Graduated a UX Bootcamp, what next?

Grace H. Park
5 min readJul 20, 2020


It’s been almost 1 year since I’ve graduated from my UX/UI Bootcamp and I wanted to share my timeline on my transition into the field after the camp was over.

Once I graduated, I had the intimidating task of creating a clean-cut portfolio to showcase to recruiters on how I could be a necessary addition to the team. This step took quite some time. If writing out case studies and arranging assets weren’t enough, deciding if I should use Squarespace, Webflow, or hand-code my portfolio was another dilemma in and of itself.

“Should I code my website? That’ll make me more marketable right? Maybe I should just use a template on Squarespace. But then that’s not showcasing you understand HTML/CSS…”

The turmoil was endless. With a couple of weeks going by trying to hand code my portfolio, I ended up committing to Webflow. There was a definite learning curve to push through when using the program, but I made up my mind and stuck with it.

Creating a portfolio took time. I spent hours on minuscule details that I would later learn was a lower priority than the content in my case study itself. Talking about case studies, retracing my steps, and going back to past projects to neatly organize my thoughts felt overwhelming and almost impossible. However, slowly but surely I was able to write a little bit each day and my blank canvas started to look more and more like a picture.

Once I had 2 case studies that were ready to showcase, I started applying. Linkedin, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Angellist; you name it, I sent in my resume and portfolio to as many openings as I could see. I asked my fellow peers to look over my portfolio and resume to see where I could make adjustments, and, to be honest, spent more time being discouraged as I counted the months since I graduated. I hardly got any responses after sending in over 70+ applications and very little callbacks.

Eventually, I was able to land my first full-time position as a UX Designer at a small startup in Irvine. I’m happy to say that I’ve been working at my current company for over 6 months now and have learned immensely. I learned that everything I learned in school would be the foundation of my design decisions and the map of how my process would be formulated.

To sum up, here are some questions I’ve personally received from curious students who have messaged me regarding my journey.

How was the job process after graduating from your camp?
To be honest, it was rough. As anyone searching for jobs knows, the process is tumultuous and overwhelming. It was discouraging as it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Getting your foot in the door for any field after coming out of school is never easy and there’s no avoiding that experience.

Were you able to apply what you learned in school into your current job?
Absolutely. As stated above, going to school helped guide me in the projects that were given to me. It gave me a map for myself to follow and made initiatives easier to execute and follow through. Although the steps may vary, the overall design method is the same.

What is the most important thing I need to apply for jobs?
Your portfolio will be the first thing a recruiter or hiring manager will see. As long as you are able to clearly display your thought process in a manner that’s easy to follow and showcase how you think, you’ll have something to present. I would say focusing on your portfolio/case studies will be the biggest hurdle to overcome but you’ll reap the benefits the more you invest.

After your experience, would you still recommend going to a Bootcamp?
It depends on your learning style. I know people who have created their own portfolio and landed a job without going through schooling. This route definitely takes more self-discipline and self-reliance but if it works for you, you’ll save tons of money. Since I learn better under pressure and with structure, I think Bootcamp was well worth the investment for me. It is scary to drop that much money on a field some are so unfamiliar with but at the end of the day, your decision will be dependent on who you are. Overall, I would still recommend it if your learning style is similar to my own.

How did you find your current job?
My boss actually found my portfolio online and reached out to me. Actually, a lot of the places I interviewed at was also because a recruiter found me through my portfolio or Linkedin. Work on keeping those updated and ready, it’ll help get you noticed!

Did you have a finished portfolio from the Bootcamp or add to it on your own afterward?
I had a general idea of what I wanted my portfolio to look like but I had to do 90% of it after the camp was over. I was more focused on my projects to put on my portfolio throughout the boot camp. This may vary from person to person, however, I knew some people who had a finished portfolio soon after we ended.

What was your biggest take-away from the course?
The biggest takeaway was to never compare your own skills to other people. There will always be someone better than you and it’s up to you to develop your talents, even when you’re in the real world. Another takeaway is that failure will grow you faster than success. You’ll design something and realize it didn’t perform the way your expected or the design wasn’t as intuitive. These are all good signs because you’ll learn for the next project not to repeat your mistakes.

Any tips or words of advice for succeeding?
Sounds cliche but don’t give up. I know the road ahead looks almost impossible and daunting but take it day by day and learn little by little. Eventually, the pieces will come together even though it seems extremely scrambled at the moment. Keep pushing yourself even when you feel lost and ask questions. We’ve all been there.

Hope this helps!