I’m a user experience designer, and I love it. I get to listen to people’s stories, then develop solutions that meet their goals. But my path could have been smoother — UX is a broad topic, and even though I was very excited about it, it was hard to know which aspect to focus on in the beginning. None of the books or articles I read was more helpful to my education than getting engaged with Portland’s design community. Going to meetups, asking for informational interviews, and spending time with peers and mentors in the industry helped me learn why user experience design was important to me, and how I should shape my future career.