We already talked about what the DESIGNATION experience is like for students. Now we want to show you what happens after it ends.
The final phase of our curriculum is the Career Phase: two weeks of dedicated, intense career prep. And we mean intense. It’s the hardest our students work in the entire program. But it’s what prepares students to meet the needs of their toughest clients yet: themselves.
Throughout each stage, students bring to life tangible career materials like a résumé, case studies, cover letters, and others—everything needed to create a fully-functioning portfolio by graduation. They also develop processes around writing, networking, interviewing, social media, personal branding, and professional values. After all, a design career is so much more than just case studies.
Every student’s future path is as unique as their professional background. So DESIGNATION gives each one an individual experience, with workshops that reinforce a personal approach to decision-making; 1:1 career mentors who provide tactical and strategic guidance after graduation; and a wealth of guest lecturers describing their own unique professional experiences.
And then there’s everything else in the Career Phase: studio tours, more workshops, mock interviews, panel sessions, peer reviews, Chicago community events, and more. All intended to ensure students are as prepared as possible for the professional world.
After graduation, there are a wealth of resources ready for students to take advantage of. Graduates get weeks of 1:1 in-person or virtual support from career-focused staff, and lots of information on navigating the interview process. Students meet with creative recruiting firms both regional and international. Dozens of companies of all sizes come to DESIGNATION seeking designers every year, including clients that previously worked with our project teams. And an ever-increasing, global alumni community welcomes every graduate with local networking opportunities.
All of which adds up to a completely rewarding experience from a truly unique UX/UI program—and a quickly-growing number of graduates well-prepared for their first jobs as designers. Students’ hard work and dedication throughout the program pays off: 94% of students get an internship, contract role, or full-time position within six months of graduation.