On architecture vs product design and building a career in design. Sydney Shea, Product Designer at AptibleFeatured

quinneyeQ's profile thumbnail
Welcome Sydney! Thanks for sharing your time and story with us. Could you give us some more insight into how and why you decided to make the leap from Mental Canvas to Aptible (they’re just so different!)?
sydneyshea's profile thumbnail
Haha definitely! I had been at MC on a very small team as the only designer for most of my 5+ years there. When this opportunity at Aptible came along, I was really attracted to being on a team of designers who are well-supported within the company (which seems surprisingly not that common from my anecdata?). Also, despite being as you say super different, MC and Aptible are similar in that they're both products with inherent complexity. I'm one of those people who hates being bored so I personally find that very rewarding to think through.During the interview process, I definitely had a lot of imposter syndrome because the two jobs were just so different, and security seems like such an opaque and complicated space. I thought there was no way I was getting this job! In a way that actually worked out for me because I think I was more open during the process than I would have otherwise been, which was accidentally the perfect way to approach interviewing with a company like Aptible haha. So far, I've been super happy with my decision. (And, for any other product designers out there, a shameless plug - we're hiring, come work with me!)
kuan's profile thumbnail
Thank you for sharing your story with us, @sydneyshea! What you said about "People watching you present something generally want you to succeed" is so true – the imposter in me still forgets about that sometimes!
sydneyshea's profile thumbnail
That one was definitely a hard one to learn! I think it's easy to fall into thinking that everyone is as tough on us as we are on ourselves but really very few people have the time or mental energy to hold every single person in their lives to that standard 🤣 (thank goodness!)
sandramedina's profile thumbnail
As someone who spent a semester at the UPenn School of Design studying for an MArch (without an undergrad degree in architecture), just wanna say I really wish something like Mental Canvas existed at the time 😂
sydneyshea's profile thumbnail
Lol I hear that, it's a great product!