Future skills and opportunities

Speaker – Eilis Spence, Employability advisor

Topic – Prepare for the virtual fair – how to create an impressive handshake profile.

Look up the video from yesterday on YouTube – here is the link.

Future jobs and opportunities fairs week 11-14 October:

  • Placement opportunities
  • Graduate jobs
  • Industry experts
  • Skills development
  • Skills boosting program with Allstate, ALMAC and Deloitte


It is vital to have a good profile as employers can view it. Handshake is the middle man so the employers can interact with us. This could be the first thing an employer will see, making it very important.

  • MY profile must showcase me, my education, skills, experience and career aspirations.
  • There are 7 key areas to complete: My journey, education, work and extracurriculars, classes, projects and skills
  • Upload supporting files such as CV and cover letter.
  • Level of study – level 5 for second years. It’s very important to get this right as it will affect what job opportunities will be brought to you.
  • My journey is a short summary of yourself and what you are looking for. Its your chance to introduce yourself. It’s the first thing the employer will read – make yourself sound employable.
  • put actively looking for a job.
  • Ad your experience and add a few notes on your responsibilities and key roles.
  • When adding your cv make sure to check over the skills as handshake automatically adds things into this section that may not be necessary
  • Documents: this is where you can upload your CV and cover letter.
  • Organisations and extra curriculars  – add edge activities here also

Careers Café – Student Placement Inspiration Experiences



  • Almac – Codie
  • Lea Folliard Study USA Programme
  • Curtis Donnan Ornua
  • Caragh Fitzpatrick Ulster University

Codie Lea – Her year working as a technical quality officer with ALMAC Pharma services.

She found her placement through LinkedIn, she had to complete a metric testing and an interview. She was based in Craigavon. They are a prestigious company that offers travelling opportunity – this is what inspired her. Their values/mantra/vison lined up with hers.

They were impressed with her interview as she smiled and was confident when communicating and when she had not known how to use machinery she would give examples of how she would overcome that at uni lab. Ask about confidentiality for data integrity  in your interview. How is my career going to progress ask during interview and placement

Induction process:

  • It spanned over the course of 2 weeks.
  • New starts were grouped together to facilitate a joint learning experience.
  • Introduced to different members of their team who shared their experinces and job roles.
  • Multiple site tours across Craigavon site.
  • End of the induction process involved the integration into the main office space.
  • Buddy system allowed for an easier transition.
  • Training
  • Equal treatment between placement students and TQ officers.
  • Had an output to challenge my difficulties and challenges, such as navigation of quality softwares.
  • 1:1 monthly meetings

As part of the team you are eligeble to get awards – strive for this

Contract offer:

  • She was offered a permanet role starting July 2022
  • Only required to achieve a minimum 2:1 classification
  • Due to her placement experience, she will commence as a first level officer and not just a graduate

Further study opportunity with ALMAC:

  • Eligible for the further education scheme within ALMAC Pharma Services
  • Allows her to maintain her position while undertaking a masters degree
  • Fees will be paid fo by the company
  • She would be eligeble for MSc Pharmacutical Validation Technology at Technological University in Dublin.

Career progressions:

  • Her placement experience is a career boost, a stepping stone in her career – make sure this is so for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Curtis – Currently working in University: Vice president in the student union.

  • He enrolled into the Study USA and got in. 1 of 50 students who get to go over.
  • He went through a serious of interviews, filled personal statements and had to appear before a panel. He went to West Virginia. It was quite remote so it was a challenge being so remote.
  • Curtis. You come across as confident and this really makes a difference at an interview. Confidence can be learned ……… The Interview 360 tool on the employability portal is a fantastic way to practice your interview skills and get immediate feedback.
  • Left with a 4.0 GPA (First class honors).
  • Enhance your confidence option – EDGE activity ulster.ac.uk/employability/edge/career-and-skills-development/improve-your-your-presentation-skills
  • Study USA program is extremely competitive – stay connected with Curtis; he can help.
  • vp.coleraine@uusu.org

Caragh  Fitzpatrick – Technical Support Administrator in Ornua

  • Ornua is the owner of Kerrygold.
  • They are collaborators who export the goods throughout the world.
  • She was with them for 13monts July to August.
  • ornua.com/working-at-ornua
  • Its a very high paced company.
  • She was treated like an employee during her placement.
  • She completed 7 courses whilst there: Internal Auditing (first placement student to do this ever)
  • She had to be very organised from day one as it was such a fast paced environment
  • She was only in the offices twice; the rest she did online.
  • Language barriers and culture awareness is so important – check out the EDGE activity – Culture Awareness

Olivia McKee – Placement year at Ulster University

Geography student working as a Research placement assistant at Ulster


  • Check Handshake and LinkedIn everyday!!!!
  • Practice interview
  • Writing CV help
  • Employability and careers team
  • Keep your options open
  • Don’t limit yourself it would also be useful to gain experience in different sectors


Finding your perfect ’employer’ – key tips for taking ownership of your own career success story


Dr Donna Caldwell, Employability Advisor.


When an employer asks us, what is your salary expectation, what should we answer as a fresher who has never worked before –

Look up VMock

Place info on Slides!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Placement fair

I decided to register for the career and placement fair as I wanted to get the opportunity to learn about the companies I am considering and also learn more about the application process

I began by attending the Professional Etiquette Practice – Are you ready to meet your employer? virtual session as I wanted to be better informed when meeting with the speakers of the different companies.

Professional Etiquette Practice – Are you ready to meet your employer?

This session students will be advised how to be prepare yourself professionally to meet prospective employers.

Speaker – Donna Caldwell

Business etiquette refers to the professional manners and rules required and enforced in a professional environment. Having clear expectations of conduct contributes to a professional, productive, communicative and respectful workplace for both employees and management (Indeed, 2021). This basically mean having consideration for the basic rules and values of the employer

Professional situations in which you should practice good business etiquette:

  • Network etiquette
  • Interview etiquette
  • Post-interview etiquette
  • Introduction etiquette 
  • Workplace etiquette

Networking etiquette

  • To build a solid network, consider what you can do for other people and what they can do for you. You should be able to help your network when they need it, and they may be more likely to offer help for you.
  • Have your “elevator pitch” ready—a summary of what you do, your experience and your goals. It’s called an elevator pitch because it should be no longer than what you could share with someone during an elevator ride.
  • When engaged in a group conversation, be sure to include everyone. Make sure each person has an opportunity to speak and share their experiences.
  • Follow up with the people you meet within two days. Try to offer them something of value instead of asking for a favor or introduction, such as a link to an interesting article they might like to read. Sample: Networking opportunity (Careers Fairs 11-14 Oct)

Interview etiquette

A good understanding of etiquette guidelines during an interview can help you make a positive impression. Here are a few etiquette tips to remember for an interview

  •  Be prepared by researching the company and the interviewer if possible.
  • Turn off your phone or don’t bring it to the interview.
  • Greet your interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake (pre-Covid).
  • Make eye contact with the interviewer, speak clearly and sit up straight.
  • Take notes and ask questions if you do not understand something. example ” excuse me, sorry could you repeat that please?”
  • Speak positively about your previous employer and anyone who works there.
  • Let the interviewer ask about salary first. One could say “Looking at the average salary for placement students in Northern Ireland £18000”

Following up with interviewers is one more way you can stand out from your competition and make a good impression. Depending on the situation, you may follow up with an email or a handwritten, mailed note. A handwritten note is more formal, but the email approach has the benefit of being much faster. Try to send any follow-up communication within 24 hours of the interview. Here are some tips you can follow when creating a thank-you note:

  • Be brief, conversational and professional.
  • Reiterate your interest in the position and why you are a perfect fit.
  • Thank the interviewer for their time.
  • If you forgot to give the interviewer relevant information about yourself and your abilities, you can explain in the follow-up note.
  • You should send a thank you note to the hiring manager even if you did not get the job. In the email, you can thank them for their time and express interest in any future roles that match your skills and abilities

Introduction etiquette

It is polite to introduce people to one another when they meet for the first time. Here is the proper way todo it:

  • If face-to-face, stand up if you’re sitting down.
  • If you’re giving the introduction, say “I would like to introduce,” “this is” or a similar phrase, followed by their name.
  • Offer some information about each person. The idea is to encourage a conversation between the two of them, so try to find a topic of common interest.
  • If face-to-face (pre-Covid, typically you would shake hands), using a firm grip and don’t extend the handshake past two seconds. Presently, elbow touching is permitted.
  • If virtual, a warm smile (non-verbal) action should be used.

Workplace etiquette

You too can practice good etiquette in the workplace. Here are some examples of good work place etiquette, you need to consider after securing that placement or graduate role:

  • Dress to your workplace’s standards. For example, you may need to wear casual, business casual or professional apparel. If you wear a uniform, make sure it follows the guidelines.
  • Arrive on time to work or meetings every day. Not only does this express your positive attitude toward your job, but it is also considerate to anyone who may be waiting for you.
  • Learn names as quickly as you can. This communicates respect and assures them you value your acquaintance with them.• Return phone calls within 24 hours, even if you do not have an immediate answer. Let the caller know that you’ll follow up as soon as you have an answer.• Keep your work area clean and tidy, especially if it is in a central, visible space or faces the public.
  • Be considerate when using break room facilities, such as microwaves and refrigerators.

How to improve your workplace etiquette:

  1. Maintain professionalism: while you’re working, it’s important to stay professional. Make sure your appearance is neat and that your apparel fits the situation. When speaking with coworkers, it’s acceptable to use a conversational tone, then use a formal tone when working with clients. Make sure you make eye contact during conversations and smile when appropriate.
  2. Respect others: you should always respect others, including their opinions and actions. During meetings, consider ideas from everyone, even if they’re different from your own. Be polite when communicating with others. Treat everyone with  show your business etiquette.
  3. Develop a skills set: there are certain skills you can practice to improve your etiquette:
  • Communication: Improving your verbal and written communication skills can make a positive impact on your etiquette. When conversing with others, speak slowly and clearly so others can understand you. Use non-technical terms when speaking with those outside of your industry. Actively listen to others during conversation. Before emailing or sending a letter, review the document for possible grammatical errors.
  •  Emotional intelligence: This skill refers to the ability to understand the emotions of others. To develop emotional intelligence skills,observe the actions and words of others to see how they react to different situations. Watch for nonverbalcommunication actions, such as smiling or raised eyebrows to determine how a person feels about an actionor statement. You should react accordingly.
  • Time management: A large portion of etiquette is arriving on time or meeting deadlines. You may need to arrive early or on time fora work shift or submit your part of a project for coworkers to complete the next step. To manage your time, create a calendar that details meeting information, project timelines and your work schedule. Consider usingan electronic calendar that sends you notifications for each event.

    4.   Ask for feedback: If you’re unsure of how you present yourself to others, ask for constructive feedback from yourcolleagues or manager. Gathering an outside perspective of your workplace etiquette can helpyou realize actions you may not have noticed before. Try to incorporate their notes into yourdaily routine to improve your etiquette. If they offer you positive feedback, continue improving in that area.

Handshake profile

  • My journey – mention what you study, achievements, and a wide range example of your journey to date.
  • Education
  • Work and volunteering experience
  • Organizations and extra curriculars
  • Classes – include EDGE activities you have completed
  • Projects
  • Skills – 4 or 5 is more than sufficient, anything you put down you must be able to talk freely if an employer asks you about it.

Plan of action for the career fair day

  • You’ll need to be more direct and have a plan of action, but still be open-minded if you encounter an employer you haven’t heard of before. You never know!
  • Look at which employers are attending (before the event) and research the ones who you’d like to have a conversation with and what questions you’d like to ask.
  • Check your tech is working
  • When attending networking events, it is key to know your professional pitch: how you’ll introduce yourself to an employer when you approach them.
  • Think short and snappy. A few sentences summing up who you are, your academic and work background and why you want to talk to them.

Getting into  the right mindset

  • • Give the virtual event your undivided attention – if you’re half-heartedly browsing while also juggling TikTok or Netflix, you won’tachieve much.
  • Set yourself up for the day – have a few questions prepared.
  • Make sure your background is tidy.
  • Dress professionally. Employers won’t love your dressing gownas much as you do.

Prefessional communication

  • First impressions count so make sure your communication with employers are professional.
  • Ensure your CV is complete and reviewed via Vmock and finally by an Employability Adviser.
  • Don’t use text speak or casual slang that you would use with your friends.
  • Be courteous and, once you’ve finished talking, thank them fort heir time and advice.

Preparing questions

  • How did you get involved in this role/company?
  • How would you describe the culture within this company?• What are the most important skills required within your job?• What kind of projects are you working on currently?• What’s your favorite part of the job?• What are your main responsibilities?• What is a typical day (or week) like for you?• What do you like least about your work?• What kinds of problems do you deal with?• What kinds of decisions do you make?

Employability advisor support


Donna has kindly agreed to review my prepared questions for my 1:1 sessions with employers – d.caldwel@ulster.ac.uk

Useful EDGE awards to help with employability

  1. Improve your presentation skills
  2. Design your career journey

Synergy UX Internship

Group session 1 – 1:30 pm

Speaker: Eimear Corrigan

Topic: Eimear will recount her experience as a UX intern. Eimear is now working full time as a UX developer.

  • She was able to be a UX designer and developer – a hybrid role.
  • In 2019 she stayed part time with synergy learning – something they do if they see your potential within the company. They were very flexible
  • In final year they were flexible and gave her time off so she could focus on her studies
  • There was a lot of progressing and opportunity within the company.

It is a very fast paced environment.

They are experts in creating learning with impact. They create engaging, intuitive and accessible learning platforms that deliver meaningful, measurable results.

What they do:

  • learning management platform
  • Bespoke development
  • UX design – understanding users, their needs and creating a result that will be useful and meaningful to them

Applying for the role

  1. Prepare your knowledge in your area
  2. Be ready to talk about you. Sell your self
  3. Learn a bit about SASS, Mustache templates with PHP
  4. have an interesting and personal cover letter in your application – have interesting answers to questions: these things will give you a better chance
  5. research our company. Understand what we do.
  6. Show that you are keen to learn and develop – they will want to help you with that

Apply online:

1st interview

  • Technical section – could be a technical scenario or general questions
  • Typical interview questions
  • Knowledge of company values
  • Prepare questions to ask – show interest

Beginning the role of an intern:

  • assigned a buddy – continuous learning, mentoring to enhance you skills and help with your learning
  • get used to the systems they use: Atlassian, Slack, Asana, Moodle. Learn their platform: totara.academy

Day to day as UX developer:

  • team meetings
  • daily stand up – quick catch up of projects (around9;30)
  • Git – learn this and SAS and JavaScript
  • Client communications
  • Support


  • perkbox (get this after being there 6months)

Current opportunities:

  • Intern UX developer
  • Intern QA Analyst
  • Intern Support

Where will I work? Remote/flexible

There is potential for a future career with Synergy Learning

You will be provided by the hardware and software needed to do your work.

Synergy is looking for

Personal, engaging, tailored for the role and application. Show you have researched the company, that you know the role and that you are interested in it. Show A LOT of interest into the company . Look up their website and blog.

They do a lot of projects for charity – maybe include the fact that you like this?

They might ask you which ones of their values you can relate to most – Eimer said passionate and

Who to contact:

  • Mandy for anything to do with the company    –  Can get a 1:1 with her to ask more about the application process.
  • Dylan for how its like working while studying

How to submit your portfolio when applying:

  • web portfolio would be preferred – add as a link. If its not online yet try Google drive


Blurb they provided about themselves:

Watch our short video about what we do here.. https://youtu.be/X-Lhj79DKNw With over 15 years of experience developing online learning solutions, we have an unrivalled understanding of the technology industry and offer a wealth of experience in our team. We manage all of our customer projects in-house, which gives you a unique opportunity to experience a project from the first contact, to their project going live. Whilst we may have different roles and work from different locations, we share a common vision, mission and values that focuses our collective efforts. We call this #1Team and when you join Synergy Learning, you join this team and it’s ethos. What do we look for? Well, it’s pretty simple. The platforms we build and the stories we create come from innovative, out-of-the-box thinking. We always look for someone who thinks differently, or someone who can create a solution to a difficult problem. Our team are hand-picked for their commitment to their craft and their work ethos. so they have to be passionate and committed to fulfilling what they can for our customers. Our biggest aim is to WOW our customers. We want to create a platform that is the best it can be, making the decision to choose Synergy Learning as simple as possible and deliver an experience that delivers results. Even though our focus is delivering incredible results, we have a good time doing it too! With social events, a wide range of perks and a team building initiatives to get you better acquainted with the whole team, you’re guaranteed to have a bit of fun. That sums up our values as a business: 1Team. Innovative. Passionate & Committed. WOW! & Fun. Be empowered to make a difference during your internship at Synergy Learning. We’d love for you to join! Click here to see what our current interns have to say about working with Synergy Learning https://campaign.synergy-learning.com/internships


1 on 1 session 2:00 – 2:10 with Ethan Fearon (UX design intern)







How to design for everyone

Hosted by: UX Belfast (online)

Guest speakers: Regine Gilbert and MT McCann

Topic: Universal and inclusive design.

What is the difference between accessibility and inclusion?

“Accessible design focuses on the outcome or end result of a design project. … Inclusive design is closely related to accessibility, but rather than an outcome, it’s a methodology for how to approach design. It’s a process for creating a design that can be used by a diverse group of people ” – Cameron Chapman

Intercultural communication

This is a discipline that studies communications across different cultures and social groups, or how culture affects communication. This is something we must think of as we are now dealing in a global scale as designers

Culture and language

  1. Identity management: This is the way individuals make sense of their multiple images concerning the sense of self in different social contexts.
  2. Culture: This is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities and habits of individuals in these groups.
  3. Self reflexivity: This is a process of learning to understand oneself and one’s position in society.
  4. Learning about others: The study of culture is the study of people. Be user centered.

Discussion questions

How do electronic means of communication (e-mail, internet, social media, etc.) differ from face-to-face interactions?

  • No body language
  • Less cues
  • Easier to be distracted
  • Misunderstanding
  • Tone of voice
  • We can communicate without actually talking
  • People are less inclined to step up

How do these communication technologies

  • Some cultures send emails in a very brief and to the point others more formal and detailed
  • Harder to be more neuanced
  • We should try to supress cultural norms as we dont know hoe they will be preceived

more here….. look at pics

What …


vision, hearing pic here

What to keep in mind


Universal design

Coined by Ronald Mace and a team of architects, product designers and engineers in the 90’s. Originally designed for buildings but is now applicable to the web

Seven principles of universal design here pic

Equitable use color contrast pic here

Colour contrast is the number 1 problem in the web and its something that we as designers have total control over – be mindful!

Flexibility in use – basically a way the user can expand or find what they are looking for and allow them to focus in a specific area. This is our job as designers. WTF = What is the focus.

Tolerance for error – allowing users to undo and redo. We dont want to let users get stuck.

Low physical effort; think forms and how tidious they can be. Make forms that don’t require more information than is needed.

Size and space for approach and use – think of all your possible users, they could be anybody.

Temporary, situational, permanet disabilities

pic here (stick figure)

What is web accesibility? pic with explanation

Why is it needed? To ensure that users with disabilities can view the material like everyone else. It’s basically a basic right in our day and age. more info on pic

Tools and preferences:

Assitive technology: these are software and hardware that people with … pic

Adaptive strategies: techniques that people with … pic

Think about who is viewing or using what you create:

Think ability, age, gender, ethnicity and so…..

Things to consider ….

Content is like water … pick here     Problem with the slide is that the contrast is too low, many people may not be able to even see it! what even?!

Left aling text

avoid use of all caps

Add alternative text …

Incorporate inclusion and accessibility from the start of your project!!!!


Inclusive design tips ….

  • get to know who you are designing for.
  • ..

Comic by Micahel Giangreco here!

coments here

and book recomendation here …

Do not think that thoughtful design is just for the elderly, or the sick, or the disab ….

Her contact info

She is a professor.


Comments here

her link here


people who are less educated …

Keep things as simple as possible, don’t use language that is too specific with your field of work. Keep things as simple as you can.

Have you any examples of websites or apps that really excel at good a11y?





Biggest influence on her work or career: Thomas Logan (started equal entry and a11y design meetup and accessibility meetup in New York) Things helped gain a better understanding of the issues faced by people with disabilities.

America on tech – organisation she volunteers with. They help black and brown youths learn technological skills and gain interships whilts at highschool.


UX Belfast eso

speaker: MT McCann

How and why she is putting a large emphasis in putting accessibility into eso

Their mission is to make a difference – to improve community health and safety through the power of data.

Look up Ted Lasso

Life might not be fair, but that doesn’t give you any excuse not to be. – Elizabeth Jackson

We as digital technologist have a very serious responsibility to make the web accessible to everyone; don’t contribute to making anyone making feel left out.

eso ecosystem pic here

focus of the design team: the humans that use the software (user centered)

software screenshot

It is large abd clear so that it is easy to tap with gloves in the field, moving ambulance. The interface is clear and easy to analyze.

quate from tim here

quote 2

Disabilities can be

  • Permanent: Colour blindness (This is particularly important for eso), hard of hearing, hurt in the course of their job. if the software can not function for people with permanent dissabilities then they could loose their job
  • Situational: Bumpy ride, lights on, sunny day reflecting off the screen.
  • Temporary: Required to ratin a lot of info …
  • Designing for oour future selves: our abilities natuarally deteriorate as we get older.

Who’s job is it? – Everyone’s!

  • We NEED to create a culture of accessibility across the web to make sure everyone who works on, delivers or supports the services and products is part of the strategy.

Design system

Three specific motivations for upgrading to an accessible design system, now:

  • Efficiency
  • Onboarding
  • Scale


ESO Accessibility strategy

  • Design team training
  • Make our design system accessible
  • Implementation of inclusive designs (new documentation and annotation artefacts)
  • Run internal education accessibility sessions (Cover SDLC areas)
  • Encourage wider software development team training.
  • Create an internal champions team which has a wide variety of people from across the organisation who are in the know.
  • Have a tactical and stratigic [plan of which products tro tackle first and how deep to go
  • Hiring for accessibility skills
  • Get marketing teams on board, ensuring our materials are designed with accessibility in mind.
  • Review our response in tenders (were we want to convey where we …) …
  • ….
  • Training and implementation teams and materials (Help content).
  • Support teams ~tag with accessibility issues.
  • Due diligence with 3rd party software purchased (WalkMe)
  • Inclusive design research methodologies and planning and recruitment of people with disabilities.
  • Reporting and governance eg. Accessibility issues found over time, hires with accessibility skills, internal sessions held.

Tips to get started

  • Get training so you can internally educate confidence
  • Big orgs move like supper tankers not speedboats, focus on small wins.
  • Convey the risk you can carry to your legal team by being inaccessible.
  • Get senior support as aircover
  • Run internal sessions early to convey the benefits and build internal advocates.
  • Push to get accessibility skills added to your hiring specs.
  • Start crafting your wider strategy.
  • Keep fighting the good fight.

Great ways to learn and get certified:

Ted Lasso quote


List of upcoming events….


Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better – Maya Angelou


Look up Jason from Instil – head of design at Instil.

Lesons he wishes he knew at the start of his carreer:

play exploding kittens they do it –

think of your career like a game

dont be a control freak.

its about convincing the people in the room that your ideas and concepts are the right one.

everything is a remix by kirby ferguson. Talks of imposter syndrome and inspiring yourself constantly. We put pressure on ourselves to design in a vacuum

ample – his inspiration blog — LOOK up, its about documenting your inspo

hot potato by brad and dan frost — LOOK UP

Have a creative outlet – a project that you are passionate about outrside your 9 -5 think of how you get sick of the food in the place you work at.

his creative outlet fathers father

It’s a game – have fun

cant control it – move on, dont sweat it

leveling up – know your worth

cheat codes  – you do, you. Look up other designers work and get inspired. Steal my dear. Work in whatever way works best for you.  Dont take your feedback so personaly, find people in your life that understand good design and that will tell you if your design is rubish.

creative outlet – passion projects




  • 16 yrs old
  • holistic product based company.
  • design team of 2 and external help.
  • consultancy – get to work with clients in a long term basis eg 2yrs
  • Room for moving and improving different skills eg UX and also improving UI
  • Website is a work in progress engineering one not a design one —– IDEA: design a few ideas for new ideas for their website for their interview.


  • split time with marketing and project work – agency and product experience
  • Small company
  • Paid placement
  • Can be offered a job before leaving placement year, if get a 1st honors then get £5000 bonus when starting


  • empathise
  • Find things they are insterested in
  • Think big picture
  • how to articulate design as you will be in a room full of ingeneers – you need to make them understnad why your idea is the best for meeting their needs.
  • The blogs will be seen as part of your written communication skills as the case study area in your portfolio is only a snapshoot of your work.
  • Why is design necesary think of building a house but not involving an architect – it simply would not work.
  • Read tragic design
  • jasonk@instil.com is his email – they are happy for us to reach out to them and have an informal chat about the company.


UX placement opportunities 2022 – 2023

Speaker: Damon Rodgers (UX designer)


  • Andrew Rossborogh (Lead UX/UI designer)  he will interview for the role

Good mentor and was in Kyles uni class.

He wants to see

Reserach –> Analyse (crazy 8s) –> Design –> Prototype –> deliver, test and reflect

Who is FinTrU

  • Finance and security
  • creating solutions for Investment banks that will be used throughout the world
  • employer and company of the year.
  • Mental health support
  • Hybrid working
  • Coffee bar

What we get

  • How to combine UX thinking with design execution
  • Planning and running user tests
  • Designing and prototyping elegant solutions for complex problems
  • Supported by an assigned mentor
  • Employee assisted program – they will fund you to study after degree
  • Performance related rewards
  • Training and development
  • competitive salary
  • 23 days and 10 bank holidays off
  • Can skip 1st year graduate program
  • Comprehensive health and wellbeing strategy

Placement students

  • Patrick Boutilier

Who are they looking for?

  • user research (survey, interview and usability testing)
  • Passion for quality
  • Prioritise and plan your work
  • Attention to detail
  • Figma


  • examples of work including screen designs/prototypes
  • how you can frame the problem you were trying to solve – research
  • The process – decision making
  • Ability to talk through your portfolio with confidence
  • Ability to reflect on what you learned and how you grew
  • ….

How to apply:

Go to FinTrU website and apply there – apply to portal – then they select who they interview – then look at portfolio.

Interview question

  • Can you tell us your UX process relating back to your portfolio

The winding road to design

Organized by Ladies that UX Belfast


  • Rick Monroe
  • Conaill Hyndman
  • Anna Murray

New Ladies that UX leaders

  • Sam Nelson (design research lead at Deloitte Digital)
  • Rosie McKenzie (Service design consultant at EY Seren)
  • Eve McCann (Senior service design consultant at EY Seren)

I love solving problems for real people through my work.

Conaill Hyndman

  • How he became a developer to designer
  • UX/UI designer at Deloitte Digital
  • Joined as a front-end developer
  • 2 years as a developer
  • Always new he wanted to work on design – this was made apparent when he would work with designers
  • Fiona Sloan (UX lead at Deloitte digital) his sister – might be a good person to email asking for a job


  • Udemy courses on how to use Figma
  • Adobe Certified Associate in Photoshop 2017
  • UX/UI podcasts – Pablo Stanley
  • Accessibility – attended FE accessible courses

Learning on the job:

  • Trial and error
  • Allow for mistakes
  • Group design critiques
  • You will never be fully comfortable unless you get stuck in

Top tips:

  • No one starts out as an expert
  • Mistakes make a better designer
  • Make time to learn – do this before moving into the role
  • Ask questions, it’s never a silly one
  • Your pathway is your personal journey – always changing, always learning
  • Enjoy your experience

Rick Monroe

Connecting the dots

  • Use your experience to react better to situations


  • started off as a graphic designer – he was focused on style
  • Then became an interaction designer where he started working trying to create engagement and interactions
  • Got involved with UX – He started designing as an investment. He found his value. Started seeing his work as delivering values
  • Where he is heading – wants to deliver impactful outcomes.

The roles he has had since graduating did not exist when he first graduated, the industry grew and changed and he developed and adapted with it to change where he was an to become something different

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future” – Steve Jobs

Book recommendations:

  • Managing oneself – Peter F. Drucker

Success … comes to those who know themselves – Peter Drucker

This is how you learn, work with others, what your values are, how you work with others and your contributions. Self-awareness – learning as well as learning about yourself never stops. You can’t have self awareness without self reflection

  • The humble designer written by Rick Monroe – blog post
  • Quiet by Susan Cain – The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking

Introverts have more empathy …

“An introvert is not a failed extrovert” – Susan Meindl

You are not a failed version of something else. Think long-term

Insert r4 image here

It is important to be kind to those (even yourself) who have not yet learned or experienced as much as others. Practice humility and self awareness and recognize when you are at the top of your game. Never be afraid ro ask for help and learn from people who have made it to the top.

“It’s all experience, son.” – Rick Monroe’s dad

Anna Murray

  • Works at EY Seren’s service design practice
  • Learning design on the job
  • Do not compare yourself to others
  • Asking for advice is a strenght not a weakness
  • Having different backgrounds in the room other than a pure design background always bring a wealth of value.
  • Testing and iterating is part of the process – we expect our product or service we are designing to need several iterations before it’s right (and even after that it’s a continuous work in progress) so we should look at our own journey like that too and be willing to test things out and have patience with the process.
  • A ‘typical’ designer does not exists!
  • “User need Enthusiast”
  • Celebrate and promote diversity of thought
  • Encourage others and ourselves to share our knowledge gaps
  • Actually be more comfortable with ‘failing fast’ or ‘failing at all’
  • Challenge the inclusivity and accessibility of design
  • Variety in experience and diversity of thought shouldn’t be limited to your CV, I also believe it’s life experiences, personal opinions, thoughts etc.



Things MT liked

  • Being able to pivot and transition
  • Willing to go away and learn
  • “User need Enthusiast”


What are they? A high tech security company

Headquarters – Boston

Belfast office

The Belfast headquarters is an innovation hub – named one of the leading places to work at.

Set up in 2014 with 1 employee, now they have over 300 employees.

The teams building owns all of the company flagship products


pic of building, reception, makers spacxe and library, main cafe, gaimimg space.

Placement program

  • Interns become valuable members of the team from day 1
  • About 80% of the interns receive employment offers to return to work with them after graduation.
  • Around 150 interns have come through the process since it started in 2014
  • Some of the initial interns are now Lead Engineers.

Jordan – previous intern

  • Started 7 years ago
  • 9 Interns entered the office with a full time staff
  • In the chaos he learned and became able to apply knowledge from university into his designs.
  • Has travelled all over – from being sent to courses, company kick off in Belfast or Boston


  1. What was your training before you went into Rapid7 Jordan? I’m just wondering if there’s a preference to what type of education background you’re coming from.   –  He went to Jordanstown not knowing real word experience. EAGERNESS is what they are looking for, don’t worry about feeling that you are not really. Prove that you are ready and willing to learn.
  2. Internships make a huge difference in building up your skill
  3. Experience will not be a factor – they know we have just started to learn.
  4. There is room for transitioning between roles; even between different UX roles.

Opportunities available for me –> UX design & engineering and product management  5 going to UX design and 1 to product management

What to expect as an intern

  • Opportunity to work on real production code from the very start
  • Formal training program to help you settle
  • Learn lots of new technology
  • Be treated as a regular team member
  • Be assigned a mentor – guidance and assistance. Helps you learn at a pace that suits you best within the company.
  • We will give you an experience as valuable as possible, setting you up for a successful final year
  • Offer to return as a graduate if you have been successful.

What they expect from me?

  • Good attitude and aptitude
  • Passion for learning technology
  • Experience is not necessary they will provide us with the tools to learn and be successful.

Erin – previous intern – more engineering

  • She did not have the instill training interns get now
  • Joined in 2016
  • Only girl in the team – never felt like it though
  • She was able to write code from the ground up and architecture information, take part in meetings
  • Studied in Queens
  • Questions were always welcomed
  • Types of technologies she is using now – pretty much everything was new to her. Java, and really any new product or software that is relevant – you are constantly learning. Its a great way to mature in your career also.


  1. Ask questions
  2. Learn through your mentors


  • Attractive salary about £20000
  • 24 days annual leave and bank/public holidays
  • Private health, life and travel insurance
  • Company pension plan with generous (7%) employer contribution
  • Company shares plan at 15% discount
  • Employee assistance program – mental health support
  • When in the office, snacks and refreshments available
  • Pool table, table tennis and board games available
  • Regular office gatherings with breakfast, lunch or dinner provided. Monthly they do Belfast time hall to hear what everyone is working on and welcome new hires.
  • They have a speak easy pub in the office


Next steps

  1. Apply!!!!!! closing date 29 October
  2. Candidates will be contacted to schedule their own 15 minute pre screen interview with one of our engineering managers – COME PREPARED – big about CV, yourself, company and interest surrounding industry
  3. If successful, you will be contracted regarding a technical interview. 90 mins – Check spam folder pls  These will happen in November. Puzzle you must solve with the team to see how you would work together
  4. All interviews will take place via Zoom.
  5. the talent acquisition team will be in touch with applications outcomes and offers

They have a take home challenge – get a design problem and solve it with wireframes and prototypes then get 15mins in the interview to explain it.


  • Be prepared
  • Do research, explore their products
  • Avoid a vanilla CV
  • What will make you stand out (in a good way)
  • Take your time with the design challenge. Don’t just show a polished design, show your thought process.


Final notes

  • They will look to see when you join them what roles makes the most sense to your skills and designers and natural abilities – They will ensure you are doing the role that is best suited for you. Transition is an option
  • Big JAVA house. C++ and Python
  • For UX development they use HTML, SASS, react, vanilla ds
  • UX design – figma, miro
  • They are not super strict when it comes to time. As the norm expectation work from 10 – 4 or 9 -5. Really whatever works best, just use some sense and work in a productive way and in a time that works with your team.
  • Still working from home but they don’t know what will be happening next year.
  • Design challenges – hard design challenge of scale.

Rapid7 placement talk

Speaker: Mike

Date: 28/10/21

Who is Rapid7?

  • Service protection/security company.
  • Protection
  • Prevention
  • Security
  • We are the force behind the people who protect you everyday – securing your connection online, making sure your connection, passwords and data is secure. They build this software.
  • We protect the tools that protect society: Cloud security, threat protection (Use AI to anticipate threats), Security automated, vulnerability management, application security, Incident detection and support —> could consider this a novel cause.
  • We are powering the cyber protectors

Why does UX matter in Cyber security?

  • We are designing the critical experience for our users. It must be powerful, reliable and extensive. But they are nothing if they are not usable – they must be user friendly.

3000 staff across the UK, Japan, US, Amsterdam, etc.

Design system:

  1. Discovery:   Brief –> 5 whys (Is it inline with user wishes, is it technically feasible, do we have the people to do it?) –> Heuristic review –> feasibility review (talk to some engineers, product managers before suggesting it) –> Competitor review (Help or support pages are great to show how they explain their process) –>  Tooling (What tools will I use to achieve this? It’s about choosing the right tool to create prototypes easily to then present it to the team – what is the tool quit of my team?) –> User research (what are your users really saying? User centered) –> Analytics () –> Market landscape
  2. Design: Insights –> Design principles –> Design system integrations –> Brand experience –> Artefacts –> Exploration  –> Progress review –> Prototyping
  3. Build: Learn at least the basics of HTML and CSS and Java so you can have an educated talk with the developers.
  4. Test: Prototype –> Peer test –> User test –> Device test (Put your designs in as many devices as possible as they will look different depending on their settings) –> Quality assurance (Don’t mark your own homework – you are not impartial) –> Accessibility test (Make sure whatever you create is accessible) –> Performance test –> Benchmarking (against other experiences – eg how many clicks does it take? How quickly can a user get through it?) –> Done criteria (Are you ticking off the criteria boxes? Can we automate this? Is it successful? … Ask for the definition of what being ‘done’ will be for this project)

They work in an agile way (2 week cycle for UX design)

At the end of the design system something gets pushed live

What they are looking for:

  • Think in a problem solving way
  • Accessible designing
  • Being a great UX practitioner also means being a great storyteller – Tell them a good story of how you reached your design 

Design in an art. UX is a science

  • UX process can be learned
  • Design is products solving, creating something that is aesthetic and usable.
  • Learn by doing it, living it and practicing it. Get your hands dirty. Learn through doing.
  • Understanding the why and testing ideas.

What to say in interview:

  • Want to work for this company as I believe the work they do is a novel cause that protects those that protect us
  • Talk about design systems – how UX and UI should be implemented across
  • Waterfall vs Agile design system – Agile is better but research it and make a blog post
  • Be ready to tell the story of your work
  • Be ready to tell your story
  • Help design the critical experience and empower the protectors
  • They like slack as a social platform



Application process dates and info

  • How long until we hear back: Couple of weeks – November 8th
  • They review websites as soon as you submit it #screed
  • Remote and onsite work

10 month long placement.

Global payments

Deadline: 05/11/21

Apply on Workday with CV and portfolio

Interview process:

  1. Interview (30-40 mins)
  2. Second stage interview (present short design challenge)

  • Stephen Picton – director of communications – him and Jordan will be reviewing application
  • UX is the heart of the development process in Global Payments.

Intro to Global payments integrated

  • Focus on integrated payment solutions
  • Sites across the world
  • Allows users to manage account, invoices, credit card, etc…
  • 24,000+ employees
  • Dominic was a placement student last year
  • Belfast and Foyle sites accounts for 80% of the revenue for the company

Intro to technical communications

  • UX:  UX design system –> Ux practices and processes –> Customer feedback –> Accessibility
  • Tech Docs: API documentation (A way of interacting with the software) –> Compliance documentation (Finance, security and compliance) –> Practices and processes –> Style guide

Merges to create —> UX WRITTING

  • Hardware interface
  • Software interface
  • User guides
  • Help center

Accessibility is a huge thing for Global Payments especially since in the states by law the UI must be accessible. 

Intro to Genius

Team goal

  • Promote Ux
  • Conduct research
  • Collaborate across disciplines
  • Deliver design decisions
  • Create solutions
  • Seek feedback and validate design


  • Lean product strategy
  • Agile product development
  • ..

UX goals and process


What to expect

  • You will be part of the team

Gemma’s placement experience

  • Built out interface devices
  • Prototyping used tool called protopie
  • Communicating with others, at home and overseas
  • Journey maps
  • empathy maps
  • Creating device illustrations
  • How you can apply
  • Hypothesis mapping
  • The mad hackathon (Allows employes to present ideas they think global payments should develop)
  • Start date: July 2022 for 12 months
  • Working hours: 37.5 hours per week Mon -Fri 9:00 – 5:30



Key skills they want

  • design for accessibility
  • UX writing
  • Illustrative skills
  • Design thinking – they are not that worried about the portfolio
  • Brush up on understanding of UX process for interviews. How to put ypurself in the mind of the user
  • Design UX and UI for design thing with one of their screens and show them?
  • Empathy maps