Marlon Doomen was a visual designer who wanted to expand her skillset and add UX Design to her toolbox. So she enrolled in the online, mentored UX Design course at CareerFoundry. Marlon tells us about her experience communicating with her mentor, balancing a full-time job with the course, and what she's been able to accomplish after graduating!
What were you up to before you started at Career Foundry?
I have been working as a visual designer at info.nl, a dutch full service internet agency in Amsterdam for over 2 years now. We have a UX team where I’m responsible for the design, visuals, online branding & visual concept.
Did you quit your job or were you employed while you studied at Career Foundry?
I continued working as a visual designer for 36 hours a week and studied after dinner, on the weekends and some days off.
Did you have a technical background before you applied?
I already used some of the tools used in UX design because of my job. You don’t need any technical background to get accepted. I think most of the content of the program is very clear and does’t require a specific experience to understand the assignments.
What were your motivations for doing an online bootcamp?
I wanted to get more out of my current job. And secondly I wanted to become a more allround webdesigner. I’m always looking for new skills to learn and UX design is a very important and exciting work field.
Why did you decide to do an online program instead of an in-person bootcamp?
I wanted to do a program or course next to my day job. in-person would have added travel time as well. I talked with the team at Career Foundry and was convinced this was a good program for me. I appreciated having the perks of an actual mentor but could work online.
What was the application like for you? Were there any requirements to be accepted?
There are no requirements to be accepted. You can start any time with or without experience. I think that I had an advantage of already working in the tech field, but it is not necessary.
Did you work with a mentor? Who was your mentor and how did you communicate?
Yes, I was mentored by Danielle. We communicated via the Career Foundry platform and through Skype. We had a 3 hour time zone difference because she was working in a different country for a new project, but we never experienced any issues.
Did you interact with other students at Career Foundry?
No, not when I was studying. I visited a meetup in Berlin and Amsterdam organised by Career Foundry. But there is a Slack channel now! You can now share your work and get feedback from other students and talk with them about everything related to UX or the course. That’s very nice!
How personalized/customized did you feel the program was to your needs? Was there anything that you wanted to learn outside of the curriculum?
It was exactly what I needed and expected. I changed to a different assignment than the given one and that was not a problem. I would love to learn some basic HTML & CSS. Because I think that makes you a better designer if you understand it partially.
What technologies did you learn in your course? Were you able to learn it all in the short time you were in your program?
I learned how to write a proposal, make user personas, make an information architecture, make paper prototypes, design wireframes using Uxpin & Sketch3, do user testing with invision app & verify, make a visual design style guide & ui kit and learned some basics about Google Analytics. Writing is my weak spot so the proposal and the report in the end took me some more time.
How many hours per week did you spend on Career Foundry?
I think I spent an average of 16-18 hours a week for 3 months. It was very hard for me because I already work 36 hours a week. After having this experience, I would recommend taking the 6-month plan if you have a (part-time) job. 10 hours a week is very do-able!
How well did your program prepare you for the post-bootcamp world?
I already started a project working as the UX Designer; I not only do the visual design, but also the UX work, and that's after 1 week of finishing the course. Career Foundry gave me the courage to do that.
Was Career Foundry worth the money? Would you recommend it to a friend?
Definitely! Having a mentor that you can actually talk to really made a big difference for me!