Panel: Is School Preparing Me for a UX Career? (Free Event)

  • 04 Apr 2013
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Manning 209, UNC-CH Campus


Registration is closed
A panel discussion for students and professionals about educating, training and assimilating new entrants into a multidisciplinary field.
Hosted by UNC ASIS&T and the Triangle UXPA

Where: Manning 209, UNC Campus (216 Lenoir Drive, Chapel Hill, 27516)
When: 6-8pm Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Aspiring UX professionals face the challenge of preparing for a multidisciplinary field with changing tools, diverse work scenarios, and an ongoing internal conversation about its very nature. User Experience designers come from a variety of backgrounds (software, design, psychology, research, marketing) and work in a variety of roles (user research, interaction design, information architecture, usability, content strategy, visual design) in a variety of settings (agency, in-house, non-profit). How can students in programs like information science, journalism, and computer science make sense of this diversity and prepare for their ideal UX career path?

UNC’s student chapter of the American Society of Information Science & Technology has assembled a panel of distinguished User Experience professionals to discuss how to get the most of out of school to prepare for a UX career. How is UX understood and practiced at organizations of different size and focus? How is formal education preparing (and failing to prepare) new entrants into this rapidly evolving field? What are the essential skills and experience that students need to seek out on their own?

This event is for anyone interested in learning and discussing how new UX practitioners are educated, trained, and assimilated.

Manning Hall (216 Lenoir Drive, Chapel Hill, 27516) is adjacent to Lenoir Hall and Davis Library, and sits across the quad from Carroll Hall. Room 209 is the large lecture hall on the second floor of Manning Hall. Attendees can park in non-reserved spaces on Emerson Dr., Lenoir Dr., Country Club Rd. or elsewhere nearby. Parking is limited so come early if possible.


Evan Carroll is a user experience designer and author. Previously with Capstrat, a Raleigh-based communications agency, he now works on the product management team at ChannelAdvisor. Evan is a graduate of the BS and MS programs at UNC’s School of Information and Library Science. A thought leader in digital legacy and archiving, he's also co-author of Your Digital Afterlife (New Riders, 2010). Evan serves on the executive board of the Triangle American Marketing Association and the advisory board of the Triangle User Experience Professionals Association. You can find him online at

Randolph Carter is User Experience Architect at He brings a broad consulting experience in enterprise application development, with national awards for interface design from BusinessWeek and other publications, Randy applies methods from industrial design, business school, and long experience with software development to 'wicked' problems. Previous design consulting experience includes medical and surgical product development with various companies, a long relationship with Medtronic Corporation; cellphone designs for OKI; sales software for Apple; and financial software R&D with Citicorp and Chase Manhattan. Randy joined Peachtree Software in 1994 to work full-time on business accounting software, then moved to S1 Corporation for the next 8 years to develop the core strategy for web-based banking UI design. He has also done seminal work in web-based publishing, multi-tier application monitoring and triage tools, and online homework systems. 

Heather Hesketh: My career path hasn’t been terribly winding. I was fortunate to be in the right place (flexible) at the right time (when the Web hit) early in my career. True, my role at has evolved over the years – from lead consultant to CEO. But, my true vocation, or profession, hasn’t changed and wouldn’t change, even if the Web were to be captured by aliens. If you boil it down, I’m a problem solver, an engineer. What changes isn’t my profession, but the problem set :) Honestly, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Sarah Kahn is a rogue librarian turned UX/UI developer. She has worked on projects across a variety of domains including non-profits, government agencies, big companies, and startups. She's currently the UX Engineer at Adzerk, where she spends most of her time spying on and collaborating with customers. You can follow her on twitter here:

Beck Tench is a simplifier, illustrator, story teller and technologist. Formally trained as a graphics designer at the University of North Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, she has spent her career elbow deep in web work of all sorts – from the knowledge work of information architecture and design to the hands dirty work of writing code and testing user experiences. Currently, she serves as Director for Innovation and Digital Engagement at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC where she studies and experiments with how visitors and staff use technology to experience risk-taking, community-making and science in their everyday lives.

Andrew Wirtanen is a User Experience Specialist at Atlantic BT and 2013 President of the Triangle UXPA. He is a graduate of Bentley University with an MS in Human Factors in Information Design. He has experience with many usability engineering and interaction design methods, and he has primarily worked in consulting environments.

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