How Ana got hired at The VanHackathon as a UX Designer

Ilya: Awesome. Hello and welcome to another VanHack success case, success story, I’m Ilya and today I am excited to be joined by Ana Carolina, who is working as a UX designer at Pintellect, which is a Vancouver startup. Hi Ana, how are you doing?

Ana Carolina: Hi. Hello, hello everyone. I’m good, what about you?

Ilya: I’m good too. I’m good too. I’m excited to share your story because I know it’s a very interesting one. So this is actually the second designer in a row that we have, I think it’s started to become a trend that more designers getting hired, but let’s talk about you and your experience. Maybe you can tell us about who you are, where you’re from, your professional background so people have an idea of where you’re coming.

Ana Carolina: Okay. Well, I live in Brazil, in Goiania, and I’ve been working with design since I was 17 years old. It was a thing that I liked even when I was really young. And from the beginning, I already started to work with IT, with informational technology companies. So it was something that really catch me in the beginning. So, since then, I’ve been working with lots of companies, I love this area and work with technology work with innovation, it’s something that I really, really like. And today I still work with a lot of companies and now with the Canadian company, with Pintellect it’s just another awesome thing that happened to me in my work, like my work as a designer.

Ilya: Awesome. Awesome. So like web design, mobile design, all that stuff is stuff that you like to do.

Ana Carolina: Yes, especially for the digital… For digital marketing, websites, I also work with social media, but especially the interfaces, user interfaces, softwares and all.

Ilya: Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. And for anyone who hasn’t seen Ana’s portfolio or Ana’s work, we’ll put it below the video. It’s very, very good. So check it out guys. Yeah. No, it’s awesome. So tell us about how you found this job, maybe tell us what the job is, what the company does and then how it was that you found the company?

Ana Carolina: Okay. Well I guess it was… I had a lot of lucky because it was my first hackathon, the last one, and I decided to participate and I saw the challenge of the Pintellect challenge, that it was related to design. So to me it was, “Oh my God, that’s what I need”. And I did it, and it was when everything started and the Pintellect CEO, he liked my project, he chose the project. And so now we are actually continuing the project that I started, in the VanHackathon. We are using the same designs that I did. So to me, it’s a privilege, I’m really grateful, because as something that I did in the VanHackathon, now it’s going to be real. It’s going to be part of the product.

Ana Carolina: The company had an innovative tool about articles that people can interact with articles on the internet. And it’s a really great project. It was one of the things that catch my attention in the beginning because I looked at the description of the project and I say, “Oh my God, such a great idea”. So it was one of the things that motivate me to work with them. It’s a great tool, I already working with a few things. I cannot actually say everything because it’s private, but it’s going to be awesome, I know that a lot of people are going to like to the work they’re doing.

Ilya: That’s awesome. It must feel really good to have the work that you do be seen and used by people and help improve their experiences and help them learn and stuff like this. That’s nice. Also, and quickly just for anyone who doesn’t know what the VanHackathon is, I guess we should have defined this, my mistake, so the Van Hackathon is a virtual hackathon that we do here at VanHack every few months. The next one is happening on April 7th, 8th and 9th, 2017. So it depends on when you’re watching this. So you can sign up for free, just the link below the video. So just for everyone to know, to understand what we’re talking about, but awesome. So how was the interview process? You did the Van Hackathon and you met Mark, and how was the… Did you guys have a job interview afterwards? I guess he already saw your work with the project that you did, but how was the interaction, especially with you being in Brazil and him being in Canada? How was that?

Ana Carolina: Well, it was mostly using email and Skype. We didn’t have a interview, like a job interview. We had a lot of conversations when he talked to me, what he wants with the project, what he thought about what I did in the hackathon. So it was really unformal. It was really, really simple, the way that we talked with each other. So I guess that’s all, it wasn’t really complicated.

Ilya: Cool. That’s great. I mean, I guess one of the advantages of the Van Hackathon is that the person or the companies already see your work. So they know if you’re good or not for their project and that must’ve helped speed things up.

Ana Carolina: Yeah, it was really simple. It was easy.

Ilya: Awesome. That’s good. Usually it’s not so simple to get an international job, right?

Ana Carolina: Yeah. That’s why I was so surprised, it was really fast to me because I entered VanHack Premium, I’m a premium member… pro member actually, sorry I’m a pro member and it was, I don’t know, less than a month, there was the Van Hackathon, and then the job, and it was really fast to me.

Ilya: That’s great. That’s awesome. It’s a good return on an investment

Ana Carolina: Sure!

Ilya: Cool, awesome so what about your plans to… Maybe tell people about, so you got the remote job, so are you planning to maybe immigrate in the future? How’s that, I know it’s a very complicated process, but maybe just share with people some of your plans and kind of how you’re thinking about it, and then maybe we can talk about advice you have for other people after this.

Ana Carolina: Yes. Well, my dream, my goal is one day go to Canada for many reasons, professional reasons, personal reasons. And this project is just the beginning because I guess that the best thing that I can do is have, for my portfolio, works that I did with Canadian companies, with international companies. So this is part of the plan, it’s the very beginning and Mike Glenn, I wish to keep working with him, keep providing my services and maybe find other companies which I can contribute with my work as a designer as well. And yes, in the future, I have this wish to go to Canada, but I’m being patient now. I just want to, for now I just want the experience, to interact and fill my portfolio with Canadian companies and not only Canadian companies, companies from around the world. That’s my goal for now.

Ilya: That’s cool. That’s awesome. And I think it sounds like you’re doing that, so that’s great stuff. Good job. And so what about if you’re someone who might be starting out thinking about having a job abroad, what advice would you give that person, maybe yourself one or two years ago in the beginning of this process?

Ana Carolina: Yeah, I guess the first thing that I could say is go to a Van Hackathon, it was great to me, and I guess it’s going to be great to everyone that is… that wants a job abroad or in Canada or in another place, and the good thing about the VanHackathons, it’s because even if you don’t get a job, you have the… Especially for designers, actually, you have the work that you did to put in a portfolio. So it’s already a beginning and the interaction that you have with the other groups, the Slack channel and everything, it’s really good to you. You met, you got to met… You got to meet new people, other professionals from developers, designers. So it’s really great. I would say go to a Van Hackathon and you’re already doing a lot to just start your project of going abroad or Canada.

Ilya: Cool, cool. Yeah, definitely. I mean, it’s the reason why we created them, to have that interaction virtually before you’re there physically. And I think that’s really cool to hear that it’s helped you and of course, hope we… To help many others. So if you’re watching this before April 7th, then you can sign up or even maybe during the weekend, you can just join, create a team and work on a project with an international company to see… Show them your skills and see what happens. You never know what will happen, I think there’s a famous Canadian hockey player, Wayne Gretzky says “You miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” So yeah, just sign up, it’s free to join and you can be a part, maybe you’ll be the next person that we interview here of the VanHack success stories. So, yeah. Ana, thank you so much for sharing your experience with everyone. I think it’s very cool to see how fast you were able to have success. And remember that this is just the beginning. So, really appreciate it. Thank you.

Ana Carolina: Well, thank you Ilya and thank you to VanHack and everybody and all the community in Slack, it was really helpful, it had been really helpful to me.

Ilya: Cool. Awesome. Well, I’m sure this video will help someone else as well, so thank you. Cool. Awesome. We’ll talk soon then.

Ana Carolina: Bye.

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