Transitioning from Student to Junior UX/UI Designer


Hello everyone.

Hope you’re all well! I have a little question - and this mainly goes out to those who have studied UX/UI design in the past, and landed positions. But please, anyone can reply and help out, here.

I’ve recently finished the UX Academy Course with - and was recently successful in acquiring a position as a Junior UI/UX designer. I’d love to hear your experiences when transitioning from student to professional. What was the switch like? Were there any shocks? Any differences between reality and your studies? And any advice you can give me, whilst I wait around for my start date! :slight_smile:


Hey @davidquill_ux - welcome to the UX club! Congrats on finishing your course.

The biggest difference for me was that the typical day-to-day of the job varied a lot from the theory behind the work. Study and research is clean, but real life is messy.

My advice is get to know the internal stakeholders as well as you can and work hard to build good working relationships early. The sooner you get to know and feel comfortable with the team, the easier time you’ll have moving work through the pipeline and influencing design and direction.

Just curious - how do you like your job so far?


Thanks Doug. It was actually here, where it all began for me.

That’s a great idea. I’ll try and look for the internal staff structure and connect through LinkedIn.

The role actually begins on 19th March - so still a little wait, yet. I’m thinking of things I can do before I join. My first thought was to jump on a Codecadmey course which I’m doing at the moment.


Congratulations! Nice work.

So much this. Relationships, willingness to listen and a great work ethic are IMO the three most important things to build and demonstrate when starting a new role.

And ask lots of questions. I have a lot of respect for people that ask questions because it cuts through the crap and saves everyone time.

Best of luck. You got this.


So true.
Also, real life is messy and complicated and doesn’t follow “best practices” that you might have learned during your course. And that’s ok. It’s about picking your battles, so you don’t become “that person” everyone tries to avoid as they’re hard to deal with as the hardline purist.
Good luck and congrats on the job.


Oh! Look what I just found:


Thanks for the advice. I’m really hoping I can learn to let things go when I believe in them (I admittedly struggle with this). I also know it’s a team effort and not all about what I design. :slight_smile:


Great article - just what I needed. ‘Listen Cinderella, this won’t be no fairy tail position’, kind of article. I love the quote ‘greatness and comfort don’t coexist’


I’ll take this on board thank you


So great to hear the community was a big help in getting you on the road to UX! @HAWK, @Piper_Wilson, @Lukcha, and the rest of the wonderful UXM team all do such a great job building an excellent community.

Good luck with the course and the new gig! Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help give you a hand.


All the best David. Much excitement and learning lies ahead :slight_smile:


Fully agree. The UXM community always has a really positive environment.

Thanks Doug, i’ll be sure to take you up on that offer as I go through a steep learning curve! Cheers.


Hey @davidquill_ux

If I could add my 2 cents, I also studied on design lab then took up a role as junior UX designer.

You won’t notice that you’re using all your theory and knowledge, like most things we studied, it becomes a foundation block, almost like a sub conscious, so you won’t be pushing theory too hard, adapting to real life tasks is actually quite an easy experience and personally for me far more satisfying. As others have mentioned, good relationships are key, but personally I found creating my own brand was my greatest strength. I was fortunate enough to work with very experienced UX people and they told me to define my character.

Will you be creative or methodical?
Do you base off data or customer feedback?
What thought processes do you fall back on for common UX tasks and why?

Defining myself this way made myself unique to my team, and of course never stop learning!


Thank you for this insight. I’ll take everything on board, for sure!


Hi @davidquill_ux! Congrats on the job. I recently finished up studying UX design and am starting my new role on Monday! Moving from an entirely different industry.

Great advice from everyone- i’m taking notes!:slight_smile:


Great news! :slight_smile: Hope the new job is going well!


This kind of content should be gathered somewhere. Or is it? :smiley:

Nice to read anyway.


Not really. I tweet it and post them here. Ephemeral and permanent. :slight_smile: