Every single phone call / coffee date I've gotten to chat about Pickles has started with my career background and my windy path into (and maybe now out of) design. I'm actually going to start linking blog posts before I chat with people just so I don't have to repeat myself so much. Is that conceited of me? Oh well.
Public Health major, UC Berkeley
I chose the major bc I thought maybe I wanted to do healthcare admin, plus I thought the angle of preventing sickness was very cool and kind of marketing-y. I should have known to switch to another major because I literally played Plants vs Zombies or experimented on Adobe Illustrator instead of paying attention like 90% of the time.
Admin in Psych Pedagogical Program, Stanford
1st job out of college: The day-to-day wasn't that interesting but I had a really amazing manager that gave me really interesting projects and skills for me to develop, many of them relating to design. Plus I highly enjoyed being on a college campus everyday (I really love college campuses soo much, so much possibility and opportunity crisp in the air). Bonus: my manager is a fitness instructor on the side and I took her HIIT classes during lunch. It got me into the habit of working out as a break during my workday- definitely changed my lifestyle.
UX Design Bootcamp, Bloc (now Thinkful)
Stanford was a long exploratory period for me (personally too, but obviously I’m talking professionally here). Midway through my time there I decided to pursue UX and my very gracious manager worked out a way for me to reduce my time to 80% for 3 months while I did an online UX bootcamp called Bloc. It was a pretty stressful quarter but I got a nice overview of UX fundamentals through it which paved the path to my first UX job. Bonus: I now have returned to Thinkful as a mentor, meeting with a couple “students” 30 mins every week. This fund is solely to pay for my unnecessary clothing expenses lol.
Visual/UX designer, Malwarebytes
Loved my team dynamic, the AMAZING tech perks (so many off-sites & retreats & snacks, it honestly was too extra sometimes), the unique projects I got to do, like my retail box design:
For this project, I got to go on my first solo business trip to a press check across the country. The box still sells at Frys/ Best Busy etc! Malwarebytes is a mid-size company at ~500 people which taught me some very important skills like how to manage an intern and navigate crazy company politics ;)
UX Designer -> Graphic/Print Designer -> Brand Marketing Manager at KiwiCo
I've sent my application to KiwiCo 3 times in a decade - 1st time right out of college, where no one responded to my application; 2nd time after my design bootcamp, but I chatted w our CEO when I was 2 weeks into Malwarebytes so it wasn't a great time; 3rd time after Malwarebytes, where I finally signed on!
Here was my cover letter the 2nd time. I drew Steve (we used to be Kiwi Crate).
This job has really stretched me in so many amazing (and exhausting) ways. It's the smallest company I've been at and I've gotten to own a lot of projects and wear many hats that I definitely wouldn't be able to at a larger company with more bureaucracy. The path at KiwiCo has led me to a brand new position on the new brand team. The pivot is allowing me to explore a lot of topics I wasn't learning before as a designer (like analytics, data reporting, ad budgeting, content creation, etc), but I feel like I get the best of both worlds because I'm still designing quite a bit!