Making the change by being a change

Annie Kuo
April 7, 2023
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Life is all about choices we make and chances we take.

Hello, I’m Annie, and in this article, I’d like to share my journey of transitioning into UX design with a non-relevant background (English degree).

(To my readers, if you’re also interested in (or hesitant) stepping outside of your comfort zone, hopefully this article can help and inspire you in a good way.)☀️

The story started from…📝

With the covid spreading in 2020, and losing someone who I was really close to in 2021, I’d started to rethink what I truly wanted to go for as a career in future. At the same time, I’d been thinking about acquiring a master’s degree after college, but I wasn’t sure which field I was interested in.

After working a few years, I began to notice that work takes up most of our time in life, so if there’s any goal I’m going to achieve in terms of the career, I want to find the one I truly enjoy, not just only for surviving. I’m always eager to improve the quality of life, and let the world become at least more friendly, accessible and simpler. Therefore, when UX design walked into my life in 2021, I knew I was fascinated by its magic.💫

ship helm

The first time I learned about UX design, I was overwhelmed by how the technology, visual design and psychology could be perfectly integrated into something interactive, making a real impact in the world. Moreover, because I enjoy observing humans on the street, and seeking “why” for their actions, I was particularly interested in the psychology part. The more useful I find how UX and UI work to solve the problem, the more intrigued I become. In fact, my parents always have trouble using apps/websites, so I like the idea of making things organized, logical and less complicated.😊

brown and black jigsaw puzzle

Nonetheless, I was hesitant to step outside of my comfort zone because I was afraid of failure. The feeling of not letting someone down has always been one of the values, but honestly it didn’t make sense to think about how others think of me at the time. I mean… it’s my life, right?

After joining lululemon as an educator in 2022, I’ve found myself enjoying helping people a lot. It gave me the true happiness of being able to interact with someone who I don’t know. Also, it resonated with my extrovert side of being kind and warm hearted. Besides, I’ve met lots of amazing people, guests, ambassadors, leaders, supervisors, and colleagues becoming friends through this incredible journey. It was lululemon that made me believe a company’s core value can be fully performed to anyone, and bring us together. 💞

However, the truth was, as much as I appreciated the work, a piece of me knew I still wanted to build something not only meaningful but practical to speak to people. I kept questioning myself if I felt satisfied with where I was right now day after day, the answer was NO. It was that moment that reminded me of UX Design again.💡

How did I meet Mento Academy?🙌

With the stronger motive, I started to look into more resources of the master programs, youtube, facebook, online bootcamps, etc. Because I joined a community called “Taiwan UI/UX Designers” on facebook, I met one of the alumni from Mento Design Academy. After having the call with her, I was impressed and encouraged by the way she managed it through the whole process as well as the self-paced learning program with a stronger curriculum from Mento. Besides, I noticed Mento does actually care about each student, and they’re proactive in offering practical experience. I knew it was the one which was suitable for my needs at the time.🌱

person carrying yellow and black backpack walking between green plants

One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.

Finally stepping outside of my comfort zone!👣

With the fact of studying interior design at high school, design never truly disappears from me. From the animation project coordinator, cycling purchaser, marketing assistant to the educator, I’ve gained different experience during the past few years. A common takeaway in those positions is building the mindset of trying to be the one who I worked with and learning from others’ perspective. They have sharpened me into more adaptable as well as agile.

Looking into the next step at Mento, I understand it’s going to be a long journey with pressure, and there will be plenty of challenges required to conquer such as time management, impostor syndrome, or any uncertainty causing me to doubt my decision.

man running on edge near mountain

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

As one of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs, I’m going to trust the process and keep moving forward. Eventually I will find the answer to my question.⭐️

Recognising myself along the way is a lifetime topic. Just like me, documenting this article wasn’t easy because I feel intimidated to share my personal story. I have no idea how this journey may lead to, but the only thing I realize is if I don’t go with the flow this time, I will be regretful.

At the end of the day, my future goal is being able to work in other countries and soak in the new culture again. It took me a few years to make up my mind, however, I am glad where I am now, and can’t wait to see what’s next.🚀

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