After-Masters Experiences and Insights

 Studio360 is always looking for new ways to bring students closer to companies and vice versa. Some of you gave us feedback to introduce alumni who are already working in the industry, in order to get to know potential colleagues or even get some tips from them.
Some of us went on the Cases on Tour trip which was quite enlightening! So for sure, if you are doubting, DON’T! Sign up for next semester’s trip and get to practice your design skills. Also, for us, it meant that we got to meet our first interviewee for this new section:


Currently UX Designer at Rabobank. She has graduated as a Strategic Designer at TuDelft.
Amandine who graduated in the summer of 2016 is currently working at Rabobank in Utrecht as UX Designer. While talking to her one of the most important comments she gave us was that as students we should not be scared to go talk to people! Engage in conversations with others and talk about what you do, especially potential colleagues, business partners, etc… She felt what SPD Students do is very inspiring and should not be taken for granted. So, go experience the world and embrace that unlimited thinking!!
Here, enjoy the full conversation:
Q: What was the topic and approach of your graduation thesis? 
A: My graduation was a collaboration between the passme project from the TU Delft and KLM. We wanted to reduce the time at the airport and improve the experience of passengers. Where I had the focus on luggage that passengers need to check-in. 
My approach was following the double diamond model. In every phase, I could use what I have learned during my bachelor and master. For example research both qualitative and quantitative and diving into what is already known in the literature. And ofcourse testing ideas as much as possible with the target group.  
Q: Did you graduate within a company? 
A: Yes at KLM Q: How did you land your current job? 
A: I was quite lucky. There was a day at Rabobank where you could visit the UX center and talk to people who worked at the design department. I wanted to go and I applied. Jowever, I was not a student anymore and back then you needed to be a student. At that time I still worked at the side job I had during my studies. Suddenly I got a call from a recruiter if I was maybe interested in working at Rabobank as a designer and be in a traineeship. After some tests and conversations, I was offered the job. That was somewhere in November 2017. What I think is very important is that there is a connection between you, your future colleagues and the company. Every day needs to feel good to go to work.  
Q: Why did you choose Rabobank? 
A: I never imagined working for a bank. But when I start reading about where Rabobank stands for and what it tries to achieve I got inspired. Of course, the mission growing a better world together seems too big. But for me, it is about that each of us wants to make the world a bit better. Next to that it is more about IT then perse banking.  
Q: Which SPD skills do you think you have mostly utilised in your career? 
A: Being the bridge between business and IT. Next to that I think is important to be the voice of the customer which is (should be) the base of being a designer. But true SPD skills is translating the corporate strategy and what is happening in the market into new or improved services for our users. Q: How did you experience the beginning of your career? 
A: It was fun and exciting, doing the thing I like to do and learning new skills. It is also overwhelming because suddenly you work with people who have experience and I did not have the same experience. For example, I was hired as a service designer /interaction designer. Which I thought is more for people who did the master DFI. So I needed to learn to take into account the small interactions users have with a screen. I only designed once something digital. So you could imagine that I needed to ask for help. And to my surprise, everyone wants to help you. So in the end my own expectations of what I should be able to do were sky high. While my manager only expected me to learn. So that was also a relief, because it was ok to make mistakes and not to know everything. Q: Has your career differed from how you imagined working as an SPD graduate would be? 
A: I never thought I would design screens. I would expected to work on next steps or strategies for companies. And for me, it is now the challenge of how to combine the more strategy and future thinking in the design I make for the app and web. Q: If you were still a student, what advice would you like to hear from professionals? 
A: We are all people, so if you want to get to know more about a company or a particular job or just that person just ask if they have time for a coffee. Most of the time people like to talk to you about what they do or think. You are all young and not limited in your thinking, everything is possible. That is very valuable! Take a sabbatical and travel when you are graduated, it is not easy to take one when you are working fulltime.
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