Meet Vicky: From Marketing and Communications Assistant to Interaction Designer at HP

Her specialization in Human-Computer Interaction paired with her UX Academy certificate helped the HP recruiter find Vicky and land her the Interaction Designe…

Team Designlab
Team Designlab
Nov 16, 2021
Min Read

Before enrolling in UX Academy, Vicky Nguyen worked part-time as a Marketing and Communications Assistant at UC San Diego Health while pursuing her undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science with a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction. 

After graduation, she decided to take a gap year and move to Los Angeles to focus on some other interests. However, once COVID happened and the lockdown hit, it gave her the time to reflect on what she really wanted to do as a career. She looked back on her time in marketing and communications, and wondered if that was a path she really wanted to walk down. With time (something many of us had ample of during lockdown) Vicky realized that she felt more fulfilled with other types of creative outlets. 

“I was so interested in learning about the way people behave and think, and found the art of designing and building user interfaces to be so cool. I had dabbled in some UX courses in college and believed that if I really wanted to, I could break into the industry with a lot of hard work and diligence,” says Vicky.

So, she decided to make the leap to a career in UX design.

Choosing UX Academy For Her UX Design Education

Vicky made sure to really do her research on all the different UX design bootcamps available before choosing UX Academy. 

“I read blogs and community threads written by other people, got in touch with different bootcamp alumni, and compared prices and curriculum between bootcamps. After bringing my options down to three bootcamps, I ultimately chose Designlab because of its fair pricing and curriculum. I also heard that the Designlab’s community and mentorship were pretty valuable, and those were things that I was looking for and that suited my learning style,” Vicky says.

Vicky Nguyen_1
Noblesse: UX Academy Project

She had heard from other people before that “For bootcamps, it’s really ‘You get out what you put in,” and she took that to heart. 

“I really wanted to make it worthwhile, and because I worked hard, UX Academy ended up being so worth it! Prior to UX Academy, I had tried to self-teach in the hope of saving money. But I soon realized that what I really needed was a curriculum to help me learn in the best possible way. UX Academy gave me a good foundation for breaking into the design world,” says Vicky. 

“The course was well structured, but what I really valued was Designlab’s community and mentorship. Everybody is always helping one another and the weekly design critiques that students had to participate in were so valuable in learning from each other and gaining experience talking through designs. My mentors throughout UX Academy were so incredibly knowledgeable and helpful and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.” 

Vicky Nguyen_2
Data Visualization for Spotify: UX Academy Project

Being Recruited by and Working for Hewlett-Packard (HP)

After graduating from UX Academy, and about a month into applying for jobs, a recruiter reached out to Vicky on LinkedIn about an Interaction Designer role at HP. She believes that her specialization in Human-Computer Interaction paired with her UX Academy certificate helped the recruiter find her. 

From there, the interview process was pretty straightforward. Vicky spoke with the recruiter first, and then later on had an interview with the design director and manager. She presented a project in her portfolio and was then asked questions about her work and experience while she walked them through the rest of her portfolio.

Needless to say: Vicky did really well in the interview and landed the job!

“There are some really challenging days but overall it’s been good! There is always so much to learn, but my team is so nice and helpful. I come to work everyday prepared to learn and do the best that I can. I try to remind myself not to be afraid of asking for help and to admit when I don’t know something but am willing to learn,” Vicky says.

HP’s team structure is huge, so there are a lot of people working on different things. Vicky often works with other designers, developers, and the content team. As a junior designer she also has a great lead/mentor to help her when things get tough. 

“A career in UX is so much more than I imagined it to be. Depending on your team and company, a lot can be different. Since HP has such a large design team, there’s definitely a lot to juggle. You’re working with so many people so it can be overwhelming, but at the same time there’s so much reward! You get to collaborate with so many bright individuals and learn from them, too. This is definitely something UX Academy prepared me for: collaborating with other designers and talking through designs!”

Vicky and her co-workers are all working remotely right now, but once they go back into the office, HP will still be super flexible with a hybrid work environment (work from home some days and in-office others). They also have team luncheons every now and then and give their employees free food!

Vicky Nguyen_3
GAMIX: UX Academy Project

Advice For Would-Be UX Designers

Now that Vicky has graduated from UX Academy and landed an awesome job at HP, she has some advice for incoming, current, and graduating UX Academy students…

  • For incoming students: Really put in the work! If you know that this is something you want to do, you will get the most out of it if you dedicate your time and efforts into learning and working on projects. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and keep on iterating!
  • For current students: Same thing I said above, really. Make sure to use the Designlab community and participate in those weekly design critiques!
  • Graduating UX Academy students: Just like you iterated on your design projects, keep on iterating on your resume, cover letters, and interview questions. I know it’s tough, but keep your head up and keep on applying! If you feel burnt out, make sure to take care of yourself so that you can get back into it better than before. 

Looking Ahead

Outside of work and education, Vicky loves to stay active. Since she’s sitting and staring at a screen most of the day, she likes to sweat it all off after work through playing badminton and tennis. She also creates illustrations and draws when she has time, and she also likes to play video games. If she’s not doing any of those things, she’s grabbing food with her friends or cooking. 

Looking ahead to 2022, Vicky “wants to have more technical knowledge when it comes to design, and be more confident in my design decisions since this is my first design job. I want to be able to collaborate with developers better and know that the solutions I am providing for users are giving them a better user experience.”


If you’re looking to make a career switch into interaction design (or a related UX design field) like Vicky and land a job with a top company like HP, we encourage you to explore our UX Academy program.

You can connect with Vicky on LinkedIn.

Launch a career in ux design with our top-rated program

Top Designers Use Data.

Gain confidence using product data to design better, justify design decisions, and win stakeholders. 6-week course for experienced UX designers.

Launch a career in ux design with our top-rated program

Top Designers Use Data.

Gain confidence using product data to design better, justify design decisions, and win stakeholders. 6-week course for experienced UX designers.