If you had told me that I would earn a six figures salary on getting my first UX design internship, I would have called you a joker. Sometimes, it is hard for me to reflect on my journey thus and count my blessings because I put a lot of pressure on myself, but today, I have decided to do so with this article.
Ever since I was a child, my parents wanted me to be a lawyer because I was that intelligent talkative child, and it was my also mum’s dream to study Law but unfortunately, she couldn’t. So it was always Law I grew up to believe I was made for or was made for me, as the case may be. But the funny thing is that I used to love to draw flowers and random patterns at the back of my notes in class. There was also this time I was so obsessed with interior design and I told my mum about wanting to go to a school. It was pretty expensive at that time, and I was about to enter school. So, my elder brother innocently discouraged me from pursuing it and advised that I focus on getting into university first.
I didn’t exactly listen as my curiosity got the best out of me so I messaged someone on LinkedIn who gave me one helpful book on how to get started, but he was too busy to put through, and school came too. I got too busy getting solid grades for school and other extracurricular activities like writing, public speaking, Lagos Model United Nations (LMUN), mooting, etc., so I completely brushed it aside. However, I am grateful for COVID because that was the year it all started.
I started my UX design journey in late 2020, I did not have a functional laptop so I only really started designing last year. I would read random UX design articles on Medium then speak to a few of my designer friends and listen to them go on and on about design. It was really intriguing to me, so I decided that I would be focused on my product design journey and started applying for training opportunities.
The Àșà Coterie x Cowrywise training was my first, and it was an eye-opener. I enjoyed the sessions, and I was always looking forward to the next one. I am super glad and grateful that I had such a strong foundation. We were asked to work on a project to improve crypto-adoption/investment for women, and it was really exciting. You can check out my group presentation here.
After this, I took a break for a while before I saw another scholarship opportunity to learn UX design which was the Google UX Design Course. I remember borrowing my younger brother’s and my friend’s laptops during this course and the former to complete them before I was able to get a laptop; special thanks to my guardian angel. I intensified my efforts to complete the Google UX Design course when I got my laptop because the deadline was pretty, but I am glad I could complete it and build my portfolio.
One random day, I quoted a tweet one day that I would like to get a job as Valentine's gift, and my boss reached out to me that he would need someone part-time soon so I kept in touch with faith. We had a call, and I got on board after negotiating working hours and salary. Because of the fact that I am still in school, we agreed that I would start with an internship. I still can’t believe that my first UX design internship started with six figures as in, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. It is still in naira but I have been volunteering almost all my life, so it is a big W to me.
It has been three months now, and I am not going to lie it’s been a bit challenging because it is a startup, and I am one of the primary designers. I like the fact that I am being pushed beyond my comfort zone and since it is a pretty complex product, I get to work on complex features which I never thought I would work on before. The end results of these are centered towards making an overall better user experience and it is super exciting. I cannot wait to see where the next months would take me and I am grateful for my journey thus far. Getting a job off that tweet is one of the reasons why I tell everyone to always put themselves out there and shoot their shots. You never can tell when that breakthrough would come.
I know you might be wondering what would happen to Law so the thing is I would still most likely complete my Law degree because seeing the pride on my mum’s face whenever she brags that her daughter is a lawyer means everything to me and I honestly don’t think it is a bad idea for a first degree. Pursuing UX design as a career makes me so happy so I might decide to take a second degree in it. But let’s see how it goes.
I poured my heart into this article so I am going to avoid making a lot of edits because I feel they are essential parts of my journey and I want to document them.