Creatives in the Industry: Q&A w/ Chioma from Flipside 

Chioma takes us through her product design journey w/ top tips for any emerging designer

9 December 2022

Tell us about you

My name is Chioma Onwuzulike and I am a 24-year-old currently living in London. I studied law in university and practiced for a couple of years, which stemmed from my passion for solving problems.

Growing up, I was that kid that people felt comfortable speaking to, and this ranged from having problems with a particular subject, to figuring out how to use the latest blackberry phone.

I am now a product designer where I get to collaborate with all kinds of people, coming up with creative ways to solve problems, explore opportunities and unlock new value for businesses.

How would you describe the work you do?

Why did you decide to take part in Flipside?

I’ve always had a variety of interests, for as long as I can remember, which all centred around the arts; but I never considered them to be something I could pursue as a profession, so I forged ahead with Law.

Fast forward, I'm all grown up, I have the “career” but I never felt like it was really me, and then in 2020 Covid happened.

I had this new found confidence. If something could shakeup the whole world like that, nothing was impossible, and it was only right that I spend my time doing the things that mattered to me most, and not what my family or society thinks is right for me. So, I quit my job, started learning design and in my search for industry experience, I found out about Flipside through a post on the Dots.

After doing some research, it seemed like an amazing opportunity to grow in terms of knowledge and experience needed to successfully advance in the digital sector, especially in the areas of product design, meeting new people and gaining real-life experiences. Looking back now, I am happy I took the chance as it met my expectations and afforded me a community having just moved to London.

What have you found useful when building your career?

One tip I've found useful is being patient and giving myself time to grow into a valuable designer, rather than focusing on the noise and buzz about being a product designer and rushing to be recognised as a senior designer.

One resource I've found really useful is Google – and I know that sounds cliché, but honestly there is so much out there that you can find to make you better at whatever it is you want to do.

case in point: You may just be drinking water all wrong

Honestly, it really is the best resource. Though I do understand that it could be daunting when you first start, what I’ve found useful is focussing on staying up to date with the industry I am interested in.

For example, the design world - It is continuously changing and adapting to encompass new technology and so it’s helpful to keep tabs so that you can incorporate them into your work and stay relevant. You can do this by following design content on Twitter and TikTok, signing up for RSS feeds or even joining online communities on slack and discord.

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What is your most memorable moment from this experience and why?

I had such a wonderful time during Flipside – it was so inspiring! I had the privilege to meet, learn and get feedback from teachers and mentors who were really knowledgeable, talented and dedicated, alongside connecting with a great group of peers encouraging and supporting each other.

But if I had to pick one, my most memorable moment would definitely be when we spent time together writing about each other and how we’ve grown throughout the programme. This was special to me because it felt like recognition of the passion and dedication each of us were putting into our craft and how much we had each grown from this experience.

If someone asked you why they should sign up for this opportunity, what would you tell them?

It is an amazing opportunity one should not miss. In the world we live in today where there is a breadth of information that one can feel lost in, Flipside offers you a well-planned structure on how to get into design – with careful thought behind everything from the coordinators to the various activities you will partake in. You also make meaningful connections with your fellow peers and important people in the industry as well as great mentors to provide support and guide you as you find your way.

What’s the most useful advice you have received related to your career?

Find what you are genuinely interested in, stay curious and remain eager to learn. If you are genuinely interested, you will discover endless opportunities for improvement, gain more skills and become flexible and adaptable in your career path, but if you are not, even obvious improvements will feel like a chore.

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