For this spotlight, we had Avocademy graduate Avrielle Ali chat with us. Before her UX design journey, Avrielle was working for herself, traveling around the world teaching yoga and creating content for her business. You can check out her portfolio here.
Read our conversation below to hear more about Avrielle’s experience!
Q: How did you find out what UX design was?
A: I found out about UX Design by participating in someone's usability test, not knowing what it was.
I left the US about seven years ago now because I was working at Morgan Stanley doing wealth management, and it just was not for me. I bought a one-way ticket to Bali. When I got there, I met a lot of people who were working remotely. I was working out of a co-working space called Dojo. I helped some people with usability tests, which I didn't know what they were.
They said that I noticed so many things and I should think about UX design. “What are you talking about? I'm doing yoga. No, I'm not doing that.“ I thought.
Q: How did you make the decision to leave your business?
A: I was traveling when the pandemic hit and I had to come home to take care of my dad. He was sick. He's okay now, but it just kind of made me think about what I wanted to do yoga wasn't really my passion anymore. It was becoming a lot more about social media. And that's not something I ever wanted to really be a part of. I saw Avocademy on Tik Tok and I was like, this is cute. Let's look more into it.
When I was looking for a program, I really wanted one on one mentorship; that was something that was incredibly important to me. So I did because I saw you guys; I think I started researching a bunch of different ones. But in the end, it was, it was something that I had been told before that would work in my mindset thinking. I love fixing problems. And I feel like that's a lot of what UX is. And I was like, I want the one-on-one mentorship. I don't want to be by myself on the computer not being able to talk to anyone and not being able to ask for feedback.
Q: Did you consider any other remote careers that are typically marketed?
A: Social media management, front-end developer, it all crossed my mind. I'm not incredibly tech-savvy, but I'm good with a computer. And I understand patterns, which I think is probably my weird superpower.
Honestly, what brought me to UX design, in particular, was just a point in my life where I said I needed a change.
Q: How was your experience with Avocademys Foundations program?
A: It took me about 9 weeks. I had to critically think, which made everything way more difficult, but actually helped me retain the information. I read every single thing. I watched every single thing. When there were other articles that were linked, I read them. I wanted to know everything. Why be mediocre at something when you can be the best that you can be? It was difficult and tiring.
Now working at a company, it's really lovely to see that you guys really do follow the same process that companies can do if they are following the whole process.
Q: What was your timeline like for the program and job search?
A: I started in February of 2022 and by the end of May I was applying for jobs. I had 4 projects in my portfolio and started applying right away. It took me about 20 days to land a job.
Q: How many jobs did you apply to your first week?
A: Over 160
Q: How was your experience interviewing?
A: I think at least 30 interviews overall. It was tiring; that was definitely something I wasn't expecting. I felt really prepared thanks to the mentors. It was so nice just to practice, especially my portfolio review. The portfolio review was so specific. And it took a lot more time to get the wording right, the timing right, how to scroll and listen and also answer questions. There's something about having confidence when you're able to speak about your projects that only comes from practice.
Q: Tell us a little bit more about your job; what does it feel like?
A: I feel like I'm in a dream where like, I'm gonna wake up soon. actually could not be happier where I am. S&P Global is absolutely fantastic. My team is mind-blowing within the first 15 minutes of this the first interview I had with the hiring manager, I was like, I'm gonna work here you have reeled me in my job.
Q: What's your one piece of advice?
A: Trust yourself to make the right decision for you. And you can push yourself a lot harder than you think. And it's actually a good thing to do it sometimes. You don't know what you're capable of until you actually do it.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.