I have a networking challenge, particularly for UX Research.
I’ve been at Texas A&M for 10 years and am finishing up my PhD. I’m one of the first students in the human factors concentration from my department, and I’m the first to try and break into UX.
Normally, A&M sets a lot of store by networking, it’s part-and-parcel of their brand. However, while A&M’s history in heavy industry and military is well established, their presence in design fields is much more limited (the only “design” school is Architecture). Additionally, my positive impact policy keeps me from working in the military-focused design opportunities that do exist.
I’ve also been a student member of HFES for half a decade. They’re wonderful for professional development and I have a fantastic mentor who challenges me to improve my skills, but the simple fact is that, so far, I’m still largely applying for jobs the wrong way, through the job search portal, because I just don’t know the people to pursue the networking route.
I’ve had some reasonable success in the Bay Area, with the contacts I do have, but have made all my others through LinkedIn and Glassdoor.
Funnily enough, while I have some interest in Austin, as it lets me stay in state and leverage my student network, but the few openings I’ve found haven’t led to even a conversation.