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Meet Our Alumni: Lexsi

Alumni: Lexi
Class of 2022

What has your career journey been like so far?
My background is in Statistics, and I initially sought out a career in data science until I spent my whole internship training a neural network and quickly realized I didn’t want to do that at all. Instead I applied to my company’s IT Rotational program. In this program, I was placed in a product design role during my first rotation. This experience marked the beginning of my journey into UX. With the guidance of supportive mentors, I delved deeper into the field. This journey of self-discovery in UX has not only given me purpose in my career, but helped me to seek out a position that excites me, and keeps me continuously curious and humble.

Why did you choose the MHCID program?
I chose the MHCID program mainly because of the cohort aspect and that it was geared towards working professionals. I saw those as huge pluses since I had to maintain my job in order to get the funding for schooling. I also really enjoy having a community to support me. At that time I had been working remotely for a while and needed to get back to building professional relationships with people. I was also at a point where I had done a certificate or two and knew that UX was a career path I wanted to pursue, but I also felt I didn’t have a deep enough understanding of what I needed to do in order for UX to be valued by my business partners. It can be tough to advocate for a UX process when you yourself don’t have a good approach or methods to learn what you need to in order for a product to be successful.

What was the program like for you?
The online nature of the program was a good fit for me. I had been working remotely for about a year at that point, so attending school online seemed manageable. The hybrid between synchronous sessions and asynchronous allowed me to balance my responsibilities with ease. In order for me to work full time while attending graduate school I really needed a program with a flexible structure and the MHCID provided that for me.

Did you work while completing your degree?
Yes, I had to work a minimum of 38 hours per week to have my company support my education. I have two essential pieces of advice for students considering grad school while working: effective communication and time management. Effective communication is crucial to maintaining open communication with your team about your academic commitments. For instance, if you have an important school presentation, discuss with your colleagues the possibility of adjusting non-urgent deadlines. Effective communication ensures that your work and studies can coexist harmoniously. Time management, which requires balancing work, school, and personal life, can be challenging. I found it beneficial to schedule my free time. Don’t forget to prioritize your mental health and well-being. Taking regular breaks, scheduling time with friends, or simply enjoying outdoor activities is essential. With the increased remote work and online classes, I often found myself glued to my desk. Having tools like planners, Trello, or task managers in your toolkit can help you stay organized and prevent tasks from falling through the cracks.

What’s your most memorable experience as part of the program?
The people – my classmates, professors, and life-long friends. I really gained some of my best friends from the program—they were at my wedding—and we stay in touch all thanks to small group learning that starts in the Fall Intensive and program kickoff. Being surrounded by talented designers and researchers who were in the program with me made me want to work that much harder and hone my own skills, just like iron sharpening iron. I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of through the program. The program equipped me with creative problem-solving skills that I will carry with me for a lifetime.

Where are you now and what are you working on?
When I initially entered the program, I was balancing my time between my role as a Project Manager and engaging in UX work on the side. Fast forward to today, and I’ve transitioned into a full-time role as a UX generalist, where I play a vital role in supporting products that are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our aircraft at The Boeing Company.

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