During our interview with Victor, he shared how Aela's mentoring helped him develop the skills he needed to create standout projects for his portfolio.
As a result, Victor was able to secure a position in Product Design at Itau bank after just a few months of dedicated study.
In this article, we'll dive into the details of Victor's experience with Aela's program and explore the strategies that he used to set himself apart in a highly competitive field.
Hi Victor! Please tell us a bit about your background and why you decided to pivot to Product Design
From a young age, I've always been drawn to design, technology, and visuals. In fact, my passion for these fields was so strong that my family enrolled me in a web design course when I was just 8 or 9 years old. Though the material was simple and outdated, it sparked a desire to dive deeper into the world of design.
Over the years, I took drawing and computing courses and eventually pursued a degree in advertising. The classes gave me a solid foundation in creative thinking, as well as an understanding of the market and customer behavior.
While working in advertising agencies, I had the chance to work on web design projects – from blogs to templates and WordPress sites.
In my most recent role, I worked as an Art Director at a large agency. As time went on, however, my position evolved into a hybrid of art direction and interface design. It was then that I realized my passion for UX/UI design and saw an opportunity for growth.
To expand my skill set and solidify my transition into this field, I began studying and gaining more knowledge about product design and UI.
That's when I decided to enroll in the Mastering Interface Design program to improve my skills and fully transition to UX/UI design.
How was the experience of looking for job opportunities in Product Design?
There were two distinct stages in my journey toward becoming a Product Designer.
Initially, I started looking for jobs in the field before enrolling in the MID program. At the time, my portfolio was more focused on art direction content, and I didn't have a strong understanding of the creation process or how to break it down step by step.
My portfolio primarily consisted of images from my advertising work and some websites I had designed. Although I was interviewed by some interesting companies, the feedback was always the same: they liked my work but needed someone more focused on Product Design.
This feedback was valuable in directing my portfolio and future steps. So, I decided to take Aela's course – Mastering Interface Design – which provided me with the guidance I needed to achieve positive results.
During the second stage, I was guided and oriented by Aela's mentors. I revised my portfolio to focus more on explaining the design process and using storytelling.
I studied extensively and completed the first projects of the course. Then, I updated my portfolio online and already received better feedback just by doing these upgrades.
What's interesting is that I landed my current job as a Visual and Product Designer at Itaú Unibanco without having to send my portfolio.
The company contacted me through a recruiter on LinkedIn and explained the position to me. This experience was new to me, as I didn't realize the strength of LinkedIn as a social network for the design market.
Reading tip: How To Use Storytelling To Promote Your Career
In this second stage, did you receive different feedback or comments saying that you were more prepared for a Product Design role?
I didn't get any more "negative" feedback, and I confess that I was surprised to feel so prepared for the interviews, especially to answer the questions they asked me during these interviews.
The initial feedback I received was critical to align my portfolio with the expectations of the industry and implementing the guidelines and recommendations provided in the MID program.
This change led to an improvement in my networking skills, as I was able to make more valuable connections and still receive messages from contacts to this day. Additionally, I have received increasingly received job offers since implementing these changes.
How was it to go through the recruitment processes?
For me, it was surprisingly fast. Between the first contact with the recruiter and my contact with the company, it took about 5 days; and until I got the final offer, it took another 5 days.
In the interview, I already talked directly with the people who would be my leaders. I did not have to talk to the HR department, which I found somewhat unusual.
And how are the projects that you will work on at Itau?
The company works with a very diverse system of products, and everything related to technology they take care of internally.
For example, the app, the website, internal access tools, card machines, ATMs, and other products. They want a more strategic vision from me to present projects and defend ideas.
What do you envision for your professional future?
In the future, I want to grow more as a product designer. I want to specialize in UX to understand even more about this field. Even though I love visuals, I find it interesting to integrate the two areas.
Besides that, I plan to study English so that I can have international experience, both remotely and outside of Brazil.
Reading tip: Product Design at Udemy Dublin – Interview with Inis Leahy
What advice would you give to people who would like to get into Product Design?
My advice is that the person should get involved with subjects in the area, participate in events, read, meet people, expose their work, and make the most of LinkedIn.
Also, build a portfolio from the first experiences and fine-tune it later.