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Graduate Success Story: Melissa-Ann Dailey

Melissa-Ann Dailey

Melissa Ann-Dailey took the Interface Foundations of Web Development course in 2015, and is now a user experience graphic web designer at Oriental Trading Company.

She is responsible for daily content design and maintenance of multiple websites.

“I spend about a third of my day updating content on the site,” she says. “The other portion is spent planning and creating campaigns that live on our site, social channels, and in print.”

Before Interface, Melissa says she worked in a variety of marketing and design jobs that were mostly entry-level, and largely unfulfilling.

“The only time I loved what I was doing was when I was freelancing as a graphic designer,” she says.

She rose to a management level job that ultimately descended into burnout.

“As regional manager, my whole life was about building someone else’s dream. I was burnt out, so I took a position at a call center,” she says.

“About two years into the job, I vividly remember seeing my 70-year-old coworker taking calls like she had for so many years before, and just knew I couldn’t be trapped in a meaningless job for the rest of my life. I had to make a change, pronto,” she says.

“Interface has truly changed my life”

That’s when Melissa found and applied to Interface Web School.

“After an intense three months of web school, I was willing to do whatever it took, including becoming a 30-year-old intern,” she says.

She landed a position as a design intern at Oriental Trading Company, and quickly rose up to a full-time job.

“Within six months of graduation, I had doubled my call center salary, I was designing 90 percent of my day, and was finally doing what I loved,” she says.  

Melissa says a career in tech affords many opportunities.

“Tech is always growing and changing. Some of the biggest advances in our industry have been made because someone decided ask questions and took the time to build a solution. There is always something to learn,” she says.

She says problem solving plays a big part in a web developer’s success.

“If you love problem solving and have a naturally curious personality, this is a great field. It takes someone who is never satisfied with the current answer and always believes there is a better way,” she says. “Google, Google, Google. With a little research, you can often find the answer.”

What advice does she have for students?

“Come ready to engage and get to know those in the class with you,” she says. “Your teacher and peers are some of the best resources during and after the course.”

Melissa says being in a career she loves has made her a better person.

“I’m more passionate and engaged. I’m more financially stable, which has afforded me more opportunities. And I’m giving back because I’m no longer burnt out building someone else’s dream,” she says. “Interface has truly changed my life.”

*****

Here are some of Melissa favorites on social media:

-Jonathan Shariat from Intuit @DesignUXUI. He has a great mix of industry knowledge and personal tweets, which makes him interesting to follow.

-Brad Frost @brad_frost who created Atomic Design is great.

-Jeffrey Zeldman @zeldman who is one of the godfathers of web standards and created the Event Apart conferences, which I would recommend checking out.

-Una Kravets @Una is a female UI designer.

-My favorite newsletter is from Sidebar. Everyday, they send out five quick reads.

*****

Interface Web School offers multiple front-end web development training opportunities. There are free, three-hour workshops for beginners, and our next in-depth Foundations of Web Development course begins January 8. For more information about all of Interface’s courses, click here.