My Pivot Journal is a Ventures Africa weekly series document people’s career transitions from one industry to another, especially into technology.
Flourish Nwoko has no plans to work in technology, but she is now part of a growing industry. Like many of her peers, she traversed the valley of career options before passion made her a technical sister. Flourish dabbled in a number of things, including working as a computer assistant and private tutor, before becoming a product designer..
Here is UI/UX designer Flourish Nwoko’s story on becoming a tech sis.
how it started
Flourish graduated from the teaching of geography at the University of Benin. She has always loved fine and applied arts, but the Nigerian education system forced her to go against her interests. “I applied to Fine Arts and Applied Arts. I have always been a fan of everything related to art and design. I don’t know what measures prompted them to choose the teaching of geography for me. I didn’t want to waste time, so I went with it,” she said. She worked as a computer assistant at a bank for eight months after graduating in 2018 before participating in the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). “I think there was a strike during that time, so working in a bank had nothing to do with passion,” she said. During her year of service, she worked in the Ministry of Finance, and at the end of the program, “I applied for jobs, but none materialized. I started a part-time private tutorial and did it for a year before the whole tech journey started,” she said.
COVID hit while she was working as a private tutor. There was a movement restriction and she had so much time to spend inside. During this period, she explored a suitable career path by asking questions and browsing the internet. “I wasn’t tutoring anymore, so I started looking for a suitable work path that would allow me to move up the ladder,” Flourish said.
Identifying which subsector she wanted to focus on was made easier with the help of her brother, a web designer. “It can be hard to figure these things out on your own. Through further research, I was able to enter the field I am in now – product design,” she said.
Product design matches his passion for the arts. She likes to design things and is always fascinated by beautiful decorations. “Product design comes under Arts and Design when applying for a Masters. It came up in my conversations with friends who were already in tech, and they said product design would be a great fit for me,” she said.
For Flourish, the lockdown was a blessing in disguise. She started online classes and took courses on Google to broaden her horizons. She also found a personal tutor who taught her product design – UI/UX for four months. She then began to put her newfound knowledge into practice by working as a product design intern for three months.
Having friends in the tech field and her passion for design have fueled her journey seamlessly. Her only discomfort during the trip is working remotely and learning online. “I prefer to work in an office. I prefer face-to-face learning. It takes more brainpower to assimilate in distance/online learning,” she said.
As a Product Designer, Flourish’s current role is designing the UI and experience for mobile apps, websites, and more. She is also a quality control staff. “I check for errors and ensure that published products are up to standard and that everything from design to functionality of a product is accurate.” Once the product is released to the public, Flourish seeks user feedback on how to best improve the product. “In product design, you are taught that your primary goal should be for the user to have the best possible experience when using your product,” she explained.
How’s it going
With just seven months under his belt, Flourish’s growth as a product designer is commendable. “When my productivity started to match the accolades I was getting, I knew I was on the right track. I felt really comfortable in an environment where my productivity is valued. “being productive and not being happy with what you’re doing. I haven’t been there a year, but the possibilities of being in tech are endless,” she said.
Dedication and consistency. “Moving up the industry rankings depends on your dedication and consistency. So much can be accomplished in a year, and the amount of energy invested has gotten me to this particular point,” he said. she stated.