Design is about getting to know other people’s struggles and finding an elegant solution to solve their problems. It is, above all, about serving others.
Maggie had a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in design when she started looking for a job, but those two degrees didn’t exempt her from the age-old dilemma of job hunting: how to convince an employer that you are capable of the job when you have no experience at all?
Maggie had always wanted to study design, so she applied for a Product Design master’s program after graduating from college. "I can’t quite put my finger on why I wanted to study design. I think it was initially because … it just sounded cool to say, 'I am a designer'? But as I got more into it, I learned that design isn’t about being cool. Design is about getting to know other people’s struggles and finding an elegant solution to solve their problems. It is, above all, about serving others. It sounds so cliché, but I always remember the moment when I put a prototype in other people’s hands, and the way it made them smile." She realized that there was a reason for the hard work she had to put in.
Feeling all enlightened and inspired, she still struggled to find a place where she could live by those principles. The only real-world projects she had worked on were a couple of graphic design exercises that she did for fun in college, so she found a job as a graphic designer. Overtime, the work started to feel unfulfilling. "Even though I didn’t enjoy my college education as much as I’d like to, I still want to make the most of it. I want to find a place where I get to use my programming skills and design skills at the same time."
And that’s when she started looking into front-end development. She started taking courses online, and built a few small front-end projects by herself, but she felt that learning about the entire web development process and working within a team would help her build a more convincing profile. She came across a Le Wagon free workshop and researched the curriculum of the Full-time Web Development Bootcamp, and decided that it was exactly what she needed. On the Demo Day of the 9-week bootcamp, Maggie’s team presented their final project, and Maggie was surprised to receive a job offer on the spot. The owner of a small software company reached out to her after their presentation and asked, “I like your work. Do you want to do an internship with us?”
“I will be grateful for this moment forever.” Maggie says, “It takes a lot of courage to put trust in someone you know little about. And I’m glad that Le Wagon has given me an opportunity to showcase my skills to an audience and made it possible for me to be discovered.”
Le Wagon and the internship have helped Maggie get started as a developer. She is now working as a front-end developer at Autodesk, and she continues to work on various personal and freelance projects in her free time.
Looking back on this journey, Maggie thinks of Le Wagon as “the missing piece of the puzzle”. "I’d like to think that my engineering education set a good foundation for my career path, but something was missing. We were so disconnected from the real world that we didn’t know why we were doing what we were doing, and what skills were in demand in the industry. I think studying design helped me answer the 'why' from a new perspective, and Le Wagon helped me answer the 'what' by allowing me to try out those skills in a real project. "
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