#15 - Lilibeth Bustos Linares - Moving to the US with a Dream: Being the Latina that Can Change the World with Designs that Change People's Lives

Nov 18, 2022Dianne Eberhardt

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify,  Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Lili was born in Bogotá, Colombia, where she studied communications and journalism.
In her mid, 20 decided to move to San Fransico to work as an AuPair with very poor English. After finishing her AuPair program, Lili applied to multiple organizations to become a designer; during that time, she was lucky to get internships in Marketing that allowed her to pay for her studies in Visual Design. Finally, she found a job as a digital designer in an E-commerce company that allowed her to pay for her studies in UX/UI design at Berkeley University, and the rest is the story.




Dianne: Hello everyone. Welcome to the Pixelated Perfect podcast. I am super excited to kind of interview and talk with Lili. She is currently a lead product designer at Novo Cargo and she also is a UX U I teacher at ...

Lili: Yes, of course. Memorisely.

Dianne: Memorisely. Okay, that makes me more sense. So I'm really, really excited to dive deeper with you and hear about your career. Thank you so much for joining us.

Lili: Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I, it was a good surprise to just see your email and yeah, super excited to be here.

Dianne: I love it. I love it. Okay, so we're just gonna dive right in. Let's get to the good stuff. So Li tell me kind of about how design entered your life.

Lili: That is a very interesting question because my background is in communications and journalism. I study communications and journalism in Colombia. But since I was in Bogota, I always felt very inspired by everything that was built in the company that I lead. Communications and working with the agencies and designers was super, super cool. And at the time, that was probably 10 years ago or more we re-signed the website and I was leading the part of content and what we're going to do, but no idea about user experience, no idea about ui. But I was always, since I was a little girl towards design. So that is a way that I got or kind of interested in design. And then when I moved to the US I had the opportunity to stay after two years of being a nanny.

Lili: And during that time I applied to many different things in San Francisco where I used to live in order to see what do I wanted to do if I wanted to go into marketing and communications. That was basically what I did in Colombia or if I wanted to see all opportunities in design, that was also something that I love so much. So I applied as a good immigrant trying to figure out a ways to pay so much for a school in the US because it's super expensive in a organization that was giving people laity to be part of the marketing program at General Assembly actually. And I passed the process, but I didn't want the laity and it was super, super sad. And, but that brought me into the place of welcoming design is what I wanted to do. And I applied to another organization where I got the chance to actually do two week in terms of just creating design with Adobe Cloud.

Lili: And I learned so much and I just find out that design really was in my base and I really wanted to do it. So after that period, I decided to jump into a visual design because in San Francisco, the term of UX UI was all the time since I was there, but I wasn't feeling very confident with my English at the time. So I decided to jump first in visual design just to understand more about design and what is about composition creativity, how to bring and have a good sense of yeah, I don't know, cohesive design. So I started visual design. I got the chance to work in our eCommerce company for two years. And from there is where everything kind of bring me where I am right now. During the, my time in the e-commerce company, I got the chance to resign the website and switch kind of my title from visual design to digital designer. But going into UX U I and I start my studies in UX UI at Berkeley University, which was great. And yeah, from there the rest we can jump in it, but that is basically how I jump into design.

Dianne: Yes. Okay. I have so much Chen pack here, that was really, really awesome. So I am curious, so you, you kind of started off in communications and journalism, that's what you were doing. And then you had always kind of been interested in design and then you came to the US was, what was the reason why you wanted to come to the us? Was it like for work, for whatever?

Lili: No. So as I mentioned before I came as Singapore because it was the only program that my parents could afford. I confront a very humble family in Colombia and they sponsor my trip to Colombia. When you come as an, you have to pay an agency that finds the family. And it was a really good process for me because I was still very young. I was 24 years old. So I thought it would be a good time just to leave the country under English. That was the main purpose of coming to the us. It wasn't planning all these amazing things that had been happening. So yeah, that was the reason why I came to the US to learn English.

Dianne: Oh, wow. So did you have any English background? Nothing. You came here and you're like, oh my gosh, I'm thrown into a country and I don't speak the language. That's amazing.

Lili: Yeah, literally. So I didn't speak any English since like eight years ago.

Dianne: Oh my gosh, that's amazing. That's like very inspirational. My my husband is Italian and I've been trying to learn Italian and we've been married for three years and I feel like I have nothing. So I know how hard it is to try to learn a language and that's really, really, really amazing. And to just throw yourself into that environment, like obviously I feel like that says a lot about you and kind of who you are as a person. /p>

Lili: Yeah, absolutely. It was well first of all, living my career in Colombia and coming to clean literally diapers, that was just a big switch. And then from there, being exposed to many different things and living in San Francisco yeah, it was just a different experience.

Dianne: Yeah, yeah. Very interesting. So you, you mentioned kind of boot camp, so that was something that you, once you, I guess my question is like, what was the transition from like being an o pair and you being like, okay, design is like where I see myself and this is where I wanna spend my time and energy?

Lili: Yeah, so as I mentioned before, I got the chance to have this scholarship that allowed me to be in these two weeks immerse design program that I didn't have to pay anything 10 for San Francisco and Bay Area Video Coalition, because that's where I got it. And from there I just found that I really wanted to design and I remember designing actually a coding website, sustainability in fashion. Fashion, which I'm very interested too. And yeah, just thought that, oh my God, I really want to design that, this is what I'm calling from. So yeah, after that, when I finished the program, I used my few savings that I had at the time because rent in San Francisco is super expensive as in New York. And basically pay myself with the credit card since I have a good credit score and was able to pay for my, my visual design program.

Dianne: Amazing, amazing. So what would you say to listeners out there that maybe are immigrants or maybe don't speak perfect English and are interested in design? Like how do you, what would you suggest, would you suggest doing a design program? What, what kind of advice would you give?

Lili: That is a really good question because right now I'm teaching UX UI design and mostly the people that I'm teaching is the ones who are here in the us. I always tell my students that if they're very interested in design, and even though they're working for many years in different industries, they can do it because if it's the calling that they have in the heart, they're going to be successful no matter what. And as an immigrant, there are many things that you could do to jump into what you want. I think the first part is actually understanding what design is, especially UX ui because everyone thinks that it's a very easy job to, but the reality is not, it combines a lot of user research, a lot of empathy for the users. But understanding that if you really want to jump into creating and trying to build solutions, and I'm saying solutions because there are no solutions a hundred percent, it's always going to be MVPs and you're going to idea and make it better.

Lili: It's just to jump into the, the field and ask questions to people that you can learn and figure out that really is what you want. Because if you are in the transition of a second career in your life, that takes time. It's not as easy, but I would say social media and YouTube has so much content that you can start doing. The most important part is that you are very disciplined and have a goal of what you want. Because if you just think that UX UI is going to be really good because you can work on travel whatever you want then it's going to be a different experience.

Dianne: Yes. I think that's really great feedback. I think a lot of career switchers, and I want your opinion on this, a lot of career switchers are like, Oh, I'm interested in design. I I can just jump in. I can take a bootcamp, I'm just gonna be good at it. And I think it's interesting that like after you did this course and then you, you decided to focus on more of that visual side. Usually my advice to junior designers is to really, I think that, Sorry, now I'm getting confused. So I think that UX is a learned skill. I think you can learn it. I think visual is harder. And if you don't have that mindset and that skill and you haven't studied it, it's not as easy to pick up. What, what do you think about that?

Lili: Absolutely. I mean, that was basically what I did through Walers because I didn't understand a lot of things in English of course at the time. But I thought that the only way you became a really good designer was by having a really good foundation of visual visual design skills. And especially because when you are putting together a portfolio, you have to focus in your visual design because you are trying to set yourself and you have to have really good assets that are going to show your case of studies. You can have a really good user research, you can have a really good ideation wire framing, but if your UI and final prototypes doesn't look in a manner of cashing the attention of the person who is reviewing your portfolio in probably one minute, then you are not going to go anywhere. And the part of visual design is really important because it teach the person to understand what is composition, what is hierarchy, what is the whole entire concept of having a really good cohesive feeling for design. And if you have that, it's going to be very hard for you to understand UI components variants and all of the different things that you create when you are designing.

Dianne: Well said. That was amazing. I completely agree. And I think for listeners out there that are maybe thinking of taking the switch or in a bootcamp now I do think that really honing in on those UI skills is super, super important. I think a lot of boot camps, they like split up the time, they're like half ui, half ux which I get, I think that's like an overview, but I think you can take it at the next step, which sounds like that's what you did. You like, knew what you wanted, you knew that visual was the place to go and you kind of wanted to hone in on those skills. So, so let's kind of pick up from there. So you focused on visual design and then you were at this eCommerce company, you were there for, for two years, you said doing visual design. So what was that process

Lili: Like? What vision design, the first, sorry to interrupt. Visual design the first year and then I start working with the developer that we have as a consultant. And we have Shopify eh platform where we basically hack the system. So we wanted to hack the template that we had and I created my boyfriends to improve their block, to improve their homepage. And you can see it live right now's the company's called Roughly and I have deep appreciation for the CEO and funder. They're all were woman working, creating beautiful linens. And I learned so much. And in that, in that sense, it was really nice because I had the opportunity to work with marketing with the developer at the time and understanding what was the best theme for them in order to help the user to find out all the products that they were selling because they were selling for Bath Home.

Lili: Up, they have so many things, but the information architecture that for the people who has to know what information architecture is, is basically how the information is laid out in the website or for the user to find it very easy. It was bad, it was only two tabs that say shop home and shop up, which means that 30 products were under that tab and probably the users didn't know. And then our approach under. So it was a really good case of study and it was a really good step for me while I studying in at Berkeley to understand the process of user research. We create the user personas understanding the user flow and just improving the, the whole entire home patient and resign it.

Dianne: That's amazing. So what was that process like? You were kind of still in school, you had done visual and then you were making that transition into like information architecture where the UX side of things, what

Lili: Like a learning? Yeah, they just asked me mm-hmm. , they, they asked me, I told them, you know, I'm going to be taking these classes after work. It was a whole entire out of a program, super intense. The company was in San Francisco, I have to drive from San to San Francisco and then from there go to school. It was, it was crazy. But they really value my input in terms of the UX i that I was learning and trusting me. And yeah, I think we did a really good job with the, with the team and I learned so much. And the most important part was I felt confident as an only designer to say, I think we can get better and we hire another consultant in marketing that just help them to improve theirselves. So yeah, it was, it was a very interesting place for me, me to just leave the company in really good terms and have a really good case of study as well.

Dianne: Yeah, that's great. One more thing before we move on, cause I think you just said something really interesting is you felt confident as the only designer. Communication is so important. It's like that soft skill that a lot of people that are thinking of making the switch don't fully grasp. Even people that have been in design or like graphic standards, you don't fully know what that means. And so in your opinion, what, how were you able to like have that confidence, feel that confidence, have that soft skill learn

Lili: To Yes, I think having a about running communications and journalism definitely helped. Definitely. I work in TV and really in Colombia interviewing people for almost two years and also creating the communications area. That definitely helped. But you are saying something that is very true. There is a lot of new designers and designers who are just graphic designers happy, creating craft that don't know how to express themself when they're trying to talk about their designs. And that is so, so important because we as a designers have to convince our stakeholders of what our ideation part that is not in our own bias. So attentional to that is through the user research that you create, understanding what the problem is and creating a hypothesis that how might we are going to improve this specific problem are going to communicate with your PMs and people in the team, like marketing and also developers because there is so much that you have to communicate. So I think a good way to improve your communication skills is by actually understanding what you're trying to solve, go in the process of understanding your users, and then from there, placing all these amazing ideas that you will have in the ideation phase into wire frames and communicate what expectations are.

Dianne: Yes. I again, so well said. I feel like you're really, I feel like people are gonna absolutely love the, so I think that you said something that I think is really interesting again, is that you're taking all of these ideations and you're turning them into wire frames to better communicate. I think that when they teach the stages of like UX ui, I don't think they fully explain what a wire frame is and why it's important. And I think you just explained it in a very easy way for people to understand. It's like you're doing all this ideation, you have all these ideas. How can you express them to your team? How can you express 'em to the stakeholders? Well, you start to visualize some key elements that makes sense so that you can start to better communicate that. So I think that was a great way, a great definition of why're framing out there.

Lili: Yeah, absolutely. And highlighting all the research that you have and knowing that what the user is telling you is going to improve the business of the company. So because if the user is happy, that means they're going to have more sales, they're going to have more subscriptions, they're going to have more registrations, whatever the company or industry is going to do. If the user and UX UI person focus or pro designer focus, then it's going to be more easy for you because you have good argument towards your designs.

Dianne: Yes. Love it. Okay, so tell me what happened. So you parted ways from this company that you love Appreciated was great. What, what was next for you?

Lili: So I moved to Sweden because my boyfriend is a Swedish boy and I decide to move to Sweden for a period of time just to get out of San Francisco. There was a lot of personality stuff that happened in there that make me grow so much and I'm very grateful because of that. But yeah, I decided to move to Sweden one, two months before Covid happened. And then I got a stuck in Sweden for six months, which I think it was the worst place to be because in Sweden, Covid didn't happen at all. There were not as strict actually have to ask my friend to create a mask for me because they were not selling it anywhere. Which in the US were selling every, every single company was selling mask. So during that time in Sweden, I focus a lot in actually roughly not let me work remotely for them, but then after five months I say, Hey, I cannot go back.

Lili: I don't know, I, I can go back. And they're like, Okay, we are going to need someone who is here because I was working in six, nine hours different. So during that time I just focusing, creating what I wanted to do and I got some people that my boss referred me to create a websites and just basically do freelance work. So during that time I did a lot of free freelance work and I got good gigs that maintain me. I was able to go back to the US again. And I was very eager to find a way even though during co to find a job that I will grow more and bring the expertise that I have into a team. So I was super, super intense asking for feedback in my portfolio joining ad police when ad police was a spreadsheet. And I met Felix and I got my portfolio pick from one of the designers at Dropbox just to review in front of a hundred people.

Lili: And it was amazing. And just, just learning and talking with people and understanding what was no, what what I needed to do in order to be able to jump into that job that I wanted because I didn't wanna be just freelancer. So yeah, I think all the help that I received during that period when I came back in coed it was really good. I didn't land into a job for a referral or anything. I actually jumped through my job through a Slack community that for Latin people, if you want to be part of it, it's called . And I saw the PM posting the offer and I apply and yeah, everything just happened. They like me, I did a good home assignment presented and job for them was a really good experience that was in a agency company.

Dianne: Amazing. I love that. That's really, that's really interesting cuz I think what's really important for designers is to make connections. And I think that sustained you, like you got some really great referrals and you were able to do that freelance thing and learn and grow and kind of do your own thing. And then you made this decision that you wanted to get that full-time job. So I think that's something that's like been reoccurring through all my interviews is like connections are so, so, so important.

Lili: Yeah. Yeah. Actually I forgot something to say there. Yeah, I only have one case study that I felt very proud that was roughly known because I was working with a developer, marketing and all of that. The other ones were just as a consultant, so I didn't feel as, as as confident, which is a thing that we all designers at the beginning and until now I am a pro designer and sometimes I don't have the confidence too many things. But in order to have a second case study, what I did was create Sold D which is a platform that I interview artists and illustrators to inspire people to create more art. And I, I did it because I wanted to create just this platform where people can find a calendar where they can go see different ideas to illustrate every single month. And also finding and reading inspired stories of illustrators to be better because art is also something that I love.

Lili: I love illustration and I did it I lot in quarantine. So I had that somebody, my case study and surprisingly when I was interviewing, I was telling them about my, my project that is still running. I launched with Pablo Extendi, which is an amazing designer from Mexico. And yeah, until now people love soldier roles and I think that if you have a case study that you haven't worked with a company or you haven't had the opportunity to work into a team, make some of your projects, personal products in something that you can create as a product, and that definitely is going to show how much you have in your heart to create and to became a UX u I designer as well where

Dianne: Yes, I think that's a really great, I think that's great advice. And I think what's really important in that case study and something that you obviously did is like you have to see it through. Like if you come with some ideas and you like build out a prototype, I think that's okay. Like that's not necessarily a bad thing. But I think what people wanna see, especially in interviews is like, how did you take it to the next level? Yeah. How did you meet business requirements? How did you grow? Something like that is key and it sounds like that's what you did and that's something you're passionate about and that's really, really cool. And I would love to link that

Lili: Conversation,

Dianne: All of these links that you've been talking about, but that's really, really cool and it's still happening. So what does that look like right now? How is that process of

Lili: Managing? Yeah, so Duro is my baby. I actually have five people in the team that volunteer because I'm not making any money. That is the next steps I guess. But yeah, basically it's just a platform where you can go find different interviews with illustrators and artists, learn about their creative process, how to jump into illustration or becoming an artist and just understand, because I found being a creative is also understand and developed your own style, which is a problem for everyone. When you want to create anything, you are always Im, because nothing is new. We're always coping from different artists, from different people, but then what is going to say for success is your style and how you can communicate what you want. So anyway, so Rose basically has that in the website. I'm, I'm hoping to create more interviews as well in our Instagram with the real side. Yeah,

Dianne: I love that. Okay, I have one more question about this. This is really, really cool. I'm excited to dive deeper on this. You talked about like the creative process. So a question for you is, and you say you illustrate and that's something you're doing in quarantine, and this is something, a problem I have. So like we're designers in our day-to-day jobs, right? Like you are a lead designer, you're working and then taking that into the personals, Like I'm like, Oh, I still wanna be creative. And sometimes it's hard to find your voice and like come up with how to do something for yourself versus how to do it for your customers. What advice do you have for people like me who get stuck in that?

Lili: Absolutely. I think the most important part when you are creating is to draw or create what you want to reflect you have. And if you see my illustrations, they're all super cute with happiest smiles and good energy. That is basically what I want to express to the world. If I get a client who wants to work with me with this type of illustrations, then they're welcome. But I'm not going to change who I am and what I'm expressing with my art because one client wants a different thing. So I think that that is very important when you are creating something or anything. In the art artist aspect, no, in ux, UI is very different. But yeah, I found illustration as an adult very therapeutic. And it's a way that I can actually disconnect from all the noise that is always around us, social media so many things that are around us nowadays that kind of like take us the focus of what make, make us happy.

Lili: So for me, illustration is just super therapeutic. And there is the reason why I always publish a calendar every, every day to every month to have people with an idea of what to illustrate. So for example, right now we're illustrating fruits with a form of a character. So my illustrations right now is a eggplant with a happy face bananas san also with a happy face. So then you're just going to start recording that. The more you do it, the more you understand what the style is. For me, I'm no an illustrator that creates massive, you know, buildings and very detailed mind is very simple and to the point, and that is okay. And I love that.

Dianne: That's great. Yeah, I think being true to yourself is key and I think everyone has to like find what that truth is to them and something that's, they're gonna continue to get up and do that, those illustrations every day. So I think yes, that's really great advice. Okay, so we're in this journey right now where you Oh, I know what I wanted to ask you about. So going back to the Slack group, and I think this is a really great advice to designers that are looking for jobs, I think finding connections, maybe not through just applying to jobs, but like finding other ways and the fact that you found the job through Slack, and I'm a part of a bunch of Slack groups and I post jobs on random slacks. I think that's an amazing place for designers to potentially get hundred jobs. Yeah,

Lili: Yeah. I think there's so many communities nowadays, especially after Covid, a lot of people found the way of communicating and connecting because at the end, that's what we want as a humans. We more than being famous, rich and all of these things that are so materialist the connection that you can have with somebody is going to matter more than anything. And if you have friends that love you and support you, then you're going to feel fulfilled. So when you are trying to apply for jobs, you have to think about a way that you're just asking for a favor because that is a red flag. And I, I received many message in LinkedIn and when I was in my, my transition as I mentioned before, receiving feedback from my portfolio, connecting with people in the industry that had so much experience, I was very, very grateful for that.

Lili: And I, I thought that the day that I would make it, I will help our people. And there is the reason why I also teach in ux, UI and mentoring through ad police because I want to give back to the community, especially Latin people and well everyone to be honest with you. But when I receive LinkedIn comments that are just, can you please review my my portfolio and tell me what you think, I will never respond to those comments because I want to have a real connection and communication with the person who is asking for a big favor. And because it's my time as well. So you have to think that if a person that you are reaching out is going to give you feedback, you actually have to at least have some time to communicate with with them. I like to have my ad police mentorings because I can see the people, I can learn about the backgrounds, I can see their virtual faces. It's so important. I just don't want to give a feedback away for what I, that doesn't help me and that doesn't help your person.

Dianne: Yes, I think that's well said. And it, yeah, it goes back to connections and communication and we're all people, we all want those connections. So if you want that feedback, you need to put in that work to make that connection and to find someone where you're gonna get the feedback that you're looking for too. Like that it's like someone that you idolize or you have respect for or that you understand them. So when you get that feedback, it's in line.

Lili: Exactly. Exactly, exactly. Yeah.

Dianne: Great. Yeah. Great, great piece of feedback. So tell me about this new position that you started. What, what was that like, kind of going back to being at a company?

Lili: Yeah, so when I jump into be who was the agency where I work, it was amazing. I was leading one of their clients and really got in the team so much that they renew the contract with the agency. And the business owner just loved me so much and I had so much appreciation also for better because I learned so much and I got the opportunity to work with detectives that they were testing the signs that I have to review all the UI before it was published. So yeah, it was a really good experience, but I, I am my, I am the first immigrant in my family and I came to the US by myself and I feel that I have many dreams that I really hope I can accomplish in my life. And just being in a position where I was feeling that it was only creating UI changes and just not doing the whole pro design thinking that is so important.

Lili: I imagine one day working at a Spotify or Google creating platforms that thousands of people will join. So because of that I just start feeling like I wasn't getting as much as I wanted in my career. I, I hope I, I can grow more. So all this to say I had an amazing experience at the company, but I thought it was a really good time for me just to move into a position that will allow me to grow more as a professional, which is so and the universe just brought me no cargo when I was in Sweden. And I always go back to Sweden and I receive it. I always like, Wow, this sounds kind of interesting. And I start to hear about the, how the CEO raised money for no cargo and my boss who the head of listen to her experience as an immigrant in the US and make it in very important places like Dropbox and more.

Lili: And I just got so inspired and I just felt that I needed to work with, with, with them. I needed to be part of this Latin community again, that I actually pushed back for many years in order to learn English. I didn't wanna have Latin friends speak Spanish, I didn't want to I literally forced myself to it, but it's been so nice and I jump with them as a senior pro design role. But then after three months they promote me as a lead designer and I had the opportunity to be leading now making grow plans for designs designers as well. And the hope is just to grow the, the team more and continue making amazing products that are going to help people in Mexico City and us Mexico. Mexico in general? No, Mexico City only.

Dianne: Ah, there you go. So I mean, yeah, that was very inspiring. I wanna know kind of you as a designer, say you were in this agency, you were doing UI and then you wanted more, you wanna do more of the full ui ux process and then you've got a position at this amazing company that you felt really connected. What is that process going from that to like a senior product designer and then quickly jumping into design lead?

Lili: I think when I was doing ui, I better wish I, I, that is something that people has to put a lot of attention when they're applying and in the process of the interview as well, because they might say that it's pro design, but they, maybe it's just only focusing the UI and you don't wanna be frustrated for a year just doing UI work. I did a lot of pro design research. I was involving doing user flows and everything at there as well. But I, I wasn't fulfilled with that. And yeah, I think right now just having the opportunity to create a pro that I know is going to be launched that a lot of people are going to be using on the product, of course was getting used to, but it's a different experience. It literally bring me to these human design skills that we have to grow every single day. It's not just happen by magic. And if you read the amazing UX book, the, what is the one, the a hundred? I'm bad with names always. There is a book that we all read and it's with the, with the little thing for the kitchen. Now I forgot

Dianne: Oh

Lili: The Hun the hundred,

Dianne: Yes. What is

Lili: It now? I forgot. But that book is not going to help you to create human design, especially something that I already learned so far is that we, when we are adults, we learn very different when we are kids. We learn by listen to what people say by trying. And as an adult we learn 20% by getting it from a class and 70% by actually doing the work. And there is another percent that I'm missing, but it's actually just putting yourself in there. So to respond to your question, I jump into a senior pro design without know knowing about anything supply change because it's a very different industry. I was working in eCommerce and the agency had different projects that was very different. So I think it's just like the feeling that you have in order to grow and make that call as a ux UI designer come through.

Lili: Because many people can be just, yeah, I wanna be a pro designer, but then from there they don't want to go more. So it's like, how much do you want to grow in your career? And from there put to places, and I'm talking about sometimes gender, when men apply to jobs, they don't care if they have the experience. And I don't want to be gender, I love men. I think men are important and you know, but the reality is like when men literally apply to jobs, they don't care if they have the experience or not, but they have enough confident to sell themselves and to also say that they can do it even if they don't know. And to be honest with you, many people dunno, we don't know what we're doing multiple times. We just have to research. And there is the reason why design is so beautiful because we have to go back to the beginning of so many things. So anyway, I please don't say that. I hate man. I love, I think they're very important, but it is, no,

Dianne: That's data, right? Like that's actually, yeah,

Lili: It's data proven

Dianne: Like that's statistics.

Lili: Its data. It is data. Especially as Latinas, we only work 12% in tech and I wanna be that Latina that is going to shine in the world besides Narcos. Because I'm from Colombia, you know, the typical joke that I hate and I think people should be aware that we can, the line to hear when they say in articles and all of those things, I think is very, very sad when that happens. So I wanna be that Latina who can change the world and create designs that are going to change people's lives.

Dianne: That was beautiful. That was so like, let's just take a moment to process that. Yes. I, I love everything you said. I think that us being women and Mo making our way in the product design space is really powerful. And I also think what's really important and kind of I feel like summarizes some of the things you were saying is like us as women might do things a little differently than let's say men would do things. And we can bring that into all of these spaces as well. Like there's all these other ways that we can conduct business and do things that are different than maybe what's been historically done. And that's up to us to kind of push for other ways.

Lili: Yeah, I think dreaming it's no, it shouldn't be like a mistake for anyone. Dream should be always in there and should make you feel that you can do, I always tell my students if I was able to jump into a role without being a Latina immigrant that didn't have anything literally, and trying to find my way to make it into this American, American, you know Yeah. Experience, they can do it. So I, the only limit I think is in our mind and that that's all, if you want something, you have to dwell and trust your energy.

Dianne: Yes. A thousand percent degree. And I, I mean, I I guess my last question for you is like, where do you see yourself going? Where, where do you wanna be in five years and 10 years?

Lili: Yeah, that is a really good question. I, I have a lot of dreams and I'm very ambitious as well. I think we, Latinas grow up with that mentality. Our moms just put that in ourselves and I do have a lot of dreams. I I would love to be able to, as I say, work at Spotify one day or Google, especially Spotify because I have so much of a connection with the Swedish community. Spotify is a company that was built by a Swedish mail and I found it very, very interesting. The culture, I just love it so much. So I don't know, I would love to work in those places, but in a place where I can manage a team and I can bring my laity into place and create products that are going to live more diverse than what it is right now.

Lili: Because what is happening is just people are just following the same rules and it's really nice when now companies are open a little more to Latin people and putting people into places. So I would love to win the management roles for these amazing companies. Maybe I will jump into another company and it's totally okay. My dream was always work at Airbnb, for example, but it always change, you know? Yeah. And I would love to have a company one day that can focus in sustainability and working for the environment, not by creating a product that I'm going to sell and is going to be trashed to environment. I, I don't think that it's something that I would like to do. I would love to use technology to help the communities and the environment. And I'm thinking in something we will save that comes one day but it's all matter of time for now. I'm just very happy to show to my students through memorize It, which has been an amazing experience. Super inspired by the CEO as well, Sander creating this incredible, incredible education system as well. And super inspired by my CEO and both as well as Novo Cargo. So one day at the time, super happy where I am right now, but I definitely have had a lot of dreams and I really hope I can be a very successful CEO one day of a company that can help people's life and environment as well.

Dianne: I love it. Yes. I feel your passion and I'm so excited to follow your journey and see you get to all of these places and to be that CEO of this company that you're so passionate about. So this is amazing. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me. I think there's so many great nuggets for designers that want to get started or continue to grow. I think you have such an inspirational story and I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with me.

Lili: Of course. Thank you so much, Diana. And I just hope everyone who is listened to this and listen to my story, Little, little parts of the story, build who you are, and sometimes we are in faces in life that we think we're going to be in that, that are called forever. But the reality is that you have a final dream, you will be able to achieve those calls. So that would be my takeaway. And yeah, I'm always happy to chat, always happy to provide feedback of portfolios through Ad Police, no, through LinkedIn message. But yeah, super happy to support the design community as people did it with me when I, when I need help.

Dianne: Yes, we will definitely put ev all of these will obviously point people to you, to all of your websites, all of this great, these great resources that you've given us today so that people can continue to explore and reach out in the right way, the best way possible for you and them. And yeah, so excited to continue to follow your journey. Thanks again so much.

Lili: Thank you so much. And the same for, for you, this podcast seems like an amazing in initiation or initiative for people to learn more about design and what to do when they're jumping to one year role as a pro designer. So best of luck to you and your team and I love this type of communication, journalist, Project

Dianne: Thank you. Thank you. Yes. We will keep you updated too.

Lili: Amazing. Thank you so much.

Dianne Eberhardt

Dianne Eberhardt

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