How to Break Into UX: Preet Singh’s Journey

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MARCH, 2018

Written by Katherine Pendrill
Photographs by Andrew Pieroni

There is no single path to becoming a UX designer and no one knows this better than Preet Arjun Singh. An Engineer turned Product Designer with a knack for problem solving, Preet’s story demonstrates that it’s never too late to pursue your passion.

Though his journey may have started with an engineering degree (and a motorbike), Preet has definitely had some career changes along the way. To help others learn from his own triumphs and missteps, Preet stopped by Miami Ad School to share his story — no filter, no fluff.

Use Design To Solve Your Own Problems

For Preet, the journey to UX all started in his home country of India. After earning his degree in Civil Engineering, Preet took on his first professional role. However, he quickly realized it wasn’t exactly how he wanted to spend the next 40 years. It was around this time that Preet created a remarkably popular t-shirt for the Indian Independence Day and, for the first time, the media began publicly labeling Preet a designer.

Own Your Sh*t

Fast forward a few years and Preet and his wife made their way to Canada to call the snowy streets of Toronto their home. It was during these early years that Preet started over again with business school, assorted side jobs on Kijiji, and a revamped portfolio. Though these jobs may have come from ads titled “SAVE A DESIGNER from ODD jobs!!,” they were the first step in Preet’s budding design career in Canada.

“There is no perfect break”

Get Your Foot In The Door

After realizing that “there is no perfect break,” Preet accepted a role that gave him the opportunity to implement his design skills on a daily basis. Yet, it wasn’t until he began speaking to the decision makers in terms they understood (in most cases, revenue) and putting his ideas (literally) to the test, that he was able to demonstrate what he was truly capable of and position himself as a UX designer.

“Speak the language the decision makers understand.”

Having honed his design skills and built a strong network within Toronto’s design community, Preet began looking for a more formal way to bring people together. To help people connect both online and offline, Preet founded DesignX — Toronto’s largest UX and design community. With regular talks, webinars, and events, DesignX has quickly become a hub for the city’s most creative and enthusiastic design professionals.

Build Your Skill Set

While Preet is now leading a product design team, he’s quick to emphasize the importance of continuing to build your skills and your network. For Preet, UX is the perfect intersection of business, design, and technology — you can’t have one without the others.

“When you’re passionate about something, it shows in the final product.”

If Preet’s story has inspired you to start your own journey to UX, check out Miami Ad School Toronto’s upcoming UX BootcampAlready a designer? Check out our attendee-curated Spotify playlist and enjoy the sweet Sounds of UX.

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