“I am a product of CCC.”
I am a product of a community college, Clinton Community College to be specific. Several years ago when I chose to begin my post-high school adventure, I chose CCC because I just wasn’t ready for a four-year degree, nor sure I even wanted it.
I pragmatically wanted to move more quickly from studying to earning a paycheck. The hands-on graphic design program at CCC — only two years long — seemed perfect for me. I gained the skills to start working right away in my chosen field, which I did part time at Iowa State University while still being able to simultaneously further my education with a four-year degree, when I decided it was the right move for me.
Today, I am the Lead Product Designer for the iOS — and soon to be Android — travel app, Hopper, in Cambridge, Mass., off of MIT’s Kendall Square. I also work part time, remotely, for the web and mobile product Whittl, based out of Chicago. I am the chief designer for the mobile and web apps of both these two companies. On a daily basis I get to work with and learn from tech startup CEOs, CTOs, developers, project managers, business analysts, and data scientists, among others, to create clean and user-friendly mobile apps that hundreds of thousands of people use all over the world.
Hopper has already been the No. 1 travel app in the Apple App Store (before other big players like AirBnB or Uber), and my role will be to help solidify its position at the top of the category by improving and evolving the app. It is exciting, challenging, innovative and certainly fulfilling.
Ultimately, I believe college only returns what you put into it. I walked away from college with new skills, professional experiences, mentors and supporters, and those turned out to be the perfect building blocks to help me make the long journey to where I am today. I am a product of a community college, and things are looking pretty good from here.
Lead Product Designer @ Hopper & Whittl