Here at CareerFoundry we never forget how daunting even the thought of a career change can be - let alone its actual undertaking. And we should know; a large number of our own team started out in very different roles to the ones they have today. We have ex-nurses, circus performers, actors and jazz guitarists in our Berlin office alone!
That is why it gives us such a rush when we hear the success stories of our alumni who not only overcame their fears and embarked on a course of study with us, but changed their careers completely as a result: not stopping until they found a job they love.
In this alumni spotlight we’ll be looking at the story of Francesca Negro, a former psychology graduate and graphic designer who changed her career to become a fully fledged UX designer after studying with us.
Let’s take a look at her story.
Francesca Negro grew up in Italy where she studied psychology. After completing her degree she turned to graphic design and it took her awhile to pivot her career in the direction she wanted. She worked hard; constantly adding new things to her portfolio until she gained enough experience to be fully employable as a graphic designer.
It was only later that she discovered that UX design was a better fit to both her educational background and her current job:
“I soon realised how UX brought together my education in psychology and my passion for design.”
She began looking for a course that could teach her to become a UX designer, which is when she found CareerFoundry and enrolled as a student on our UX Design Course. It wasn’t long after starting the course that she also got her first paid work in the field:
“I managed to find a UX designer position at a tour operator (Alidays) here in Italy barely two months into the (CareerFoundry) course. Usually tour operators don’t need UX designers but Alidays is different. They are always looking at ways to improve the experience you have when making travel plans.”
Alidays are currently in the process of redesigning the website from the ground up, allowing Francesca to flex her UX design muscles through user research, testing, wireframing and prototyping.
It was her enthusiasm for the field which won over her new employer during her job interview:
“My graphic design background helped a lot but what sold me to the employer was my passion. I was willing to work and study without compromising one or the other.”
Francesca admits that her new, full time job did have an affect on her progress through the UX Design Course and at times found it hard juggling the demands of both her job and her studies, not to mention trying to have a personal life. But her passion for what she was doing and her willingness to learn and grow in her new field kept her going, and are ultimately what lead to her success.
What does she struggle with the most in her new career? We asked her.
“Working as a UX designer can mean trying to find a compromise between business requirements, technical feasibility and the users’ needs. Sometimes there is not enough space for all of them and a good UX designer has to be able to make some difficult choices.”
Francesca’s tale is truly inspirational for anyone wondering if it’s too late for them to follow their passion and change their life. Francesca’s career path demonstrates that it is never too late to make that change.
Francesca pivoted her career not once, but twice: her education was against her, her career path was against her, her age was against her. But what kept her going was her desire to learn new skills every single day, and to continuously evolve into the professional she is today.
She told us what she most enjoys about her new career:
“[UX design] blends the more analytic aspect of problem solving with the creative. Having a rational, logical mind helps as much as a creative eye.”
And her decision to study again could not have come at a better time:
“I am super grateful to CareerFoundry. I am positive that it was why I was hired for the job even though I had no previous experience in the field.”
You can follow Francesca via her Behance page
And make sure you check out her wonderful designs on Society6. Our favourite is Unhappy Breakfast Buddies in Technicolor
Are you looking to change your career to UX design like Francesca? Then check out the CareerFoundry UX Design Course now!
What You Should Do Now
- If you’d like a step-by-step intro to find out if UX design is right for you - sign up here for our free 7-day UX short course.
- If you are interested in becoming a UX Designer check out our UX design course (you'll learn the essential skills employers need).
- If you’d like to speak to an expert Career Advisor for free about how you can really get a new job in tech - connect with us here.
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