International Students Testimonies

Successful career start as a graphic designer in the field of UX and UI design

Marcel Wedekind is passionate about design since his school days. After completing his dual studies at HMKW Berlin, he now works as a graphic designer at Jobufo, a Berlin-based HR tech startup, where he plays a key role in developing the user experience and the user interface. In a short interview, Marcel told us more about the most valuable experiences he gained during his studies and the challenges he faces in his day-to-day work.

Marcel Wedekind works currently as a graphic designer at Jobufo, a Berlin-based HR tech startup.

Marcel Wedekind works currently as a graphic designer at Jobufo, a Berlin-based HR tech startup.

What comes to mind when you think about your studies at HMKW?

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of HMKW is the familiar atmosphere between fellow students and the competent lecturers. The lecturers always have an open ear for any technical question in their subject area. What I found particularly positive about studying at HMKW was the overall very varied and interesting modules. This gave me the opportunity to get a taste of almost all areas of graphic design and to find out my favorite areas, which I could then pursue after graduation. The study program offers a very good basis for your working life.

You acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Visual Communication (dual) at HMKW Berlin. What is your current job position?

After completing my vocational training as a media designer for graphics and images and my B. A in Graphic Design and Visual Communication in the dual study program at HMKW, I started working as a graphic designer at Jobufo, a Berlin-based HR tech startup that focuses on digitizing the application process and modernizing classic career portals. This involves a lot of visual and audiovisual media, as well as UX design.

I am also responsible for any graphics created, no matter if they are ads for online marketing, the sales presentations for customer acquisition or the development of new logos for the expansion of the product family.

However, the main focus of my work is on the design and implementation of the various digital products, making the promotion process intuitive and within a few simple steps. In doing so, I play a major role in developing the user experience as well as the user interface and I am in direct contact with the CEO. In this way, I am able to shape the entire company in a sustainable way and help determine how our products are used worldwide. In doing so, I always have to consider the entire spectrum of users. Whether students, professionals or HR managers - Jobufo's products have many use cases to which I must always adapt in my visual language and the media I use. Because I'm the only designer, it never gets boring.

Did you get any further work experiences prior to your current position that you would like to share with us?

Already during my studies I was able to gain some work experience in different industries. I worked as a student trainee in a leading online marketing agency and in a Berlin-based company that develops products for digital door lock systems.

I have also implemented some independent projects, such as a wayfinding system in the form of a flyer for an event of BMW Motorradwerke. For a product presentation of the elevator manufacturer OTIS I created stage backgrounds, which were used for an event at the Friedrichstadt-Palast.

When did you figure out your preferred career path? How much was your choice influenced by the compulsory internship?

Even in high school, I had the career goal of becoming a graphic designer, as I was already working with the usual graphics programs and had implemented a few projects at school. The internships I did during my studies strengthened my resolve to pursue this job. I was able to get to know different areas in graphic design within my one-year internship phase of the dual study program, which gave me a good overview of which areas I was interested in.

In the first half of the year, I worked at dan pearlman, an agency for brand architecture, where I mainly worked on projects in exhibition design and corporate branding. The second half I spent at MOTOMOTO, where the focus was mainly on film and post production as well as motion design.

Why did you decide on the B.A. Graphic Design and Visual Communication dual study program back then? And what made you choose HMKW Berlin?

Since I already knew in my school days that I was very interested in the field of graphic design, I started looking for a suitable course of study or training. Since I always found the dual study model very interesting and, above all, very effective, I really wanted to start a dual study program that ends with a completed apprenticeship as well as a bachelor's degree. After doing some research, I found out that this model was not offered by many universities in Berlin. So I found HMKW and visited it for the open day. I was impressed by the atmosphere and the lecturers, who were very competent, so I applied and was accepted.

 

What are your plans for the future?

There are several options I can imagine for the future. Either I am employed part-time and use the remaining time to advance my own projects or implement contract works. The other option could be that I become self-employed and start my own creative agency, which specializes in a sub-area of graphic design.

What do you like most about your current job position? What is your biggest challenge?

What I like most about my job is the ability to turn an idea that might be small into a real product that makes other people's lives easier or more effective.

The biggest challenge for me is to think of all eventualities and use cases when developing a concept in UI/UX. Sometimes, for example, you don't think about error messages or forget a popup, which is actually essential for the process. You have to prepare well in advance and keep an overview during the process.

Could you tell us more about the application phase after your graduation?

I felt that the job search was very easy because I had already been able to network with many people through my previous work experience. So towards the end of my studies, a former colleague from a working student position contacted me via LinkedIn and asked how my studies were going and whether I would be graduating soon, as she would like to work with me again. And that's how I ended up with my current job as a graphic designer in a tech startup in HR.

What would you tell fellow students that study at HMKW?

I would advise every graphic design student to make as many contacts as possible during their studies or to already implement their own projects and gain experience. The project week that takes place at Berlin campus is also a good opportunity to gain initial interdisciplinary experience and thus prepare yourself somewhat for everyday work. In addition, I can only encourage every student to regularly deal with the latest trends and news from the design industry and to analyze these projects in order to be able to draw your own conclusions.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We wish you all the best and much success in your work as a graphic designer.