DesignLab is an online UX learning platform, which aims to provide students with relevant curriculum, hands-on practice, and 1-on-1 mentorship from practicing designers in the industry. Since 2012, they’ve grown from a modest “short course” model (four weeks) to the longer term UX Academy (several months). Short courses are generally meant to introduce concepts, while the UX Academy seeks to prepare students to transition into their first UX generalist role.
I have a personal connection to DesignLab, as a former student going back to 2015 during my own professional transition. I can honestly say that this service and the dedication from my course mentors helped me get to where I am today. In Fall 2020, I was fortunate enough to join the DesignLab staff as a course mentor. Since then I’ve been able to work with over 20 students from across the country and beyond. Some of which just want to broaden their skills and design acumen, and others who have made the decision to completely shift into a new career path. Working with my mentees, I provide guidance on their course submissions, educate them on best practices, and coach them on ways to be successful in this field. It brings me so much joy, being able to give back to the design community in this way. Though I’m providing support to my students, I too have experienced so much growth as a person, designer, and leader.