What is your current Job Title or Role?
Senior UX/UI Designer
What advice would you have for young women who are interested in a STEM career or job?
If there's something that interests you, keep doing it and never be afraid to find out more. I had no idea that my current job existed while I was at school.
How did you get to where you are today?
I studied Mathematics at university, but had to leave during second year due to poor health. I came back to Devon and once I was well enough again, I got a part time job in retail and completed my degree with the Open University. During this time I was asking everyone I knew whether they knew of any jobs or work experience suitable for a maths graduate. Eventually I was offered a trial week at a technology company and I haven't looked back since.
What do you do on a daily basis in your work?
I design software for 3D Printers and vinyl cutting machines and test each iteration to make sure it's as easy-to-use as possible. Often I'll create basic prototypes and get lots of people to try them out, so that we can find any problem areas and redesign them before a single line of code has been written. I also monitor comments/questions from customers in online groups to try to make sure that any common frustrations or issues that they have are resolved as quickly as possible (with design changes if needed). Occasionally I'm asked to design an entirely new software or mobile application from scratch, which is a lot of work, but great fun because the brief usually allows a lot of freedom.
Who or what inspired you to get into STEM?
My mum was a biochemist and my dad was a mechanical engineer, so my parents always encouraged curiosity and creativity. My secondary school also offered GCSE Engineering, which meant that I got to play with CAD software and CNC machines, lathes, aluminium casting, bubble etching and soldering to create circuit boards, vacuum forming machines and more. After visiting local engineering businesses and competing in the Marine Challenge with solar and petrol-powered boats that we'd build, I was hooked.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Seeing the amazing creativity of customers who use our software. They're using our machines to make personalised gifts, 3D papercraft models, cards, vinyl wall decals, stickers and even templates for cake decorating!
What do you like to do outside work?
Playing jazz, reading and spending time with family and friends.