Interview with Catherine Lynk, DESIGNATION Alum and UX Strategist at One North

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Catherine Lynk is a UX designer and alum of the Hazel Cohort. Coming off a career as a consultant, Catherine joined DESIGNATION in order to springboard into a more creative career, landing at One North Interactive shortly after graduating.


Where are you now working, and what is your job title?
I am working at One North Interactive as a UX Strategist.

Tell us a little bit about your new job!
My roles involves working with clients to help them grow their businesses through digital brand experiences. I have the opportunity to meet with client stakeholders and external audience members to uncover their goals, aspirations and challenges related to digital platforms. As One North develops digital solutions, we work cross-functionally, so I am fortunate enough to collaborate with technologists, creative designers and account managers on a daily basis.

How would you describe the DESIGNATION experience?
Overall a fantastic experience! The DESIGNATION program was a hand-in-glove fit for my interests. It is very hard today to find a course that provides hands-on experience to prepare you for contributing to the digital world. DESIGNATION definitely provided the exposure and education I was looking for to feel confident to take on a new role in the user experience (UX) field.

“DESIGNATION provided the exposure and education I was looking for to feel confident to take on a new role in UX.”

What was the most interesting or useful thing you learned during the cohort?
I loved learning more about various disciplines within digital design. Upon applying to DESIGNATION, I knew I wanted to grow my career as a designer, but I was not yet certain of the domain I wanted to specialize in. I enjoyed learning what full-stack design really meant, and what it would take to become a UI/UX designer and/or front-end developer.

What are the people at DESIGNATION like (including staff, instructor and fellow students)?
In one word, “phenomenal”! The instructors are very sharp – They are experts in the field and well connected in the digital design community. My classmates were all extremely dedicated and hard-working individuals. We were all looking to accomplish similar goals and willing to help each other out along the way.

“DESIGNATION is, in one word, “phenomonal!”

What were you doing before you came to DESIGNATION?
I started my career at Deloitte Consulting where I spent about three years working on business-led technology transformations. I then transitioned to an in-house consulting role at Allstate as a member of the insurer’s Strategy & Innovation Team.

How did you hear about DESIGNATION, and why did you decide to come?
Online research led me to DESIGNATION, and my husband encouraged me to apply. I was looking for a program that would help me transition my career from technology consulting to digital design. I was so thrilled when I came across DESIGNATION as it truly hit my sweet spot for what I was most interested in – the UI/UX space. Through an initial conversation with a co-founder, Will Shandling, I learned more about DESIGNATION and how the program would help me achieve my career goals, and I was ready to jump in!

How did DESIGNATION help prepare you for your new role?
DESIGNATION gave me the tools and client exposure I needed to be successful in a UX role. Specifically, I became proficient in design tools, such as Axure, developed a solid foundation in design principles and methodology, and gained practical experience with real clients.

What was your favorite part of the DESIGNATION experience?
I really enjoyed collaborating with my classmates on our live client projects – nothing beats hands-on exposure to real client needs.

What advice would you give to someone who was trying to break into the industry?
While digital design may seem like a new field, do not let that deter you for pursing a new career path. The time is ripe, and a course like the one offered at DESIGNATION will give you the necessary platform and requisite skills to be successful in the industry. You just need to come with an open mind and a willingness to work hard.

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