I’m from New York and I’m currently based in Astoria, to the east of Manhattan. I consider my hometown to be Minneapolis, where I lived for most of my life 😭
I worked as a freelancer throughout South America and eventually started working as a Business English teacher in Santiago, Chile. I stumbled upon a start-up community called Start-up Chile and started working with entrepreneurs. I had a lot of questions regarding their work and businesses and eventually learned about experience design. A front-end designer mentioned that I had the perfect background and skillset to be a UX Designer, and I had to know (exactly) what that was. After a few days of trying watching UX videos and reading articles until 5 in the morning - I knew I wanted to pursue experience design as a career.
I feel uncomfortable saying self-taught because I had an army of people who helped me achieve a lot in a short time (between June 2020 - January 2021). I consumed whatever I could get my hands on in six months. Udacity, free General Assembly workshops, Bitesize UX, UXBeginner, Treehouse, the Gymnasium, and a foreign language teacher, I was ‘le broke’. A friend of mine referred to Udacity and Lynda/LinkedIn Learning since it was in my price range.
After completing my courses, I contacted the speakers in the Linkedin videos. They offered me a crap ton of free materials and guidance.
One of my former students referred me to Adam St. John Lawrence, who I contacted for a 1:1 and learned he was a Service design pioneer. He gave me free access to two programs through 'Global Service Jams' and ‘THIS IS DOING’ a learning hub for service designers.I also found a few hands-on opportunities through my network where I could immediately apply my learnings to real-world projects. I made a few cringeworthy mistakes, but I learned so much by talking with experts and failing 'fast and often'.
I’ll be working from 9 - 5pm, but I have my mornings, evenings and weekends free to study.
I oscillate between the kitchen counter and the sofa 🛋
One of my favorite products is a language application called ‘Fluent U’ where you can learn a language throught real-world videos. A few years ago, I used it to learn Spanish from scratch and I’m now a near native speaker. I dabbled in Russian and I still remember the phrases I learned from the app - even if it is just enough to order coffee at a restaurant.