Audrey Foronda is a graduate of the Ruby Cohort. Prior to joining DESIGNATION she was a project manager for startups.
Where do you work, and what’s your job title?
I work at Revolution Prep in Los Angeles as an Associate Product Manager.
Tell us briefly about your company. What do they specialize in? What does your team look like?
Revolution Prep offers online tutoring and test preparation for students. I work closely with the Engineering and QA team. We’re a small team but we work fast and smart.
Tell us briefly about your job.
As the Associate Product Manager, I get to wear a lot of hats and influence different touchpoints of the product development process. It’s challenging and exciting because our audience includes parents, students, and tutors—all with varying needs but the same goal of helping a student grow. I’m currently redesigning our internal CRM, which includes conducting user interviews, user testing, and designing high-fidelity mockups. It’s super-rewarding to see my solutions come to life.
What did you do professionally before you started at DESIGNATION?
I worked as a Project Manager for startups in Los Angeles. That helped me learn about managing deadlines and expectations across multiple clients.
How did you hear about DESIGNATION? And why did you decide to attend?
I first heard about DESIGNATION through an Instagram post. A member from a previous cohort wrote about her positive experience, so I reached out to her for more insights. She was really welcoming and helpful. After doing a lot of my own research and comparing bootcamps, I was very excited to attend DESIGNATION for a new change.
What made your DESIGNATION experience unique?
My fellow Ruby cohortmates made my experience so memorable. We came from all over the world and different backgrounds. When we worked late into the night, we had dance parties to relieve our stress. When there was leftover food in 1871, we all Slacked each other. We bonded through the program and always supported and encouraged each other. Also, Chicago’s vibrant music and food scene offered a lot of opportunities to explore.
What did you find was the most useful skill, tool, or experience from your time in the program?
During the program, my team collaborated with clients and presented our design solutions and research insights. I learned how important it is to illustrate a story and communicate the reasoning behind your design decisions. This was extremely useful during the interview process, when I explained my thought process and case studies. The experience of iterating rapidly and adapting helped me grow as a designer.
What are the people at DESIGNATION like?
I loved my cohort and creative directors! There was always a safe space—everyone was approachable and willing to give constructive feedback or advice. Surrounding myself with talented and passionate people was inspiring and helped challenge me as a designer. One time I got sick during the program and my cohort was quick to give me support and medicine. We all still keep in touch and keep each other updated.
How did DESIGNATION help prepare you for your job?
Client experience. Career development. Building your portfolio.
The workshops, guest speakers, and mentorship program during the program helped me navigate the job search process. Building a design portfolio was a UX process in itself. I went through many iterations but my classmates and the staff were very helpful in offering feedback and encouragement. During interviews, being able to talk about my experience working with clients and solving their business challenges was very valuable. My classmates and I also worked on design challenges together.
“I learned how important it is to illustrate a story and communicate the reasoning behind your design decisions. This was extremely useful during the interview process, when I explained my thought process and case studies.”
What advice can you give to someone trying to start in the design industry?
Don’t be scared to put yourself out there! I attended a lot of meetups and met really cool and welcoming people in the design community. Follow designers on Medium or listen to design podcasts on your commute. I learned from DESIGNATION how design can make the world more accessible, inclusive, and help improve people’s lives. Stay curious and hungry to learn!