Early March this past year (2018) I was scrolling through Facebook, surely procrastinating some homework I had to do, when I came across an ad for iXperience. The ad had some nice photos, a charming tagline, and it showed that my brother had liked the page, so I decided to investigate. The next thing I knew, I had signed up for 12 weeks with a program I would soon call a second family.
iXperience Lisbon community
Coming into my summer, I knew two things: I wanted to travel, and I wanted to get one step closer to figuring out what I want to pursue in the future. More specifically, if I wanted to become a designer, coder, or some mixture of both. I’d previously had brief exposure to both industries, but hadn’t had the chance to really put any skills to practice or really spend the time to hone in on these skills and discover more about each of these fields I liked, and, ultimately, what I was good at. This summer with iXperience gave me exactly what I was looking for.
In Berlin, I honed my design skills in both ideation and execution, discovered my own personal style, and came out of the program with a portfolio of work I am very proud of.
In Lisbon, I deepened my knowledge of computer science, continued to develop my problem solving skills, discovered that I really don’t like back-end web development (it's not for everyone), and again, came out the other side with a portfolio of work I'd be super pleased to show potential employers.
I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t the easiest 8 weeks. There were late nights and stressful mornings, with project deadlines, challenging tasks, and an accelerated pace of learning.
However, I gained so much appreciation for both subjects, as well as a solid skillset I can and will use moving forward in my college career, and in my subsequent career choices, that, as a result of having taken these courses, have really broadened.
My internship project involved developing the front end design for a company’s website, working one-on-one both with a UI designer and a front-end developer. I was able to combine what I learned in both cities and put my new skills to practice. By doing so, I’ve realized that what I want to do in the future is basically just everything I did this summer. What a gain!
Without iXperience, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to pursue two subjects I’m so passionate about, let alone combine them.
That, and I lived in Europe for 3 months – experiencing cultures, cities, landscapes, food, and people I would otherwise have never encountered. I loved my community, getting to know a group of students from diverse backgrounds in both Berlin and Lisbon, and exploring so much – from castles to beaches, parks, restaurants, beautiful street art, cliff diving and so much more. What else can I say? When you see an iXperience ad, pay attention. It might just change your life.