“As a trained artist, I knew I wanted something creative. UX design allows me to use my artistic and design knowledge in a digital space.” Recent Mission Ready graduate Esteban Garcia recalls finding his perfect balance amid uncertainty.
In between careers and countries, Esteban found himself needing a change.
“At the end of my contract as an ESL teacher in China, I was forced to think about my future. Before teaching, I worked in customer service roles and was tired of working in a contact centre so I struggled to find work in New Zealand.”
Esteban says his priority was securing a career that combined his strengths, skills, and passion.
“I have a background in art and design. The Mission Ready Agile UX Design accelerator helped me take the skills I had and transfer them into a new career that’s creative and challenging.”
He adds finding Mission Ready was the first step towards achieving this goal.
Setting the tone
Social media ads can be annoying but for Esteban, an Instagram ad proved to be the gateway to his career.
“I had recently completed a UI course online, and several ads began showing up on my Instagram feed based on my web usage. This was how I spotted Mission Ready.“
He adds the government-assisted funding towards his free tuition, along with the course set-up, made Mission Ready the best fit.
Like all candidates vying for the UX Design accelerator, Esteban prepared for an interview. He says it was here that his strengths helped him get through the door.
“I think leveraging my education and experience by showing how those skills would be helpful in the new role got me accepted into the course.
Finding your ground
Gaining an education with Mission Ready is like being in bootcamp—you get out what you put in, and you’ve got to be prepared to work hard.
Esteban says the first nine weeks of instruction at Mission Ready were excellent for him.
“The ‘mission’ tasks were challenging but helped give me a real-world experience of the types of tasks expected in the industry. In addition, the instructors were knowledgeable, helpful and approachable. They took the time to answer my questions and always provided guidance and useful feedback on our presentations.”
Esteban went on to complete his internship after nine weeks, which he describes as challenging yet rewarding.
“I worked directly with a cross-functional team of CEO, developers, and UX strategist. They provided us with a very high-level scope. This helped me understand the process needed to lead a project, research, user interviews, mockups, and final designs.”
Why choose UX Design?
“It provides a variety of challenges that keeps work interesting. It’s still a young profession and constantly changing, so there are always opportunities to learn something new and continue growing. Oh, and it pays well!”
Esteban, laughing, says that if that doesn’t convince you to consider UX design, then it’s also important to talk about the flexibility of the course that allows you to transfer your existing skills.
Now working as a UX/UI designer at the Auckland Council’s digital team, Esteban says his best pro-tip to anyone interested in studying with Mission Ready is to put in the effort.
“The course is intense, but it provides you with all the skills to start a new career. It can be challenging to set aside the amount of time for weekly projects. Stay focused and motivated. Finding a job will take time, but it is possible; you have to be consistent and prepared.”