Renee Hsu

UX Design (CGT)

What made you decide to choose your specific major?

Although technology was always a hobby for me, I studied graphic design and the arts as an intended major in highschool. During my senior year, I ended up interning for a App development startup. I helped design digital flyers and business cards, however, I also watched and helped with developing the company website and got to see a lot of the app development process. It was here where I see how people can utilize technology to solve issues, which helped me realize my passion to actually use my interests to make an impact on the world. I realized how much I enjoyed being creative and designing solutions for problem solving. Through this major, I want to channel my creativity to both solve societal issues and to advocate for those who do not have a voice to express themselves and make a more accessible space for everyone. It was also a combination of all of my interest, psychology, in helping others, creativity and design, and Technology is on the forefront of seismic changes in our world, and I want to play a role in that. I want to make sure technology becomes more of a tool than a barrier. I believe UX is a clear pathway to that goal, which eventually led to me applying and enrolling for Purdue University’s UX design major.

What are a couple of your favorite things about your program of study?

I love the unique structure of our major, as well as the value placed on real working experience. In our program of study, we get two main classes – learning studio and experience studio. In the learning studio, we learn about the processes of UX design, with the am. In experience studios, we get to apply the skills that we’ve learned and get to work in a professional environment with real companies and clients, making it a holistic, hands-on learning experience that belongs uniquely to Purdue’s UX program. 

What has been one of your favorite class projects?

In a short amount of time, I’ve honestly really enjoyed every single class I’ve taken at Purdue – but my favorite by far is the TECH 101 I’ve enrolled in as part of being in the Women In Tech learning community. In the class itself, I get to sit and connect with women from all walks of the technology industry I wouldn’t have met otherwise, engineering, CIT, management, I even met an aviation major, who is now one of my best friends at Purdue. Every week, we get to female speakers from all walks of the tech industry, weekly advice, lessons, and motivation. We also get this semester-long research project where we team up with people who share our learning about a company within the industry,  interviewing professors within departments. My group researched Microsoft, but we also got to learn about other companies such as Accenture or LEGO from other groups. 

What other activities are you involved in on campus?

Polytechnic Student Council, Women in Tech, UX Design Club, and Taiwanese Student Association.

What do you know about your program of study now that you wish someone had told you when you were choosing a major?

If you want to succeed in this program, you need to take the initiative. Whether that is communicating, taking up tasks, or even in coming up with your own ideas and speaking up in group settings. When it comes to UX, every designer provides value in not only their knowledge and skills, but also their own unique backgrounds and experiences that help provide perspective on the design of the product. 

What would be one piece of advice for prospective students or new Purdue students?

As cliche as this sounds – Get yourself out there. Seriously. College is a second chance for you to redefine yourself and try new things, and this goes doubly so if you’re an international student like me, coming from a completely different country. Talk to people. Go to clubs, events, attend every lecture (yes, every lecture.) Talk to the students sitting next to you, your TAs, even your professors. Sooner or later, when you need help or advice, you’ll find that you have so many people in your corner there to support you. 

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