Whitney Romanchuk,
Product Architect/Designer at Rokk3r Labs

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Whitney Romanchuk is a graduate of the Magenta Cohort. After working in management and marketing roles for a commercial real estate developer and for the American Cancer Society in Miami, Whitney decided to switch gears and learn about UX/UI at DESIGNATION.

 

Where are you now working, and what is your job title?
I work for Rokk3r Labs as a Product Architect/Designer

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Tell us briefly about your company. What do they specialize in? What does your team look like?
Rokk3r partners with entrepreneurs to design, build, and launch products. As part of the co-build partnership, Rokk3r provides services such as strategy, design, growth hacking, software development, investor relations, and support. We have a diverse, talented, multilingual team spread out between offices in Miami Beach, Bogotá, New York, London, Toronto, and Mexico City.

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Tell us briefly about your job
I currently work as the sole designer on the founding team for an insurance tech product. We’re designing and developing an online marketplace for purchasing medical emergency insurance policies. We plan to launch the site in late October or early November.

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What did you do professionally before you started at DESIGNATION? And where did you live?
Prior to DESIGNATION, I worked in management and marketing roles for a commercial real estate developer and for the American Cancer Society in Miami. I had long been interested in design, took several Adobe program classes, and helped out a lot of friends with small design-related projects over the years, but had no formal experience with design until the program.

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How did you hear about DESIGNATION? And why did you decide to attend?
I heard about DESIGNATION through a good old fashioned Google search. I was itching to make a career move into UX/UI and found this program on a list of top bootcamps. I ultimately chose DESIGNATION over other programs because of the number of dedicated hours/weeks given to instruction and the live client work phase. I was certainly scared to quit my job and put my regular life on hold for three months, but I knew that was the only way I’d make my dream a reality. (Plus I could temporarily live with my in-laws in the burbs for free!)

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How would you describe your DESIGNATION experience?
My experience at DESIGNATION was something I couldn’t imagine being without, but also something I’d never want to relive! It’s impossible to prepare for the rollercoaster ride of emotions, accelerated learning, continuous failing, and overall lack of sleep that comes with the program. But at the end of the day, it taught me so much about UX/UI, team collaboration, and even about myself—and it got me to where I am today, so I’ll be forever grateful for the experience!

“Everyone was pushing themselves harder than they probably ever had, and we were all in it together, supporting each other along the way. The field of design is so vast that there was never a moment where you could sit back and get comfortable with what you already know.”

What made your DESIGNATION experience unique?
While we may not have been the most rowdy, the Magenta cohort was loyal to each other and to learning the craft. #magentaforlife #nomagentaleftbehind! Also, surviving the cold rooms in 1871 was a unique experience in and of itself.

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What was your favorite part of the DESIGNATION experience?
The endless amount of learning and growing that we all experienced day in and day out. Everyone was pushing themselves harder than they probably ever had, and we were all in it together, supporting each other along the way. The field of design (UX, UI, visual etc.) is so vast, that there was never a moment where you could sit back and get comfortable with what you already know. It was (and still is) just a constant stream of reading, listening, designing, failing, and working improve your skills and knowledge.

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What are the people at DESIGNATION like (including staff, instructors and fellow students)?
I was always in awe at the breadth and depth of talent surrounding me while in the program. The staff and instructors had so much experience and knowledge that I wanted to soak in. My fellow classmates all had such diverse, interesting backstories and experiences as well. There was great camaraderie and a lot of joking around, and there were some pretty funny gifs and Photoshopped photos of John sleeping on our Slack channel.

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How did DESIGNATION help prepare you for your job?
The opportunity to work with real clients was hugely important to help prepare me for the freelance design work I did when I first got back to Miami, and in the role I have now at Rokk3r. It gave me experience in figuring out how to articulate and provide reasoning for my design decisions. It also introduced me to the big scary world of design critique, and learning how to use feedback as fuel to improve my designs instead of just defending them.

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