RED Alumni: Meet Sharan Sumal
As part of our RED Academy Alumni series, we recently sat down with Sharan Sumal who completed the Web Development Foundation program this past Winter and is now enrolled in the User Experience Professional Designer program.
What were you doing before RED?
I have a background in Psychology and Criminology and have been working in the mental health field for the last 10 years. My most recent job being a Community Outreach employee for The Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction.
What interested you in the Web Development program?
Most of my family and friends are in the tech industry either as developers or digital marketers, I have seen the industry moving towards tech for a while now and believe that shift will be the future. Learning the foundation skills of Web Development was awesome, I learned a lot and it provided me enough information to ready myself to learn more in the field.
What interested you in RED?
There was no other part-time web development programs in the city, I did my research on other schools and RED came out on top. I love the RED environment, teaching style, and having such a great support system from others.
Why have you now enrolled in the UX Designer program?
I love the aspect of empathy for the end user. I have a lot of experience with dealing with people one on one with my past jobs, using those skills and implementing them in UX. I get great joy by working with others and am really into the research aspect of UX. Developing a site for the end user is a really amazing process.
What are your favourite things about RED?
In the full-time program having the opportunity to cross reference the programs is great. Day one I got to learn a little about each program, it is nice to see what exactly Digital Marketing is about since I don’t have much of a background in it. The school and programs are set up in a way that really gets the students ready for what real world is like.
What advice do you have for those thinking of taking one of the programs?
I definitely encourage others to take the program, even if you have a small interest just dive in, you won’t regret it. It is a great investment for yourself and your career.
What are your career goals?
I am not sure yet, I have a few personal projects that I am working on but nothing concrete just yet. Being involved in the UX researcher process would be my number one choice, along with being able to use my skills that I gained in Web Development and integrating it with UX Design.
Creative Director / Lead Instructor, UI & Communication Design
Julie is a Designer with expertise in crafting highly engaging digital experiences for organizations like TELUS, YYoga, Escents, and Rutgers University at digital agency Pound & Grain. Originally from New-Caledonia, she joined the RED team where she uses her well-rounded set of skills and her background in fine arts & coding to fuel her strong enthusiasm for teaching UI & Communication Design.
Julie is passionate about thinking of innovative ways to leverage user-centric design at every possible moment - whether it's through her teaching, her design work, or while contributing to the betterment of her surroundings.