Wendy Pei's journey into UX started out in customer service, and then freelance visual design.
After joining and graduating from the first cohort of UX Academy, she landed a position as Product Designer at Microsoft. Read this interview to learn more about Wendy, her path to becoming a product designer, and her mission to design a safer, happier, healthier and more informed world.
What were you doing before UX Academy?
Freelance visual design for a few years. Prior to that, I was in customer service; my crowning achievement was building and managing a customer service team and experience from the ground up. When I decided that I wanted to design full-time, I realized that I had a lot of life experience but no portfolio to show for it. I finally decided to research design bootcamps and was faced with a lot of different options.
Why did you decide to join UX Academy?
There are a lot of different reasons I settled on UX Academy: Being able to interact with multiple mentors, having a community of other students to work with, and the get-a-job guarantee they offered. The fact that UX Academy had a stake in my success gave me confidence that we both had the same goal: to get me a full-time product design role.
What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from enrolling in UX Academy?
Timing. My partner and I were both unemployed for a while. We also just had a baby. If I had found UX Academy any sooner or later, I don’t think it would have worked out as well.
What got you interested in UX design?
When I worked in customer service, I was constantly trying to solve people’s problems but was only limited to a few tools: apologizing, giving them credit, and compiling feedback. I was aching to go a few steps further and actually make the decisions and create the solutions.
Did you have any trepidations/concerns coming into the program / trying to transition into a new field?
Not really. I'm proud of my work and life experiences and truly believe that it made me a more well-rounded designer. I try my best to own it.