Jayeon Kim, User Experience Design Lead at Google.
Jayeon Kim, User Experience Design Lead at Google.
July 20, 2016

Career Conversations

Last year the Career + Co-op Center, now the Office of Career and Professional Experience (CAPX) launched two programs to help students plan for life as creative professionals and give alumni opportunities to mentor the next generation. The Idea Exchange series brought Jayeon Kim (BFA 2006), User Experience Design Lead at Google; Mark Gallay (MFA 2006), Vice President, Video Technology and Strategy, Comedy Central; and Chris Jones (BFA 1992), Head of Creative Technology in Facebook’s Creative Shop to campus to meet students. The Expert Exchange series offered students one-on-one advising sessions every Friday with alumni working in various creative fields. Here is an excerpt from our conversation with Kim and her advice to current SAIC students and recent graduates.

Describe your student experience at SAIC.

I came here as a transfer student from a traditional university in Korea. Coming from a non-art program, I didn't know what I wanted within design. SAIC provided a program where you can explore as you go, which was aligned to what I was looking for. I did a semester-long internship as an Assistant Production Artist at the video game developer Remedy, which gave me an opportunity to experience a real work environment and build relationships with designers and creative directors who later wrote reference letters for me. 

How did you move into information design?

After a year or so on the job market, I found there were more opportunities for interactive design than print. Whenever projects related to interactivity came up in my studio, I volunteered to take those assignments so I could add them to my portfolio. When I felt like I had enough ideas, I applied for interactive jobs.

What do you look for in designers you hire?

People who are not only creative, but also very smart. They should be able to articulate what they are thinking and why they are proposing certain design directions. The ability to collaborate is also really important.

Any other words of advice?

Because the industry is changing so fast, approach it with an open mind. You may think that you are cut for a particular position, but that may change. In order to work at places you find interesting later, continue learning new techniques, and do not be afraid of learning from younger people.

Visit saic.edu/careers to learn more about SAIC’s career programs and find out how to become one of our Experts.