I wasn't always a designer on paper. I come from the hardline artistry of rosemaling, a Norwegian decorative painting. It was passed down through the family to my older sister, who used it as inspiration in her college art studies. I instead spent my student loans thoroughly bored in business school—thank goodness class attendance wasn't part of your grade.
My career started in cybersecurity consulting for PwC. But the days of wanting to be a hacker were very short-lived following the reality of implementing identity and access management systems. Finally, after consideration of leaving the corporate world altogether, I stumbled upon the letters UX in some research for an app idea. The subdued, creative inner-me was unleashed.
After a UX/UI bootcamp and reading any design article I could find, I caught my break and never looked back.
While it was tough to become a designer without an art degree, I'm grateful for the alternative perspective I have when it comes to product design. Coming from a very technical background gives me an understanding of building things other designers often don't have. Plus, spending four years in consulting equipped me with the intangibles of managing people, projects, and risk—not to mention everything we did was drenched in strategy.