I accepted a Package Design position at a large electronics company about a month after graduation. Having degrees in both Industrial Design and Graphic Design from Philadelphia University it seemed like an ideal environment to start. The job was in New York, a place I thought I’d never live, but sometimes one goes where opportunity takes them. The company was primarily Korean (including the design team), which made for a unique—but fun—work environment. Although my title was Package Designer, I got to have a hand on all design elements including print ads, product specs, and exhibit design. Sadly, in 2011 the company declared bankruptcy and it was back to the (job) hunt for me.
In the interim I took on several freelance jobs that ranged from web design to consumer packaging, and apparel graphics. Later that year I took on a position as a Designer for a holding company that invented the memory foam bathmat. They had just struck a deal with Disney and needed someone to create packaging and promotional material while adhering to the Disney Style Guide. It sounded fun at first, but I quickly learned that if I made a successful piece it would (and did) look identical to everything else Disney made. It was at this point that I felt I wasn’t having the impact I wanted in the world of design and began to explore new options. Coincidentally, at that time a former professor and friend had suggested I look into User Experience Design. I had only ever heard of UX in passing, but after researching further, I became enamored with the merit of the craft. This was a skill I wanted to add to my toolkit. And so I packed up my things and moved to Chicago (my hometown) where I took an immersive course in User Experience Design.
The course finished over the summer and I wanted to find work that would utilize several of my skills. For the past several months, I’ve been freelancing at an agency in Chicago as a UI Designer. I’m part of a small team working on developing a client App. It’s been very rewarding so far, and I’m eager to continue advancing my craft.