In 2015, I finally decided to overcome my fears and pursue the dream of having my own agency, UXProject. I started from scratch, without having any bank savings, no peers to help me out or a network of people. It was just me, my enthusiasm and my infinite energy level for building up something that I have been dreaming of from the bottom of my heart.
Throughout several years I have learned by myself what it takes to become an entrepreneur, to develop a business, to coordinate teams and to work with very different clients from numerous fields such as corporate, startup companies, retail, marketing, agriculture or energy. I also had the chance to have execution, strategy and training roles.
Those were the years when I succeeded, I failed several times and I learned how hard can be to become part of the business world. I have also realized that I needed to strive for excellence in order to achieve my dream and shape it the way I wanted.
I am here today to support you to fulfill your goals, because I know exactly that something has been missing throughout my entire career - a person to guide me, to teach me how to overcome professional obstacles, develop my digital skills and increase my knowledge.
The Corporate Journey
I believe that was my growing up stage. I decided to quit my job in the creative industry and accept an opportunity in the banking area. This is how I became an User Experience Architect User in a totally unknown world. I was suddenly among very serious people who were always wearing a suit and a tie and using an unfamiliar vocabulary for me.
But there I was, working hard day by day in order to complete the new tasks. Taking into account that I was having many colleagues and that I had to get used with the corporate policy, I soon realized that I needed to adopt a new approach of doing things in order to succeed.
I started to organize workshops, improve my UX knowledge, challenge the solutions proposed by different vendors while I was in charge of the User Experience Process for one of the largest and digital banks in Romania at that time.
From Agency to Product
My next professional experience was in the media industry, at Yahoo! Romania. In fact, I was completing similar tasks as I was doing at my previous job, plus creating different materials for various digital campaigns, such as banners, websites, micro-sites.
It was a great working environment, because I was encouraged to fully express my creative ideas and implement them in multiple projects for numerous brands in the Banking, Automotive, FMCG industries etc. During my time there, I have also gained more knowledge about key performance indicators, running A / B testing, tracking results and adjusting different aspects in order to reach out the objectives.
Furthermore, I started to work for several Software As A Service (SAAS) projects and discover a totally new area for me - User Experience Design. Therefore, I was developing a new mindset, I was working with more people and constantly reading and researching about User Experience Design. The UX field was something completely new, but fascinating, since it was blending my creative spirit with my pragmatic personality and technical knowledge.
I was working in the creative agency field, a new area for the Romanian working environment which was rapidly evolving until the economic crisis.
Due to my advanced Flash and Photoshop skills, I got employed as an Interactive Art Director at one of the growing agencies of that time. This is how I had the chance to work for some of the most well known brands in Retail, Energy, Automotive, Beauty, Telco and Tobacco industries. Moreover, I was gaining a satisfactory level of autonomy, so I could get in touch with the customer, design and implement projects, ending up delivering end-to-end services on my own. Now that I think about it, I find it quite cool.
But one of the most important aspects is the fact that I have learned about grids, research techniques, minimalist design and how to manage the pressure of working with clients and being responsible of different campigns at the same time. On top of that, I can add that I have fully understood the meaning of deadlines, brief and customer service.
It's All About The Web
I was 22 years old and I was working for National Geographic, one of the companies I mostly admire. I truly believed that I was on top of the world. I had the opportunity to get in touch with a large project team, to be involved in international projects and face several challenges.
In spite of everything, I was feeling as an impostor, because I was working with technical and creative people while I was an economics student and I have been working in the area for only 1 year. For this reasons, I started to question myself: “Do I value the doubled salary I have received as a result of changing my job?”, “Do I really deserve to work here?”, “Will my superior be interested in having a long term collaboration with me?” Therefore, I decided to start learning by myself how to create landing pages and games in Flash and I also discovered Photoshop.
I came to the conclusion that I was having a nice job and a suitable context to develop my skills, although many of them on my own. But, I soon realized that as time was passing, there were new opportunities opening up.
Most of the people are surprised to find out that I have a bachelor degree in Economics since I am passionate about the digital field. My professional story began in the 2nd year of college when I got the chance to work in the digital environment by building presentation websites using Flash, for the Spanish market.
I recall that I barely could keep up with my colleagues regarding Action Script (a pseudo programming language) and design in order to create sites for restaurants and hotels located on the Brava Coast. However, I managed to develop a very effective way of working, so I was able to meet the projects deadlines.
At that point, I had the feeling that it would only be a job for about 1 or 2 years and, of course, that I would have a more serious job after graduating. Nobody and nothing would have foretold the journey that followed.