Consulting is something I'd always been curious to try but wary about because of the lifestyle and inconsistency. I'd always been told that it's physically demanding because consultants are expected to travel up to 100%, which in business, implies Monday-Thursday on the client site and Friday at the home office. On the other hand, mentors and panelists have shared that consulting is great for entry-level professionals because of the opportunity to learn a lot very quickly - varying roles in varying industries.
However, like anything new, there's a lot to discover once you're on the actual job. During the time I was a design consultant at IBM iX, I observed many elements that make consulting truly different from any other line of business. Below, I present 5 things I wish I knew about consulting.
The photo to the right was taken almost 4 years ago at my high school graduation. At that time, I knew that for the next 4 years, I was going to study at the University of Washington, live in McMahon Hall, and pursue an engineering degree. I graduated with honors and felt like I had a good idea of my future. All I had to do was work towards it. I was excited to graduate because of the incredible journey ahead.
4 years later, I can't say that I have the same excited feeling to graduate from college. First, I'm going to miss college. I genuinely like school, learning something new everyday, and the autonomy that comes with college. But more importantly, I'm not mentally ready to graduate.
I used to be futuristic perfectionist. But while in college, I have learned to be easy on myself in order to enjoy the moment and to maintain sanity. I used to overly plan to avoid procrastination because I thought getting things done early would relieve stress. But I quickly realized that doing that very action was the source of my stressor. I was so busy getting ahead of deadlines, that I was missing out on moments. Now, I worry that I may have been too easy on myself, and in the mean time, lost my inner strength along the way.
I'm now faced with graduation in 32 days with no long-term plan after. For the last 16 years, my goal was to earn a college degree. But this is the first time I feel like I don't know what's in store for my future, and I don't know how to react to it. College prepared me with writing, research, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills, but it did not prepare me with life skills. How do you approach a new chapter in life?
The struggles of finding junior UX design positions
Inspired by a need for self-reflection and a podcast — The Grind — that I’ve been helping my mentor generate content for (it’s not yet published), I am writing to share the struggles that I’ve been facing as a graduating senior seeking entry-level, UX Design positions in a tech city, Seattle.
This is by no means, a cry for pity or an attempt to get my name out to recruiters. By sharing the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on, I hope to:
Since September, I’ve applied to over 100 UX design positions in the West Coast (with a majority in the greater Puget Sound region), attended 10 career fairs, interviewed with 12 companies, but haven’t received an offer.