User Experience (UX) Analyst, Achieve 3000– New York
We were able to catch up with UX Analyst Alyssa Ortez to see how she is using her degrees in Medical Anthropology, Psychology, and (soon-to-be) Masters in Human Factors and Ergonomic Engineering to help students like yourself interact with technology and learn.
On How She Found Her Current Job:
"After my initial experiences in UX, I felt I needed to do something I really loved and am passionate about or it would become a waste of time. I’ve always loved kids and at one point wanted to teach elementary school, but my strongest skill set lied more with research and science. I figured out a way to be a part of the classroom would be to enter the education field - which I knew nothing about (since my background is medical). After searching around I found this company - Achieve 3000. It made quite the impression on me, particularly because they were pioneers in taking education into the tech space, allowing kids to use computers for building literacy."
Advice for Which Classes to Take if You're Interested in UX:
"Here are some classes that most programs require at the master’s level: statistics, quantitative and qualitative research methods, cognition, and developmental psychology. To stand out and enjoy your undergrad time, take classes you’re interested in and specialize in something that you’re very good at. Design would be great and anthropology too. In my personal opinion, if you want to be in UX - you need rigor and practice to be scientific-minded for studies, but it’s also essential to work on your soft skills to work with the people. My advice would be to let your academic and professional focus shape itself naturally in the beginning of your career."
On the Benefits and Challenges of Her UX Job:
"The best part of my job is the independence. As a user experience analyst, particularly in this stage of my career, you’re usually doing a lot of recruiting. Typically, it is very difficult to get your own methodologies put in place or have your projects prioritized first. I’m responsible for my own studies here, which is fantastic! And while I don’t have an eye tracker or heat mapping, I get to be scrappy with what I have and I almost appreciate that more.
I would say the hardest part of my job is being remote. My team is scattered across the country or even international. Every interaction is very regimented. It would be nice to have face-to-face interaction, particularly with my mentor/manager, but you adapt by familiarizing yourself with the newest tech to make you feel more connected. I think that challenge is probably more valuable than being able to swing over to her desk and say, “How are you doing today?”."
On How to Discover Your Dream Career:
"Volunteering and hugely diverse internships. By exposing yourself to different experiences, you’ll learn more about yourself, what situations you thrive in, and what you actually enjoy doing and learning about. Then it’s just a catalyst from there! You are able to refine the idea of what your ideal job really is; you’re just deductive thinking - if you want to get scientific here - and that makes the journey interesting. Work is so much of your life. It is important to be mindful of your decisions and feel impactful in the role that you choose."
What to learn more about the company that Alyssa works for? Then click here to check outAchieve 3000.
Photos byGuarionex Rodriguez, Jr.