My Magaya Journey

My story with Magaya began in the summer of 2019. As a young high school graduate, I was looking for opportunities to start my career as a graphic designer. I contacted several companies to see if they would like to hire me or let me intern. While disappointed because many companies never got back to me, I got excited when Magaya did.

I was thrilled that some company decided to take a chance on me and let me work for them, even though my portfolio only consisted of five simple projects I had done in high school. (I was the head art director for the school newspaper and created a shirt design for the school's Visual Performing Arts Department. I also did the logo for a small online magazine and a poster concept for a fictional brand.)

Whether it was my empathetic personality during the interview or the fact that my projects were good (I like to think that for my little experience, they were), I am grateful they gave me a chance. They offered me a six-month internship during which I jumped around departments, helped in any way possible, and was always excited about what project I would do next. I was thrilled about being in an office full of other creative professionals and absorbing all the knowledge they laid on me.
In the following years, after becoming Assistant Product Designer, I would create other projects as a part-time worker for Magaya and a full-time college student. On June 2021, with my gathered skills in product design, they offered me a full-time Associate Product Designer position. I think I was working hard enough for them to give me this offer. I was excited about the new opportunity but understood that balancing work, school, and personal life would be demanding. Nonetheless, I assumed the challenge and accepted their offer for a full-time position.

With a new job position, there come new responsibilities and duties. Now it wasn't just about designing graphics and interfaces but also doing user research and prototyping my designs to present to my coworkers so that we could be more productive. At the same time, the product design team was growing, and we needed to create a couple of design systems and libraries so that our projects would maintain the same style and brand. Thankfully the Lead Designer and Product managers encouraged the teams to try and innovate, creating unique ideas that would benefit both the user and the company. So I went ahead and created unique ideas. Besides aiding in creating the design system, one of my most significant projects for the company was the Icon's Library.

They believed that I was capable enough to construct the full Iconography for future projects to come. I thought so myself, but it was encouraging that they did too. Since my promotion, I have also taken design leadership of some of their mobile apps and worked with developers and project managers to improve them, all while bringing up innovative ideas to help the user have a more fulfilling experience.
In school, one gets used to doing things for a grade, but there is more of an emotional reward when one gets paid for their work and knowledge. It's even more rewarding when the work that one does not only helps other people live better lives and improve, but it also improves one's life.

My first project was for a Mid-Year Tiki event (exciting, right), and my task was to create a shirt design that would go with the event's theme. The project was nothing I hadn't made before. Yet, it had a different significance with the thought that I was getting paid for my skills as a graphic designer. After that, the other departments requested my help with several other projects. Seeing the value and quality of my work, they offered me a part-time Assistant Product Designer position when the internship ended. My role and responsibilities in the team evolved from helping the different departments with small projects to help improve the user experience of the apps and websites of the company.

My new role meant engaging in the world of user experience (Extra exciting). My first project in this position was redesigning the website for the Logistico app. I would later discover Magaya would remove the app from their ecosystem. Although, unfortunately, the users wouldn't have the chance to use the project, it was still encouraging that the lessons learned while creating it would help me make better experiences in the future.
In my years at Magaya, I have explored different areas of design, and they have allowed me to evolve in my career as a Graphic Designer. I have fallen in love with creating and improving people's experiences, whether through a mobile app or a shirt design that evokes a conversation. I am excited to see what other products and interactions I can create or improve in the future, whether in Magaya or elsewhere. Always grateful for the opportunities they have given me.