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Career Outcomes

Find out where MHCI+D students work after they graduate.

Alumni Panel

Several MHCI+D alumni share their experience during the program and since graduating.

Featured MHCI+D Alumni Interviews

Aaron Brako, Interaction Designer at Google

From Mumbai. Background in Information Technology. Bachelor of Engineering (BEngr/Information Technology) at D.J.Sanghvi College of Engineering at Mumbai University

  • What year /cohort did you graduate?
  • 2015, the second cohort

  • Why did you decide to get an MHCI+D?
  • Having a background in computer science and self-taught skills in interface design, I felt I was missing an important component: human behavior. I discovered the MHCI+D program and saw it as a great way to complete the loop of understanding technology, design, and human behavior. The program seemed, to me, a way to use all of my strengths, learn new ones, and gain exposure to the design process of software products in a safe space that encouraged wild exploration and was not overly limited by real world constraints.

  • What was/is your first job after graduation?
  • UX designer at Microsoft. I worked on the iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile apps for Microsoft’s Slack-like competitor, called Groups.

  • How did you find your job (please describe the steps or process)?
  • I applied to a few staffing agencies, most of which got back to me within the week to talk about potential roles. Amongst these was a recruiter at Creative Circle who was looking for a designer with interaction and visual skills for Microsoft. After briefly discussing the role, compensation, longevity etc, they set up an interview at their offices. It was a brief (30 min) process of talking about skills, past projects, and presenting 1 project in depth.

    Following that, they set up a Skype interview with my would-be peer and manager. The Skype interview consisted of general questions about my background, interests, skills etc after which they had me walk me through my portfolio as they asked to deep-dive on certain projects and processes.

    Microsoft then arranged an on-site interview, originally scheduled for 30 min but lasted 60 mins, that had present as many projects as I wanted to the team I would be working with. The recruiter called me later the same day to let me know I had an offer.

  • What do you wish you had known before starting your job search?
  • It’s ok to negotiate.

    It’s ok to push back on signing deadlines.

    A contract job is an acceptable starting place and can sometimes, very quickly, lead to a full-time offer. (Especially if you have a competing offer). If you feel you’ve been doing a good job, don’t be afraid to bring it (wanting a full-time offer) up with your manager as soon as possible.

    Seattle is not the most junior-designer friendly place. The Bay area is more open to talented but inexperienced designers.

  • What is the best advice you got about the job search?
  • For during interviews: Nobody knows what they’re doing. Everybody is winging it. Your interviewer is possibly crap at his job, and is likely anxious about being a good interviewer. Just relax.

  • What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to the next graduating cohort?
  • Be aware of what’s happening with technology. Download all the new apps, read all the changelogs, switch a different email client or news reader or note taker. Listen to design podcasts, read tech blogs…all day, every day.

  • What projects, courses or electives prepared you the most for your job?
  • At my job, the user-problem and feature set are fairly well defined. UI components, colors, type styles are standardized, to a degree. Success, depends on making the most of editing patterns and components, only breaking them or creating new ones as necessary. As such, the most useful courses or projects for me were tightly scoped, UI focused projects such as ‘Mobile prototyping’ and ‘web prototyping’ as part of Prototyping studio and DIS’ Canvas project.

    1-2 day hackathon projects, and the take-home design challenges some companies have you do as part of the application process, sometimes turn out to be projects you will want to feature prominently on your portfolio, sometimes over school projects. You may find they feature more detailed interaction design work, even though that may be at the expense of a thorough UX process leading up to it.

Amy Roberts, UX Designer at Microsoft

From Seattle. Background in Design. Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Baylor University

  • What year /cohort did you graduate?
  • 2016, the third cohort

  • Why did you decide to get an MHCI+D?
  • After receiving my BFA in graphic design, I worked for several years as a web designer and developer at a small agency. A lot of emphasis was placed on the client’s needs (usually owners or stakeholders in the company), but not the end user’s. I realized that I wanted my process to be more user-centered, so I applied to the MHCID program at UW to hone my UX skills and learn more about user research.

  • What was/is your first job after graduation?
  • UX Designer at Microsoft

  • How did you find your job (please describe the steps or process)?
  • I was recruited from the UW Design Career Fair. I remember standing in line with a lot of other people for 30 minutes and handing my resume to someone at the Microsoft booth thinking, this is probably just going into a black hole. But they received it and called me for an interview about a month before graduation. In addition to this, I did a UX internship with FTI Consulting during summer quarter, which helped me transition to working on software.

  • What do you wish you had known before starting your job search?
  • I wish that I had known the importance of speaking to different people and making connections in the industry. I applied to so many jobs online without getting a reply, but once I started going to networking events and meeting people, that created so many new opportunities for me.

  • What is the best advice you got about the job search?
  • The Director of UX at my internship gave me some great advice. Make connections with people and maintain those relationships. Once you get a job in the industry, a lot of new opportunities will be through the people you work with and the people you meet.

  • What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to the next graduating cohort?
  • Treat everything you create in the program as a potential portfolio item, and document your process. Update your portfolio as you go, so it won’t be overwhelming to do it all at the end. I ended up getting my job without showing any of my capstone project because I was still working on it, but I was able to show other projects I created for various classes.

    Also, don’t undervalue the importance of good visual communication. You don’t have to have a background in visual design to be a good UX designer, but if you can communicate your ideas clearly and in a visually polished way, that will take you far.

  • What projects, courses or electives prepared you the most for your job?
  • Because I already had a background in design, one of the most impactful courses for me was the user research course I took my first quarter. I ended up using those skills in the industry to conduct usability tests and better communicate user needs. Also, the interdisciplinary team-based projects I completed throughout the program helped give my portfolio some breadth. One of my best projects involved a voice- and touch-activated phone dock for patients who are sick in the hospital, which I created with other students who had industrial design and engineering backgrounds.

Brian Studwell, Lead Product Designer at Ravel Law, San Francisco

From New York City. Background in Research. BA in English and Creative Writing at Wesleyan University

  • What year /cohort did you graduate?
  • 2015, the second cohort

  • Why did you decide to get an MHCI+D?
  • I needed formal training in a trans-disciplinary design process in order to pursue the professional opportunities which interested me. I was eager to get back to the professional world, so an intensive, year-long program appealed to me. Additionally, the University of Washington is a prestigious school with strong ties to the tech and design worlds.

  • What was/is your first job after graduation?
  • Product Designer

  • How did you find your job (please describe the steps or process)?
  • Scouring job boards online, working endlessly on my portfolio, reaching out to every contact I could think of and writing cover letter after cover letter.

  • What do you wish you had known before starting your job search?
  • The value of networking.

  • What is the best advice you got about the job search?
  • Don’t give up.

  • What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to the next graduating cohort?
  • Start working on your portfolio yesterday. Everyone is a possible networking opportunity. Perception is reality—even if you feel insecure or uncertain, don’t act like it. Don’t disqualify yourself.

  • What projects, courses or electives prepared you the most for your job?
  • All the studios. The most critical elements of the education I built through the MHCI+D program wasn’t the classes but, rather, the understanding of and confidence in process, the exposure to tools and methodologies, and the experience working with diverse teams. That, and the ability to give and receive critique without imploding.


Employment Snapshot

Where MHCI+D Alumni Live

How Long It Took to Get the First Job

Industries Where MHCI+D Alumni Work

Company Sizes Where MHCI+D Alumni Work


The Most Common Job Titles for Alumni

Design Researcher Design Technologist
Designer Freelancer
Interaction Designer Product Designer
Product Manager UX Designer
UX Researcher UX/UI Designer

Some of the Companies That have Hired Our Graduates


Updated: April 2017 using personal communication and LinkedIn updates