Sometimes choosing a Bootcamp doesn’t need to be with the aim to have a 180° change in your life. Bootcamps are also very resourceful for people who want to upskill themselves.
This exactly is what Cindy Oran did. She works right now as the Head of Product Marketer and used the Bootcamp to learn UX/UI to better collaborate with the designers in her team.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Cindy Oran, born and raised in Toronto, lived a couple of years in Paris, and then moved to Berlin because the European lifestyle appeals more to me. I like to call myself a curious chameleon as I’m adaptable but also tend to question everything. I love to travel, try new cuisine, hang out with friends, and meet new people.
What were you doing before you decided to join an Ironhack bootcamp?
I was working as a Product Marketing Manager for various companies. As a Product Marketer, you are focused on evangelizing, branding, and positioning the products. This means there are different projects I would be working on every day cross-functionally. It can be market research, designing product pages with designers, creating collateral for clients, training the sales team on the products or new features, writing out white papers and case studies, influencing the product teams on roadmaps, and so on.
Why did you decide to make a career change?
I didn’t go into this with the intention of changing careers but more so leveling up my skill set. I was open to roles as a Product Designer by the end of the course but had more so the intention of combining my skills.
Essentially I wanted to learn a solid foundation in UX/UI design to better collaborate with the designers I was working with on a regular basis (Graphic, UX, brand, etc.). I noticed there was an overlap when it came to product marketing and design such as user flows, where a feature should be added on a platform, or how we conducted research for users and products. By taking this bootcamp, it was my way of helping to make the collaboration more seamless and efficient.
What convinced you that Ironhack was the right choice for you?
I did a lot of research and asked friends who had done different UX/UI bootcamps. There were many options out and I was also looking for something that was covered by the Agentur für Arbeit since I was unemployed at the time. It came down to two options which were CareerFoundry and Ironhack. I read a bunch of blogs comparing the two. Most people I knew actually did CF.
In the end, what made me decide on Ironhack were a few things:
The LIVE classes with an instructor and classmates were a huge selling point. We were already a year into Covid (this was March 2021) and I missed having human interactions, to be honest, and this felt like the perfect opportunity to stay motivated, engaged and meet new people while learning a topic I enjoyed.
The course being covered by the German government was definitely a huge plus
It covered topics I genuinely was interested in such as design thinking, interaction design, and so on. I had done other courses in design thinking with IDEO and IDF (interaction design foundation)
It was full-time, and you were expected to be done in 2.5 months
The career service was outstanding. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to switch careers at the end but they were very supportive in helping me keep both options open. Helping me prepare a CV with my current Product Marketing skills and adding UX, then also having a separate Product Designer CV.
What was your experience like on the course?
Absolutely brilliant. Honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made in my career is to take this course. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the curriculum to the teachers and classmates.
I could not have been more pleased and grateful to have Milan as my instructor. He is incredibly knowledgeable in the field. He used real-life examples every time to help us better understand the concepts and led by example when it came to giving feedback. He also has a dark sense of humor, making it even more fun.
As for my classmates - they were super fun! We had Ironhackers from all over the world in the Berlin remote cohort. We are still friends to this day and hang out on occasion. I think it's beneficial that Ironhack limits the class size to ~18 people so you can really get to know your peers. You're spending so much time together and it was one of the motivations to wake up and dive into the class. Everyone was so lovely, including our two Teaching Assistants Rafa and Maria. Maybe I’m just biased… but I think we had the best cohort! :)
What interests you most about your bootcamp topic? (UX/UI, WebDev, Cyber, Data)
Everything in the UX/UI course. Ironhack has given me more confidence when collaborating with designers, proposing new ideas, reviewing products, and conducting research. There’s so much overlap so it feels great to know that I can bring something to the table outside my product marketing scope. I was also curious about the Ironhack competition, where we came in 2nd place! (designed a whole website for a startup).
Did you take advantage of Ironhack’s career services? How did your bootcamp prepare you for the job market?
Helped me create a CV that combined product marketing and UX/UI design, and another as a Product Designer.
Very impressed by how much effort is put into helping the students land a job. We had alumni speak about their experience and what they were doing now (some freelanced, others found work in the field)
What have you been up to since graduating?
After graduating I got a job as a Product Marketing Manager at Klarna where I was able to combine my UX/UI skills (as intended)! We were short on design staff so I was able to jump in and apply my new skills - and it was very beneficial as expected. Since then, I’ve moved on to a new role as Head of Product Marketing at Moss where I hope to continue applying my design knowledge. I still keep in touch with my classmates!
What are you looking forward to in the future?
I’m looking forward to seeing where this new role will take me. This is the largest design team I’ve had to work with so far, so I am curious how we will collaborate on all the projects. I truly believe there is an intersection between Product Marketing, and UX/UI Design and am excited to see how it will unfold.
Interested in boosting your career with UX/UI Design, like Cindy did? Take a look at our bootcamp!