My career path was not a direct one. I spent my undergrad and a bit of time as a masters students exploring other cultures as an anthropology major. Then, for 7 years, I built a career in academic administration and recruiting. While I did not know it at the time, this was the perfect place to hone the professional skills that I rely on heavily today like advocacy, facilitation and problem-solving.
I was working at design school when I started to see a new path for myself—a way to use my skills to identify and solve problems. So, I went back to school for human-computer interaction and made a major career change. Thanks to some amazing mentors I found my path forward.
As a design practitioner, I encouraged both my team and clients to look at design problems holistically, striving for a deeper contextual understanding of the problems we were trying to solve. As a design research director, I continuously advocated for research-informed design, always looking for new ways to conduct, visualize and utilize research to improve user experiences as well as the processes that create them. Then, as a service designer, I had the opportunity to expand beyond digital products to truly omnichannel experiences that require coordination and support across the organization. I’ve helped bridge the gaps across disciplines and introduce design to new areas within the organization.
Now as a product leader, I am able to bring everything together and drive strategy based on customer understanding. I partner closely with the design team and know how to leverage the skills of my design research partners. My collaboration skills allow me to grow strong cross-disciplinary relationships and push for creative solutions to achieve our goals. Altogether, my background allows me to be an empathetic servant leader who empowers my team to drive results.
Beyond work, I believe in lifelong learning through both experiences and more formalized education. Currently, I'm an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago co-teaching a course on Experience Design that focuses on design research methodology.