I first heard about Liferay at a UCI Career Fair that a friend convinced me to go to. He needed someone to practice talking to before he went up to the recruiters- mostly to Google and Amazon. Liferay was the first company we saw coming through the main entrance, and we went for it. When I approached the recruiter to get more information, he surprised me by first asking “What is one struggle you’re facing on your job search?” I don’t even remember if he asked for my name first. But after my nervous spiel, he shared Liferay’s core values and its mission to serve others on a global scale, and we ended up having a great conversation about the company and its culture. I left the fair with more than the expected recruitment flyer and free pen. Everything he said resonated so deeply with me that I didn’t even go to the other booths that morning! Fast forward to two months, two applications, and many emails with him, another recruiter and my manager, I got an internship position with the company.
The bulk of my time was put toward the redesign of the liferay.com Resource Library. It allowed me to partake in all aspects of the design process: research, competitive analysis, creating personas, user testing, wireframing, prototyping, and creating high-fidelity mockups.
Another project that I worked on was redesigning the onboarding process for the UX team. Working with two other designers, we interviewed employees across global offices, and created a process for applicants before, during, and after the hiring process. This opportunity helped me connect with the other departments within Liferay, with designers in the other offices, and ultimately helped me learn more about the company overall.
My favorite moment was my first time hearing a song from “Hamilton” play in the bathroom.
I loved being able to come into work everyday and learn something new. The things I learned went beyond design — marketing, engineering, and the overall development process allowed me to see people from all departments working together like a well-oiled machine.
The biggest challenge I faced was having to let go of everything I learned about design from school and previous part-time internships, and allow myself to restructure my design process. One of my favorite artists said, “the heart has to be broken to be opened,” and I thought about that a lot throughout my internship — that I had to break down what I knew and be more openminded in order to grow.
Don’t be scared to put yourself out there. It can be intimidating and overwhelming in the beginning to start any new job outside of school- especially your first full-time position. It seems like everyone has their lives together, and oftentimes we come in with this desire to prove ourselves. But Liferay is really special. Part of the company’s culture is that everyone is willing to help out and support you. Literally everyone. Even if they’ve never met you. Remember that not all companies are like this- take advantage of it!
I’ll still be designing and will be taking everything that I’ve learned from Liferay with me wherever I go!