This is an essay I wrote not too long ago for a college scholarship. It gives a little background and really encapsulates the reason I have chosen user experience design as a career path, and I thought I’d share it here in it’s full, unedited glory.
Hi, my name is Wesley Noble. I want to change the world. This is such a grandiose aspiration, one accomplished by many people like Marie Curie, Steve Jobs, and Martin Luther King Jr.. These were great people. I don’t think I’ll ever be as impactful as they were. Maybe it’s too much to aspire to.
Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to help people. First I wanted to be a lawyer, defending the innocent and bringing justice to the victim. Then I wasn’t sure. How about being a doctor? Setting bones and stitching wounds are about as tangible of help as you can give. But I get lightheaded at the sight of blood. Ok, fine then, how about being an Orthodontist? You help kids get better smiles and leave the dirty (bloody) work to the dentists. But then you have to pretty much be a genius to get accepted into a program and the total higher education required is 10-11 years. And that’s all time that you could actually be helping people, and meanwhile you have tons of student debt racked up. Not going to happen.
This thought process took place over a long period of time during late middle school and early high school. Then through a series of events I wound up tinkering in web design and encountered an area of web design called User Experience Design. It combines aspects of art, technology, psychology, and most importantly, the ability to help people in a massive way. Bingo. This was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
What exactly is User Experience Design? User Experience (or “UX”) is quite simply the experience a user has with anything; a phone app, an interaction with a Redbox machine, or a website. User Experience Design attempts to make that experience as easy to use and helpful as possible.
As I’ve explored the field of UX Design through two internships spanning last year up to the present, my passion for it has grown. About this time last year in my first internship, I started a podcast called The UX Intern (http://theuxintern.com). It’s a monthly internet radio show where I have the privilege of interviewing world experts in the field of UX Design and I get the chance to pick their brains and ask intern-ish questions. I love it.
I’m passionate about UX Design because of the opportunity to help people. Not only can good UX Design help people communicate through apps like Facebook and Twitter, but it can literally save lives through a defibrillator that is easy to use or a medical website that can accurately assess health symptoms.
A degree through Thomas Edison State college will expand my horizons and give me the opportunity to help a lot of people. It is important to many employers today for potential employees to have a college education, not just experience. As someone who will be entering the workforce full-time after graduation, I want to be as outstanding of a job candidate as possible. The flexibility of Thomas Edison will allow me to earn a degree while continuing to gain experience through my internship in the field I want to enter. I think a degree also gives a level of credibility to a person’s character, by showing that they have the dedication and persistence to work hard and earn a college degree.
A scholarship would allow me to graduate without worrying as much about funding and let me focus on my studies. Most importantly, a scholarship would help me to help other people.
Upon closer reflection, there are a lot of “no-names” who changed the world. Those people who quietly worked behind the scenes to help others accomplish something great. And if you really think about it, anybody who simply helps other people changes the world, even a little bit.
Hi, my name is Wesley Noble. I am going to change the world.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.