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Denny Kim and I met at Austin Community College in my Intro to UX course at first and later in UX Portfolio. He and I discuss his path to his day-to-day of designing for business to business interactions and dig deep into his struggles getting the first UX job.

How did you get started in UX?

It’s definitely not conventional. I worked for an auto accessory company right after high school for about a year. It did help me sort of get this job, in a way. Community college happened, and I just bounced around a lot. Then I transferred to University of Texas (UT) sophomore year. My major changed five times. I always liked history and culture, and I wasn’t good enough for art. So I focused on counterculture and how culture works.

How did your studies help you with your career?

It was not counterculture. At college, I learned how to research things, write research papers, and I learned how to put things together (logically).

How did this eventually connect to UX?

So, after UT, I was managing a Korean BBQ restaurant in Austin, and I actually took it upon myself to do the website. It was really fun. Then I got back into Photoshop and other Adobe stuff. So after doing the site, I wanted to get into graphic design. So, I went to ACC and took a couple of graphic design classes. Then I took a design thinking course.

What was your experience getting your first UX Job?

It was definitely hard.I became more and more insecure as time went on. My very ignorant mentality during that time pushed me to keep churning out things. maybe if some of the things I create are good enough, then maybe some (opportunities) will come to me.

How your mind has shifted after working for a year?

Cuz I thought I was the shit when I first came into the office. Get some stuff done. Of course, that wasn’t the case. I had to learn that we weren’t designing for the end user all of the time. We had to design for the client and how they engaged with their end user. It is a pretty complex way of thinking.

You can find Denny at the following links.

Twitter: @isitgrey
Medium: @nadenny

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Matt Eng

Matt Eng

DesignOps Manager. Based in Austin,TX. Worked with clients such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ogilvy, RBC, Deloitte, Whirlpool, Polycom, Symantec, and Pebble. Matt teaches, mentors, and speaks about design, creativity, and fostering stronger connections within teams.