I started riding horses when I was 5 years old. I was the little girl that was obsessed with ponies. Luckily for me, so was my mom so it wasn’t tough to convince her that I needed one of my own.
All I ever wanted to do was ride. I spent my entire childhood and teen years traveling all over the country attending horse show after horse show. Much of my time was spent studying and analyzing (it’s so much more than just getting on and riding). Theories, fundamentals, anatomy, healthcare, analytics, business. And so much more. On show days, you are endlessly studying and analyzing the course in hopes that all of that hard work would pay off by the time that you get in the show ring.
I attended college at Virginia Tech, and I thought to myself, “I need to move on and try to find a new passion” and just be a typical college student who goes to tailgates, football games, and bars, rather than horse shows…. From there, I discovered a love of psychology, analyzing and studying human behavior and thought, and research. As an undergrad, I became a Research Assistant to a Professor who studied trauma, and I was part of a team that analyzed the after-effects of the Virginia Tech mass shooting that killed 32 of my classmates. I was on campus right as that was taking place. That event undoubtedly changed my life forever (go Hokies!).
After graduation, even though I thought that it was behind me, I was offered an opportunity to ride again, and I jumped on it. I became a professional and began teaching and training the sport that I loved. After a few years, certain events transpired that forced me to retire. So I was back to square one.
Where to go now?
A long and windy road, and a few years spent as an IT Recruiter, has led me to UX Design. When I first discovered the discipline, I was immediately intrigued because it seemed to bring together so much of my past and my background in psychology, research, and my time in technology and interviewing as a Recruiter.
As a professional equestrian, I was analyzing this:
And now as a UX Designer, I am analyzing this...
That same excitement that I had when I would ride a horse has now manifested itself into enthusiasm to grow my skills and continue to learn all things UX design, research, and front-end development. Although the industry and discipline may have changed, my drive to succeed, work hard, and improve has never wavered.