I became interested in art and technology at a very young age. While a lot of other kids were playing outside, I was busy drawing, coloring, or on my phone or computer. At 10 years old I received Photoshop and thought it was a big step up from KidPix and Microsoft Paint. At 12, I created my first website.
Design has always just been a hobby to me. I never thought I’d be doing it for the rest of my life. I was always pushing to go into the medical field even going into college. I quickly found out that was absolutely not for me. I tried other things too from Biology to Business and nothing was working out.
One day during my sophomore year at Pacific Lutheran University, I received a pretty random message: “Your work is beautiful and I wondered if you are interested in new opportunities?”. The next few weeks after that were unreal with more messages, calls, and interviews. In just a couple of months, I was beginning my first day at Microsoft.
My summer at Microsoft was pretty crazy. I learned something new pretty much every single day. I feel as if I learned more in the 3 months there than in the past 20 years of my life. Working on projects that were going to be used by millions of people really changed my outlook on design and myself. My parents, friends, family, and professors saw it too. I left Microsoft that summer feeling like a completely new person and couldn’t wait to see what was in store next.
Junior year of college was another wild ride. I would wake up each day so excited because each day brought something new. A new opportunity? An interview? A new project to work on? It was so fun to tell my mom exciting news pretty much everyday. While deciding what I wanted to do the following summer, I talked to a total of about 40+ companies. Microsoft was heaven but I wanted to try something new and explore what other companies are like especially while I’m young. I wanted to be in a more startup kind of culture but still have the same impact in a million lives. My final decision was Google.
I’ll be joining Google as a User Experience Design Intern on June 2, 2014 in Mountain View, California. I’ll be on the Social Team, working on Identity, Community, and Business features. I’ve never been more excited in my life. Even though UX is still a pretty new field to me and I’m probably going to do some work I don’t know how to do, that’s just fine! I want my work to be as challenging as possible. Challenge is good. I have learned much more than I ever have before.
My advice? Show passion and hunger to learn more. Don’t just do your work because it’s an assignment or because you’re being graded on it. If you really love what you do, spend your free time doing “work” outside of the classroom. A lot of my friends are lost when trying to figure out what to put on their resumes. Experience isn’t just what you’re hired to do. Go out and make your own experience. If you are a programmer go make an app or a robot! Get your name out there! Some day soon, you’ll be doing great things and I can’t wait to see it. But always remember, dream big, work hard, and stay humble.
Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments for me. 🙂