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Early UX Career Lessons Learned

  • 08 Dec 2021
  • 7:00 PM
  • Online


  • Current TorCHI members


This panel brings together recent graduates from University of Toronto who studied some UX as part of their degree. Now they gather to share their learnings about: getting that first job, finding a great fit with an employer, and even some of their early career mistakes and lessons learned.


Valery Zavalna arrived in Toronto 12 years ago. After a few bartending jobs, she started at the University of Toronto, intending to study economics and psychology, only to find herself graduating in Computer Science. Fast forward a few years, Valery has a family and a successful career in IT, serious hobbies, and is exploring new career directions.

Kyle Osborne works at CIBC as a UX researcher, and worked p reviously in product management at Learners, a startup. His research philosophy is to not only answer questions, but empower others to be curious. In his free time, Kyle likes skateboarding, reading and music.

Carlson Lau works at Okta as a Software Engineer, where he  focuses on the development of full-stack applications, from web apps to deployment infrastructure. He studied UX as part of his  CS major. Outside of work, Carlson likes exploring restaurants and has started rock climbing.

Sarah Esmail  started her career at IBM as a UX Designer after graduating from the Industrial Engineering program at the University of Toronto. Now she is a zDevOps Product and Development Manager with the mission to improve the developer experience for IBM Z customers. Outside of IBM, Sarah plays ringette and has completed at the World Ringette Championships.


6:50 - The web meeting waiting room opens

7:00  - Presentation via ZOOM

8:00 to 8:30 - Networking on ZOOM

Web conference details

Zoom details will be sent by email shortly before the event.

Related event:

People who register for this event will also be invited to attend  "The Student Design Competition Finals of CSC318 The UX Design" class from 3rd year of study in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. This related event will take place on Tuesday, December 7, at 20:00 remotely on Zoom. The competition finals will feature the top 4, of 20 teams, with the winners getting internship interviews at tech organizations!

The panelists from the main TorCHI event are recent grads who have all been participants in a similar competition. 

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