This morning I am getting around to reading some of the email newsletters that I get. On a daily basis, I usually don't have time to read them. But this morning, this article caught my attention. This article that was in the Chronicle of Higher Education's newsletter speaks about internships for doctorate candidates. I was conferred a year ago for my doctorate and that was something I wanted but didn't exist. After I was conferred I looked fro a job through the normal channels, linked-in, Indeed, higher-ed. I got rejection after rejection. Perhaps this was the beginning of the economy that we now know of that includes competition for certain jobs. In March I started a UX/UI bootcamp, realizing that I was over-educated and under-skilled. Since then, perhaps due to the economy, I have learned of others who have higher-education degrees (masters and doctorates) who have had needed to skill-up through coursework, bootcamps, and extra degrees. As I learned about Sketch, UI and UX design and research, I realized that I needed more hands-on experience. I searched for UX internships and found I didn't qualify because I was not in an academic educational program and didn't want to pursue another one with a bachelors, 2 masters, and a doctorate under my belt. I did find one apprenticeship and applied to it. It was looking positive, as I researched the company, reviewed the characteristics of the previous apprentices. There was a combination of interns who had doctorates and who had gone or were going through bootcamps.

What I am finding is that there is no clear definition of what an apprenticeship or an internship. Searching for those terms in lots of cases will come up with results that include bootcamps, or in some cases not true apprenticeships or internships. As I have understood it , an internship is an opportunity to build hands-on learning, while you learn through coursework. I had actually applied to one that was listed as an internship but was rejected because I didn't have a portfolio. The term apprenticeship is fine, as with silversmiths, or other trade related positions, the apprentice works alongside a senior tradesman. They learn the trade by doing. I do not believe that this term should be used for bootcamps, even though there is some of that. In an apprenticeship there should be more of it throughout the process in multiple areas.

It appears as though we might need another term and a definition for this work/learning opportunity where we are learning and building upon our skills. I would be interested in hearing or learning about possible terms and definitions to internships and apprenticeships for professionals.

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Updated: Sep 11, 2020

I started the UX/UI bootcamp in March. The first thing that they had us do was choose a tool to use for designs. I chose Sketch because it had the biggest learning tool and because it was the most recognized in the industry. I figured that if I can master Sketch, I can handle any other design tool. For the first 3 months or so, I struggled with learning it. I took the Linked-In learning courses, watched a dozen YouTube videos, read blog posts, joined Facebook and Linked-In groups on Sketch but still struggled. Part of the issue is that the assignment was to fix bad design. We were given assignments on color, balance, contrast, etc., I wasn't sure of the basic commands and just clicked everywhere and hoped that I was getting somewhere. After more YouTube searching and blog searching, as well as my mentor instructing me, I finally learned that the shift, command, control, and option keys were important in selecting and copying. I finally felt like I was getting somewhere, even though I was still struggling.

It has been 5 months since I started the bootcamp and now am working on wireframing. I used sketch for my personas too. I have learned that using Sketch on a project of my own (and not just an assignment to learn a skill), has helped advance my Sketch skills. I realize that I actually enjoy wireframing...mostly because I am becoming more comfortable with Sketch.

I know I also need to understand Sketch plugins. I have downloaded a few but have no idea of how they are used. There is also the problem of organization which also goes hand in hand with learning plugins. I am looking for some good resources for learning how these plugins work and best ways to organize the elements in Sketch.

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Updated: Aug 30, 2020

Prior to starting my UX/UI bootcamp and working on my Capstone, I was not aware that I had a bias. I wanted to focus on Telehealth education, as it was central to my dissertation in my doctorate. It was explained to me that I needed to focus on where the money was coming from. So, I did and it became clear that the focus was no longer on nurses but on caregivers. I really didn't want to let go of the education part, as it was like I was losing a baby. I have never had a baby but I assume it would feel like that...I worked so hard on it and it was so hard to let go. However, I also know that it is necessary for me to move forward and to do an amazing job.

Sometimes we don't realize we have a bias until it is pointed out to you. Caregiving is also a big part of my life. I have been a caregiver of my father for over 8 years. I am sure there are parts of it that I have a bias about too. However, I am focusing on a different area than I have experienced. My capstone will still stay in the telehealth area but it will be more about supporting caregivers.