In this interview, UX Designer Christian Lawrence reflects on his experience with Andy Parker as a UX mentor and how it has supported his career to date. Christian found Andy through the UXPA mentor board, and his work with several Brighton based user experience agencies.
Tell us about your background
Most of my digital career has been working for small agencies being a somewhat design generalist. Never having had an official internship I’ve mostly been self taught, this allowed me to have a broad skill set but not develop the depth I wanted and needed. I really enjoy the research and interaction aspects of UX but the value of these can be challenging to sell into small businesses.
Why did you want a mentor?
I found myself as the only UX designer in a company needing guidance from a seasoned professional. I’d recently graduated from my masters degree and I felt I had a good knowledge of UX methods but was unsure how to effectively apply them.
What did you gain from the experience?
The mentoring experience with Andy helped me build confidence in my abilities as a UX professional. He helped me break down the challenges I was having in my career to see the bigger picture. After a number of 1-2-1 sessions we identified my strengths and weaknesses which helped me created a strategy.
Has having a mentor helped with your career?
Having a mentor helped my career get back on track by allowing me to focus my skills set to become more of a specialist. Under guidance I was able to build a stronger portfolio of projects to get me my next role.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking for a mentor?
If you’re looking for a mentor I’d recommend looking for someone who has had some similar experiences. You’re also never too old or too far in your career to be a mentee, this took me a while to come to terms with. Of course it helps if you’re able to meet in person but most importantly is finding the right person.
Would you recommend Andy to others?
I would absolutely recommend Andy to anyone looking for a mentor.