Interview with Betsy O’Donnell, DESIGNATION Alum and Junior Designer at SingleHop

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Betsy O’Donnell is a graduate of the Amaranth Cohort. Coming from a background of fine arts and psychology, Betsy joined DESIGNATION. Shortly after graduating she landed a new role as a Junior Designer for SingleHop, an enterprise cloud hosting service.

 

Where are you now working, and what is your job title?

I will be working at SingleHop as a Junior Designer

How would you describe the DESIGNATION experience?

For me it was like a slap in the face, in a good way. [Ed: yikes!] It was super intense with the amount of resources, speakers, and projects that were going on in a given week. I quickly learned what I put in is what I was going to get out. I thought being in a bootcamp would be rough for me with the workload and time commitment. But you’re surrounded by people who are working toward the same goal and that makes it a thousand times more do-able to put in the work each day and actually enjoy the learning process.

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What was the most interesting or useful thing you learned during the cohort?

The most useful thing I took away was an insane work ethic that came with just being in a working environment all day and the knowledge to make it in the design world. I wasn’t worried on my last day of class because I left with all the resources I needed to keep running with design and a work ethic that became my daily routine even after graduating.

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What are the people at DESIGNATION like (including staff, instructor and fellow students)?

Everyone has the same goal coming into the program which made for good camaraderie. It is a super collaborative space. The instructors are super passionate and always around to help. They are also really cool with whatever path you want to take in design. I remember being all about UX coming in and when I switched to visual design they switched my projects to fit what I wanted to do and gave me additional resources. It is just a really supportive environment.

What were you doing before you came to DESIGNATION?

I was toying with the idea of grad school but ended up working for a startup as a design intern and trying to teach myself the Adobe suite in my free time.

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How did you hear about DESIGNATION, and why did you decide to come?

I found DESIGNATION in a google search. I was looking at Starter League but wanted something to really propel me into the design world in a short period of time. I also noticed all the instructors worked in the field which was something no one else offered.

“You’re surrounded by people who are working toward the same goal and that makes it a thousand times more do-able.”

Tell us a little bit about your new job!

SingleHop is a hosting provider involved in the design, deployment and management of IT solutions. I will be designing interfaces, some identity/brand design, trade show graphics, internal branding, and other visual design-y things under the lead designer.

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How did DESIGNATION help prepare you for your new role?

Confidence. I know enough now to be able to carry any conversation in design. I said typeface the other day and was like yeah, I’m a designer. The miscellaneous things that went on like working with scrum boards, listening to speakers talk about how they made it, and working with all types of people I feel were what helped me the most. The instructors also worked with me after I graduated, which kept me going and really encouraged me even more to be tenacious about nabbing a design job.

What was your favorite part of the DESIGNATION experience?

My favorite part was actually probably after I left. Not because I hated it but because I didn’t think much was going to happen for me after leaving. After coming out of an intense experience there’s this moment of like what is my life now. After I left I was still treated like I was in the program and the instructors were still looking out for me which was really really cool to have.

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What advice would you give to someone who was trying to break into the industry?

Throw yourself out there. Don’t be afraid of not being good enough. Find ways to stand out from your competition. Someone is going to love that weird little thing you put in your portfolio!

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