From Military Navigator To UX Designer: How An Air Force Engineer Took On A New Mission

From Military Navigator To UX Designer: How An Air Force Engineer Took On A New Mission

December 21, 2023

“Careers can be fluid, and room must always be created to explore other options throughout one’s life.”

Putting this message into action, Jenny Ariza has made significant career changes over the last decade and has now found her niche with the help of Mission Ready.  

A recent graduate of Mission Ready’s 19-week Agile User Experience Designer accelerator, Jenny believes her career path is the result of a significant number of years of experience in multiple industries, plus an eager desire to continuously improve.”  

Jenny says, “I was part of the Colombian Air Force for more than ten years, then I moved to New Zealand, and I was a full-time employee of an IT company. My role in the marketing team awakened my curiosity about UX Design as it was required to progress in my career pathway.  

We caught up with Jenny to find out about why she decided to switch careers, what the process felt like and why she chose to enrol with Mission Ready.

Making the move

Jenny believes that in a highly driven world of technology, a qualification with high standards is paramount. She adds, “I’ve realised that the more qualified and experienced an employee is, the higher their chance is of succeeding.”

Her interest in technology was sparked when Jenny moved into New Zealand’s marketing industry and witnessed its fast-paced growth.

“Technology is the future! I realised if I were equipped with the tools provided by Mission Ready, I would maximise my job opportunities but most importantly I truly believe in the power of UX Design to build a world with access for everyone.”

Quality UX designer education

Jenny says finding Mission Ready was as simple as searching for a Digital Product Design/UX Design academic programme on the web.  

She adds, “I did a bit of research and found its excellent reputation, flexibility and comprehensiveness. But now I know the most valuable part is the people—the human talent at Mission Ready is outstanding!”

Jenny believes being confident and authentic helped her progress in the recruitment process with Mission Ready.  

Jenny recalls the 19 weeks as a friendly learning immersion.  

“On the first day, I was welcomed, supported and assisted with my questions (I had a lot!). The tutors were readily available over the course, and my mentor was always willing to take me through the process. The 10-week work experience has given me a deeper understanding of the UX world.”    

She goes on to add that the projects during the course were one to highlight to other interested candidates.  

“The entire execution was carried out consciously, and I enjoyed every stage. Having the opportunity to interact with multiple cultures and learn from them was the greatest drive.”

Do you have any tips for succeeding at Mission Ready?

Jenny advises patience, discipline, and perseverance are the keys to success at Mission Ready and the tech industry.  

“Being patient to understand that learning is a process and everyone digests knowledge at different paces is important. It’s also useful to have the discipline to be consistent across the programme and have the courage to preserve not to give up when things happen unexpectedly.”  

She adds, “Mission Ready is the perfect place to start this journey; you will always feel the support of a beautiful and professional team.”

Now a qualified UX designer, Jenny has secured a position with Auckland Transport as a Parking Designer.

My role is directly involved with improving user issues. I have to predominantly manage multiple systems to generate solutions to the residents’ enquiries regarding the correct and efficient use of parking spaces.”