Interview with Sarah Jerger, DESIGNATION Alum and Product Designer at Pivotal Labs

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Interview with Sarah Jerger

Sarah Jerger is an alum of the Gold Cohort. Already an experienced graphic designer, Sarah came to DESIGNATION to expand her UX/UI capabilities, and landed a job at Pivotal Labs shortly after graduation.

 

Where are you now working, and what is your job title?
I work at Pivotal Labs as a Product Designer.

Tell us a little bit about your new job!
At Pivotal we’re hyper focused on the Agile process and test driven development. It’s my job to focus on UX, UI, and on empowering our clients to adopt the Agile process to deliver great software.

How would you describe the DESIGNATION experience?
For me, DESIGNATION was about rolling up my sleeves and getting to work. Coming from a Marketing/Advertising/Design agency in Boulder, Colorado, I wanted to become a more full stack designer. DESIGNATION was the perfect way to kick start my transition to software design.

What was the most interesting or useful thing you learned during the cohort?
There were so many things I took away from DESIGNATION. Realizing that I could learn any skill with hard work and practice was huge, especially when it comes to code. The most useful thing to me was working collaboratively and building off of others’ strengths. Everyone has something different to offer, learning from others and sharing skills is something I do at work everyday.

“My favorite part was the moment when I realized the risk, the relocation and the work was all worth it.”

What are the people at DESIGNATION like (including staff, instructor and fellow students)?
DESIGNATION staff is at the top of their game, they live design and work constantly on keeping the learning material up to date and cutting edge. The students come from many different backgrounds, some looking for a shift, some looking for a radical change, but all with the same goal, to work hard and create a new career in four short months.

How did you hear about DESIGNATION, and why did you decide to come?
I found DESIGNATION online as I was researching further UX education. I’m passionate about human centered design and advocating for the user, but I didn’t have the language or the community support to get there on my own. I decided to come to DESIGNATION because it was exactly the challenge I was searching for.

How did DESIGNATION help prepare you for your new role?
Working as part of a team was huge in helping me prepare. Coming from out of state, DESIGNATION also made it easy to become part of the design community here in Chicago (where I ultimately stayed).

What was your favorite part of the DESIGNATION experience?
My favorite part of DESIGNATION was the moment when I realized the risk, the relocation and the work was all worth it. And with Pivotal next door to 1871, seeing my former instructors in the hallway or bumping into them on the train is a close second.

What advice would you give to someone who was trying to break into the industry?
My best advice to someone trying to break into the industry is; “never compare yourself to another designer”. Every single person at some point in their career has been right where you are. Only compare yourself to your past self, improve one step at a time, and don’t give up. Learning from mistakes is what makes a success.

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