better.
Right now, I'm in Sweden. This is how I usually work when I'm traveling. I love this stand made of wood, I try to keep it simple and neat.
Grammarly — English is my second language. I still need a second eye every time I text my friends, post on Instagram, or anything.
Duolingo — I'm learning Swedish, and Duolingo is amazing! It has a very easy and friendly user interface.
Spotify — I need music to be able to work. I love listening to podcasts as well.
Strava — since I try to bike a lot, it's very encouraging to see the miles I rode along with the route.
Google calendar — seems silly, but I add all my plans, work, and everything else in my calendar to make it happen (even meeting with my friends). Which they sometimes think is funny.
Being in Sweden, I have been learning many things about their culture. Every single Swedish have these two items in their home and they are very useful and simple.
1. Shoe Horn to avoid smashing your finger while putting your shoes on.
2. Cheese slicer — a Norwegian invention, but everyone in Sweden has it.
If I want to make it happen, I need to have it on my calendar. Plus, I leave my phone away from my desk, so I'm not consistently looking at it.
Since I will be teaching Accessible Design, I knew before about the importance of this topic. Still, I didn't know that 47 million Americans have a disability of some kind, and 650 million worldwide; which, is around 10% of everyone in the world! The sad part is that many platforms are not thinking about creating experiences accessible for everyone.
I love to bike, illustrate, take photos and cook for others.