Student Success Story: Honor Pattisson
Honor completed our 12-week full-time UX/UI Career Development Bootcamp in April 2022. A couple of months after her course, she was offered an internship position at Societe Generale, and now works there are a full-time Product Designer
We caught up with her recently to see how the course helped her achieve her goals and any 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 had just completed a degree in Politics and International Relations and was debating what step to take next for my career. I knew I didn’t want to go into politics, but I enjoyed understanding people, human behaviour and our interaction with the increasingly digital world. I started to talk with people, mostly in tech start-ups, and was introduced to the world of digital transformation, product and design.
How was training at Experience Haus different from other providers?
The training at Experience Haus was much more ‘hands-on’ than other providers. By that I mean we were working on real projects with clients from week 2! The process didn’t involve book learning, rather practical work which meant we could learn quicker. The small classes also meant we got very personalised training, where the instructors could help in areas where our skills were perhaps less well developed or we needed more specific support.
What was the highlight of your course?
There were many highlights! I think the group of people in my cohort made the experience so great. We genuinely got on (which made the late hours at the studio more bearable!) and it felt like a real group effort when the project work we produced was well received by our clients. I think also seeing how far I progressed from week 1 to week 12 (for example, my Figma skills and capabilities) was highly rewarding and gave me confidence that I had sufficient skills when I would eventually start job hunting.
What was the most challenging part of your learning experience?
I’ve mentioned Figma, but I’d say the greatest challenge was trying to get my head around Figma and being confident in using it, especially having to work under tight deadlines when I was struggling to use Figma to create highly polished prototypes. Having not used many design/digital softwares before, it definitely took a while to understand it, and get proficient in using it, but I got a lot of support from my UI/Figma instructor so that by the end I had picked up the basics and could use it with confidence.
Job Hunting & Your New Role
Where is your new job and what is your role?
Product Designer at Societe Generale.
How did you find the job search process after you finished the course?
I was very lucky that Amit (my instructor) had discovered an opportunity at SG for an 11-month traineeship as I finished my course and sent through the link to apply. I had been on top of building my portfolio throughout the course, so it was ready to send off straight away.
What did a typical working day look like for you 2 years ago?
I was a student at the end of my degree, so probably a long day at the library!
What does a typical working day look like for you now?
There’s not really a typical day. I work on different projects at the same time, all at different stages of the design process. I therefore may be collecting user feedback on surveys, building user flows, creating low-fidelity concepts, iterating on high-fidelity prototypes, or talking to developers when a product is being built and launched.
What are your top 3 tips for preparing for a design interview?
- Make sure you know at least one project well, and have practiced talking it through so you keep the interviewer engaged and you tell the story well.
- Make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest trends in UX and product design. For example, have a product you’re excited about and one you’d like to work on.
- Try to not be generic about ‘enjoying the whole design process.’ Choose a particular part you enjoy working on (i.e. user research, low fidelity design etc) and prepare to know why – try to stand out!
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?
That you don’t need to know everything all at once! give it time and know that some things will take longer to grasp. There is so much new information to take in about the design process, as well as technical skills to learn, it can seem a bit overwhelming at first. Taking everything step by step and not worrying if you don’t know everything from day one will make the process less overwhelming and more enjoyable.