After graduating from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Molly Hellmuth began searching for a career path that would combine her problem solving and community development skills with her interest in art. She became drawn to UX, and chose to hone her skills with Designlab.
Soon after finishing Designlab's UX Academy, Molly co-founded Quanti, a small product design studio. In an interview with SwitchUp, Molly talks more about her path to Designlab, and the experience of going from student to entrepreneur.
You earned your Bachelor's Degree in Communications from the University of Vermont. What made you decide to pursue a design path?
I studied communications at the University of Vermont where problem solving and community development were a large focus. This, coupled with my interested in studio art, drew me to UX design.
How did you decide to attend Designlab?
Designlab was the right fit for me because of the flexibility it offers as an online course while still providing strong community and mentor relationships.
What were the pros and cons of attending an online program?
The benefit of attending an online program is definitely the flexibility it offers. It gave me the freedom to work remotely and on a schedule that worked best for me. This can be challenging as well. It is necessary to be self motivated and eager to learn in order to keep up with the course material.
After Designlab, you launched your own business (congrats!)—what is your day-to-day role like?
My day-to-day looks different every week. It really depends on what phase of product and market development the client is in. But typically, my role includes performing user research and customer development, prototyping MVPs and building feedback loops to make sure the products we design are meeting a real market need.
What is the biggest challenge in launching and running your own product design studio?
The biggest challenge right now is managing client work and new venture work. We work with several early-stage startup teams and concepts, and we prototype and test new ventures internally. So we're always resource constrained.
How did Designlab prepare you for life as a UX/UI designer?
Designlab helped me refine my skills and process as a designer, as well as preparing me to share and present my work.
Over the next five years, what goals do you have for yourself and for your business?
My business partner and I want to bring more useful, valuable and delightful products into the world. Our first step is partnering with ambitious early-stage teams and helping them build a scalable, viable company. In the future we plan to create a venture arm of Quanti, where we invest and co-found startups with talented people.
What advice do you have for people who are interested in switching careers with the help of an online bootcamp?
For anyone interested in taking an online bootcamp, I recommend they research the mentors at any given program. Having a strong mentor who can point you in the right direction is extremely valuable.
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