How I got here
No fancy schools or gear. Just a lot of hard work, amazing mentors, and a great team of doctors.
1990 TO 2005
I was the first child of a ferociously independent and creative mother, and a hardworking, resourceful immigrant father. As a kid, I was always trying new things - painting, card tricks, cooking, whatever I could entertain myself with. This was especially true in 2005, when my teenage self was diagnosed with stage-3 burkitt's lymphoma - a rare, fast growing blood cancer. Facing that diagnosis scared the hell out of me.
While in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy, I started to get curious about the world around me. I questioned why things were the way they were. Armed with a hacked, buggy version of Photoshop, a 15-foot long ethernet cable, and whatever the 2005-internet could offer me, I taught myself design.
After chemo, I started making short films, doing graffiti, and learned to write C#. I decided some mixture of those, plus design, was what I wanted to do with the life I almost lost.
2005 TO 2012
Throughout high school and into college, I worked odd design jobs here and there. After a while, an opportunity came to intern at an aerospace company - Aerojet Rocketdyne - and I immediately applied. I got the job, and worked on the internal web systems that were used by the teams who built the Mars Curiosity Rover's sky-crane engines (the thing that lowered it onto the surface). #NerdAchievement
In Spring of 2013, on the advice of a fellow graffiti artist in Australia, I applied for an event called "+20". It was a one-day hackathon Google and Semi-Permanent held with a top-20 group of emerging designers. I was picked for it, and I met my first mentors there. Shortly after, I graduated with my degree in Communications and was hired as a UX Designer at Whistle.
2013 TO NOW
At Whistle, I ended up taking over and leading mobile product design through to the company's acquisition by Mars Petcare for $117M. After ensuring a smooth transition for the team, I joined Google to work on YouTube's Subscriptions team, where I owned mobile product design for 2 years.
As a 20% project I created a cross-functional product innovation incubator, which was a self contained full-stack team of specialists that worked with researchers to identify the most impactful un-met needs at YouTube, created product designs to meet those needs, rigorously tested the designs, and ultimately shipped the highest-performing concepts.
In late 2018 I decided to accept a role as a Senior Product Designer at Udemy, where I now own all designs for a similar-style incubator focused on enterprise products.