I was going to put my resume here, then I realized it's so dumb. So I decided to tell something that is not on my resume.

I officially started my career as a visual designer about 5 years ago when I graduated from college. I was full of ideas and ambitions and had this picture of myself working for a well-known design agency that has minimalist decor office environment. And, I was part of a huge project of the world’s top 500. To achieve my dreams, I went to the Bay area. Fortunately, I was able to get some intern interview opportunities for design agencies. I have had a great conversation with every interviewer. Different from what I expected, I didn’t get any of the jobs. My wallet couldn’t wait for me to find a job, I decided to go back to Los Angeles in the end.

After returning to LA, I quickly found a job as a graphic designer for an outdoor heater manufacturer. Even if the boss himself yelled at me every day, I still want to provide the best design work possible.

"Everyone you meet in your life can be your teacher"

Although, I didn’t work there for a long time. I’ve met great people and learned a lot from them. I thought I’ll take the experience and continue the path as a graphic designer. Unexpectedly, It was a new challenge when I found my next job. The employer was a small investment firm that was looking for a graphic designer with web development skills. Honestly, I only knew how to write basic HTML and CSS. Luckily, they didn’t expect me to be a pro and was willing to train me along the way. I must say that this job is of great help to improve my development skills. Because I was the only designer who was responsible for designing and development the websites.

I went from only working with Adobe Creative Suites to working with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, LESS, Sass, PHP, Laravel, Vue.js, and Github. I was a designer who needed days to develop a webpage that probably didn’t look like the mock-ups I created. Now, I can code mock-ups in one day. Even though I’m still not as good as the professional developers, but I’m not afraid of working with code. Sometimes, I feel more comfortable just typing codes in Visual Studio than playing layout and typography in Photoshop.

I enjoyed the 2 years working for that company. My colleague, Adam, who is an excellent programmer and back-end developer, was one of the teachers I met in life. We were researching how to make our product better with the latest languages and design trends every day. Because of him, I have learned things in the world of programming. All good things come to an end. I met my ex-girlfriend and felt the need of making more money to support not only my monthly saving goal but also MORE things to do for weekends. And then, a recruiter from Newegg.com reached out to me and offered me the job as a Web Designer.

The interview was short and quick. Shortly after, I started to adapt to corporate culture. It’s different, I put it. When I first met with the team members, almost 20 people sat in the conference room, discussing the marketing strategies for Q2, and I almost vomited. I was nervous and felt great pressure as I was trying to find my position in the company. Eventually, I knew what I need to do. I started to sharpen my visual design skills. Also, I’ve used my development skills to help improve landing pages for campaigns. I am very grateful to every designer I met here. I have learned a lot from them. I believe these skills can help me succeed in the next phase.

What is my next phase? I’m thinking about getting into UI/UX design like other designers are thinking about the same thing. The most important reason is that the salary is extremely high compared to visual designers and graphic designers. Every designer is trying to get into the field and believe that they are qualified for this job. I don’t think so. Even my arrogance hopes that I will think twice before I act. In the past year, I have carefully reviewed the requirements, and things I need to learn before I start to apply for the jobs. I realized that there was something I have already learned in college will help me working as a UI/UX designer. Let me tell you about my college life.

I went to college, and got the degree below:

Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication and Graphic Design

California State University, Los Angeles

Jimmy Moss, the professor teaching design classes such as typography and art direction in the CalState LA, was the main person that helped me made up my mind to be a visual designer. He likes to focus on critical thinking, problem solving, concept, and presentation. He believes those are the core value of a visual communicator. I didn’t believe him back then, now I can’t agree with him more! He forced his students to prepare brief presentations about their projects before they began the design process. I can’t remember how many times I have failed at those presentations. He liked to ask questions about my concept until I fell out of my logic. Then, I realized how stupid I was. One thing he asked very often:

"What is your rationale? Tell me!"

Of course, there were rounds of critiques for each project per student. Most of my classmates wouldn’t survive from those critiques. Me either. The most difficult challenge was the final presentation. As an immigrant, my English wasn’t great. It was like nightmares for me to stand up in front of my classmates and logically present my concept. Things were not always that bad, I started to get better and better each time. Jimmy’s death camp trained me to be like him who likes to think critically about everything. The good thing about him was that he almost did not teach a single thing about how to use Adobe tools. I had to rely on Lynda.com provided by the school. So, I’m a self-starter and self-learner, don’t you dare to disagree with me!

College Degree doesn't mean anything except for people to figure out how screwed you are in student loans. I prefer to gain more work experience.

I say it’s true and not true. “Do I want to go back to college?” Yes, I do. After working in this industry for 5 years, I realize that I need to keep learning not only the latest design tools but also new ideas and design trends. I don’t have the time and money to go back to school. To stop the hunger of learning, I signed up at Udemy.com and purchased some online courses, such as Angular.js, iOS Swift, and UX Design Fundamental and Advance.

"Master anything, Get the skills to get ahead. Courses as low as $12.99"

Not sure how to continue writing my story, I’ll get back to this. [To Be Continued]