Instructor Profile: Joe Dollar-Smirnov
Joe has been teaching the Product Design (inc UX & UI) course at Experience Haus since 2021, and has been working in UX Designer roles at early-stage startups, as well as established blue chip companies.
Tell us a little about yourself and your current work outside of Experience Haus?
I am a Dad of two little kids with a long and varied background working in the tech space as a designer. Privileged to now be able to focus on an early-stage project close to my heart: cycling and the circular economy. In other words, rescuing bicycles from landfill, upcycling and renting them out on an all-inclusive subscription basis to our lovely customers.
Did you have a specific goal you wanted to achieve before you started teaching at Experience Haus? Do you think your time here so far has kept you on the right track?
The goal I am always trying to achieve is work-life balance! It turns out that work-life balance does not mean equal work and equal life, of course, life needs to take priority. If anyone has found the key to this please let me know!!
I get a lot of enjoyment from teaching and sharing experiences from my career to date, so being at Experience Haus definitely helps to keep things in perspective.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Honestly, I have not thought about this too much, but it is important to always stay open to change and even more important to be open to the fact that you learn huge amounts from people (and students) around you. Learning and teaching are two sides of the same coin. Being a learner improves you as an educator.
What do you enjoy most about teaching at Experience Haus?
Small class sizes gives everyone a chance to form good relationships and allows instructors to be more proactive when it comes to helping students. Generally speaking the size of the business means it’s easier to know each other and there is a shared sense of responsibility for the success of everyone involved.
How would you describe your dream classroom?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Dad to two larger kids.
How do you keep up to date with your industry and the courses you teach?
My main source of industry news is Twitter, but also do self-paced online courses, watch YouTube videos etc. Being an entrepreneur of an early-stage startup can be a lonely place so I try my best to take part in pre-accelerator programs and stay in touch with founders of other similar businesses.