Currently: San Diego Native + UCSD Senior
Goal: San Francisco + User Experience Designer  


So tell me about yourself...

Graduation is soon approaching and my future plans are still to be decided. I have been applying to jobs in the Bay Area since the beginning of December and have just started hearing back from companies now (3 months later). I applied to large companies such as Groupon, Yelp, Google, and Facebook on a whim. I wanted to give myself a chance but I did not get my hopes too high because I have seen other design students' work that have previously interned with those types of companies; they have a lot more experience and go to more design specific schools. But who knows, maybe I am just selling myself short. I decided to apply as a UX Design Intern rather than a full-time designer because I believe that I still have a lot to learn. I have been in this industry for less than a year at this point but within this year I have accumulated a great amount of experience. Last spring I took Cogs 102C: Cognitive Design Studio with Professor James Hollan and instantly fell in love with everything UX Design related. Since then, I have been so motivated to launch my career as a UX Designer. 

Here is brief synopsis of my past year:

  • April 2014 - June 2014
    • Research Assistant @ Rady Behavioral Lab
    • HCI Class project: Coffeehouse
  • June 2014 - August 2014 
    • HCI Class project: Crown
    • Online classes
    • Graphic Design Internship @ The Sporting Club (My first internship wooo!)
  • October 2014 - December 2014
    • Research Assistant @ Rady Behavioral Lab
    • HCI Group Project: Timeline (Independent study under PHD student)
  • January 2015 - March 2015
    • User Experience Design Intern @ Foundation for Learning Equality (I finally find a UX Design position yay!!!)
    • HCI Class project: Panoply Cafe Website Redesign
    • COMM 111D class: Critical Design Theory
  • March 2015 - Present
    • Web Design Intern @ ParkerWhite Brand Interactive
    • Applying to as many internships as I can to start my career!!!

This has been a crazy, stressful, exciting, exhausting but very rewarding year for me. People say they usually like to talk about themselves or it comes easy to them. That was never the case for me because I am a bit on the shy side until you get to know me. But I  I had to drop that trait fast since going through interviews with multiple companies. Within the first two minutes of every interview I have gotten 'So tell me about yourself..." I reply with the ever-so-standard, "My name is Melinda and I am a senior at UCSD studying Cognitive Science with a specializaiton in Human-Computer Interaction" and then I basically summarize my entire design career in the span of 5 minutes. The first few interviews were challenging but now I have come to love talking about my design career and how I came into the field. That is when I started to realize I have found the career I have always wanted. I can honestly say that I have found my passion and am so lucky to have found a career that I love at an early age. Now as I am embarking on my job search, I already know what I want to do but now it is time to really think about what kind of company I want to work for and what kind of application I want to work on. That is the easiest part right..?

Melinda ChuComment