Regardless of age, level of education, or experience, starting a new career can be daunting. Engine Digital attracts some of the best talent directly out of school, which forces many twenty-somethings to adapt quickly to the complex and ever evolving world of digital strategy. From Creative and Technology to Content and UX, each of our practice groups are supported by junior team members, each playing an important role in our project work from kick-off through to final delivery. We like to check in with our new hires after a year for a bit of Q and A, so we can make their transition from student to professional as smooth as possible. Sharing these stories also helps others about to undertake a new career.
Tell us about how you got into the digital strategy field. Where did you go to school? What led you to pursue User Experience as a career?
I entered the digital strategy field by starting out as an intern and eventually being hired on as a full-time employee here at Engine Digital. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get some industry experience while I was attending the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at SFU. Going into UX seemed like a natural choice, based on the roles and responsibilities I enjoyed taking on during team projects. I was always very interested in understanding and improving process, but also had a very broad range of interests. User Experience really satisfied my need for variety and creativity.
How would you say the past 12 months has shaped your perspective on digital strategy and the digital space in general?
I’ve come to realize just how quickly everything progresses in the digital space, and the importance of staying relevant and consistently adapting to change. New technology, platforms, and services are continuously evolving and completely disrupting the traditional business landscape. It’s a very interesting and exciting time to be in this field because the power is shifting to the consumers, and we’ve become challenged with creating truly meaningful and deeply personal products.
Have you found your experience working in the digital agency environment to be different from what you thought it might be?
I wasn’t too sure what to expect coming into the agency environment for the very first time, but I’ve had a great experience working at Engine Digital so far. The agency provides a collaborative, open and very welcoming environment. There is a great work/life balance and a lot of respect amongst everyone in the agency. I’ve always felt that my ideas were supported and have received great mentorship from the senior staff and management team, which is incredibly important to me in this early stage of my career.
What would you say have been the most important learnings from your time so far at Engine Digital?
Abandoning the fear of making mistakes. As someone who is just starting out in this field, mistakes are a guarantee. Learning by doing is an important part of my personal development, and failing is part of that process.
How have your skills and interests in UX and digital evolved over the past year?
The most valuable skills I’ve developed over the past year came from interacting with clients, and collaborating with a multi-disciplinary group. I’ve found that learning how to present and articulate design decisions with clients, and the members of my team, is vital to the process. I’ve also learned a lot from working with a very experienced and diverse team. In the agency there is an equal opportunity to contribute to both large and small scale projects with big brands, which consistently challenges and encourages me to keep learning.
What would you say are the most important aspects of a great digital experience? What is necessary to achieve great work?
I think the most important aspect of a great digital experience is designing through a truly human-centered approach. Understanding the behavior of people, their motivations and needs, and using those insights as a way to define what the experience should be, is at the core of what I do every day. In some instances, I think it could be difficult to design without an ego, but I believe that practicing empathy is a way to overcome that.
Any closing thoughts?
I’m grateful to be part of an agency that has helped mentor and guide me in this really important time in my career. I’m looking forward to the future and continuing to work with the team here at Engine Digital.
We’re always on the lookout for great talent. See our current job openings.