Student Success Story: Brendan Murray
Brendan completed our 12-Week part-time Product Design course in August 2021. He is currently working as a Senior UX Designer at British Red Cross.
We caught up with him recently to see how the course helped him achieve his goals and his pearls of wisdom for any budding product designers.
Tell us a bit more about what you were doing before you decided to pivot into design?
I was working for a creative technology agency. My projects focused on building bespoke innovation centres for our consulting clients, and directly supporting the users of those centres.
How was training at Experience Haus different from other providers?
The in-person course felt more tailored to individual students, rather than being diploma mill style templated worksheets. It’s also priced a lot more competitively than similar providers.
What was the highlight of your course?
The opportunities to make real human connections with the other students and instructors.
What was the most challenging part of your learning experience?
I feel you get exponentially more out of the course I did, if you put in more than the required minimum. So it’s not a negative, but it’s important to be self-driven to get the most out of these courses/even after the course finishes.
Job Hunting & Your New Role
Where is your new job and what is your role?
I’ve just been promoted to Senior UX Designer at British Red Cross.
How did you find the job search process after you finished the course?
I think I was quite lucky, but the process of applying for jobs can be quite draining. Especially for more junior jobs, the job application process requires thick skin. Also some recruiters haven’t a clue on UX and will put your forward for positions in entirely the wrong level of experience.
What did a typical working day look like for you 2 years ago?
Two years ago I had quit a full-time job to focus on a career change.
What does a typical working day look like for you now?
Flexible and self-led. Monday will be a team check-in to establish priorities for the week, then every day a 15 minute stand-up in the mornings with a smaller product team to again prioritise for the day. Most mornings then are taken up with meetings, either around strategy or doing some light touch UX consultancy for other teams, then afternoons I keep free for ‘doing the work’. I also take the opportunity to work compressed hours and take every second Friday off.
What are your top 3 tips for preparing for a design interview?
- Know the team culture and vibe for the company you are applying for
- Be as comfortable as possible, and if possible, treat it as a conversation
- For prepared questions like ‘tell us a time where’, tell a story!!
What advice do you have for anyone breaking into the industry? Is there anything you wish you’d known when you were first starting out?
Your portfolio will never be “ready”. Put it online now and improve it as you go. Apply for the jobs you want, even if you don’t perfectly fit all the requirements.