Students aspiring to work in user experience

In three months time I will have completed my university course in web and multimedia, then another two months after that I will (hopefully) be attending my graduation ceremony.

I’d be lieing if I said I’m not currently stressed and worried.

However, following/contacting companies on Twitter and attending events such as the Manchester digital talent day has made me more confident that I will find the right job for me after university.

Due to user experience being such a specific job role, I often get advised to say I will work in various different sectors to make me more employable. Although this is good advice, if you have a passion for a certain role and you know a lot about it, isn’t it better to aspire to work in that sector?

It is more difficult to find graduate schemes offered by companies for user experience and I have found it is best to contact companies directly to ask about working in this area. Another option is to look at Junior UX positions, as these positions will usually ask for recent graduates.

Below is a short selection of sources I have found over the past year which will hopefully help other students and graduates:

Free events (mainly based around North West)
– Keep a look out on Manchester Digital events page
– Northern user experience
– UXPA events
– UXPA jobs event
– HCI events in London
– Camp Digital

Selection of companies (mainly based around North West)
– Code Computerlove
– We are sigma
– BBC UXD / Design team
– Amaze
– Numiko
– What users do
– Simple usability
– Keep it usable
– (For the girls): Lady Geek
– Manchester Digital
– Foolproof
– IC Creative

Tips / Advice
– Make it clear on social media that you are aspiring to work in user experience – at first I was worried that not knowing everything about UX meant I couldn’t say I wanted to work within that area only.

– Go to as many UX, creative and digital events as possible: you will always meet new people and gain more knowledge at every event.

– Look out for relevant graduate/job fairs: They are awesome and you meet a large variety of different companies.

– Get professional on LinkedIn and Twitter: Fill out all your work experience; don’t be afraid to add other UX professionals and tweet good UX stuff.

– Start a blog: My blog isn’t only about user experience, but it’s always good to write about your projects and you.

– Create a print and web portfolio: this is where I went wrong, I didn’t spend enough time on my portfolio’s early enough – start it early; tell a story with your work and why it works for the user.

Please let me know if you have any sources, events, etc which can go onto this list.

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