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Boost your professional practice with a Short Course

Written by Yusuf Tamanna
Published date 30 September 2020

We catch up with Becky Colley who did the User Experience Design short course at Chelsea College of Arts. She tells us how doing the short course helped remedy her imposter syndrome at work and why when picking a short course, it’s important to think of the future.

Photo of students in a computer classroom. Students are look ahead at the tutor delivering the class - the tutor is not in the shot.

Like many students when they're fresh out of university, Becky wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do career-wise. After graduating with a BSc in Media Production and Technology and subsequently moving to London 10 years ago, all Becky knew for certain was that she wanted a career that would allow her to problem solve, while also give her the space to express her creative nature.

After having a few false starts in the world of work, Becky discovered that user experience design allowed her to do both at the same time and is now currently working as the User Experience Lead at London’s Barbican Centre.

With Becky now working in her desired profession, it begs the question; why did she choose to do a short course in a field she’s already working in?

“Like many women and minorities working in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics), I suffer from Imposter Syndrome,” Becky admits.

“I’ve worked in technology for several years and have had some incredible mentors, but everything I knew [about user experience design] was learned on the job. I thought that formal training would help me to polish my skills and be sure that what I was doing was the very best it could be.”

In addition to developing her own understanding of user experience design, Becky says she wanted to do the short course because she was keen to meet different people from different backgrounds and varying levels of experience. “I wanted to see how we could all learn from each other,” she tells me.

Since finishing the User Experience Design short course – which she described as intense, albeit thought-provoking and reassuring – Becky says it's absolutely helped her do the best work she can in her role at the Barbican.

“Having a recognised qualification from one of the most respected design schools in the world definitely helps me feel more confident. I joined the Barbican in January 2020 and my role is quite new here. But I’ve been given the freedom to make it whatever it needs to be, which is exciting. I’ll be using some of the tips, tricks, and techniques we were shown on the short course.”

For students thinking about doing a short course, Becky believes it’s crucial to think of the bigger picture. “Think about your future career: What skills are you missing and how will the short course you’re interested in help you to fill those gaps so that you can get your dream job?

“There are lots of great short courses available, so choose one you’re really passionate about because it’ll be an intense few days!”

If you’re a budding professional working in user experience design, take a look at both our User Experience Design (Online Short Course) at Chelsea and our User Experience (UX) Design (Online Short Course) offered by London College of Communication.

Or maybe you’re a recent graduate needing a bit of guidance as to where to go next? View our extensive list of upcoming short courses as we are here to support you and your creative journey!

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