Building a Freelance UX/UI Design Network with Ironhack Barcelona

Meet Ironhack Barcelona alumna, Clémence de Robert, and learn how she built her freelance design career after her UX/UI bootcamp

A French and Canadian national, Clémence is an ironhacker who is passionate about the world of design and the way of working as a freelancer. After completing the UX/UI design bootcamp at the Ironhack Barcelona campus in 2020, Clémence began to manage her network of contacts throughout Europe and found a niche within the freelance world. Learn about her story in this interview!

How was your experience at Ironhack as an international student?

Studying at Ironhack changed my life at every level. I chose Ironhack as a school because the it was more advanced, so it's very high and demanding. I was looking for an immersive experience that could level up my designing skills. And it exceeded all my expectations.

I applied for a scholarship from Canada and chose to study at the Barcelona campus, and I fell in love with the city. Now, after a year, I am still here.

Barcelona city skyline

What did you do before doing the bootcamp?

I originally studied Systems Engineering. During my first 3 years of career, I became passionate about work methodologies and tried different roles in technology such as Scrum Master and Product Owner, and in the end, UX design. I was able to gain design experience through this work and then switched to freelancing. So I was working as a freelance UX designer before doing the bootcamp! The bootcamp helped me deepen and solidify my skills.

Do you think that having previously worked in other countries has helped you in the world of design? How?

Sure! Since I started my career in Canada, I have been primarily exposed to the North American culture of working. This means that in the world where I grew up, entrepreneurship and autonomy were highly valued. It was a world where I felt like I had the freedom and support to grow in the direction I wanted. That allowed me to change careers several times and launch myself into freelancing without fear.

Also, the fact thar I speak 3 languages gives me many job opportunities. For example, I have a project with an American company where I have to do User Research with people in Spain and France!

Are you enjoying working as a freelancer after taking the course?

Actually, I was already working as a freelancer in Canada, before the course started. So when the course ended and all the students were applying for positions here in Spain, I was doing a lot of networking all over Europe to create my network of contacts from scratch. And now I have job opportunities in different cities in Europe and I have the privilege of being able to choose my favorite projects. 

How is your day to day as a freelance UX / UI designer?

Being a freelancer allows me to have flexibility in my day-to-day life. I work 3-4 days a week from where I want to, and I collaborate with several people in different companies throughout Europe, which allows me to continue growing and learning in a very open context.

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All graduate students have access to the Ironhack campus to continue working by their side. What do you think of this opportunity?

This was one of the reasons why I chose Ironhack! Since I finished the bootcamp, I go to work from campus almost every day! I use a lot of space. Even people think I work for Ironhack 😜 But also, I love the idea of being able to visit the other campuses because I move around a lot in various cities, and that allows me to have access to a workspace and a local community! For example, I went to visit the campus and the team in Berlin, and that gave me opportunities to do events and collaborate with companies in Germany!

Would you recommend someone in your family or friend to take a course at Ironhack?

Of course! I love talking about my Ironhack experience and all the positive things it has brought into my life. I highly recommend the school for people who want to dedicate themselves to changing careers, and who are looking for a very dense and practical type of education. But I also know that it is a big decision, so it is important that each one think carefully about the best form and the best time to change careers. Just doing a bootcamp is not enough to become a UX designer, but the course is the beginning of a great adventure 🚀

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