Ingressive for Good partnered with Geneza School of Design to help 1000 women build skills and careers in design. During the training, we realized the need and benefits of study buddies to better help the women learn and complete their courses. So we created study groups. At the end of the program, we recorded over 70% completions. Rukayat Tajudeen tells us about her experience leading a study group, the impact she made and the impact it had on her.
“I’m Rukayat Tajudeen, a 500 level Student of University of Ilorin and a product designer. I started my design journey about 4 months ago and counting. I started out as a self-taught UI/UX designer. Really, getting free resources wasn’t entirely tough for me (could be overwhelming though) possibly because I had friends who were already into designing.
A month later, I came across the 1000 Women in Design Scholarship Application and to be very honest, I wasn’t sure if I should apply for it.
Sometime in March last year while trying to learn a tech skill that didn’t require coding, I somehow discovered Ingressive for Good and the 1000 WID Scholarship. I applied and I chose Brand Identity Design. In the end, I didn’t get the scholarship but I think I made it to a waiting list. I wasn’t so sad. I wasn’t even very serious about it. I just got discouraged because I didn’t know where else to learn Design for free at that time. So, I decided to close my tech chapter until early this year when a friend suggested I try product design.
I ended up applying for this year’s and I chose UI/UX design (Product Design). During my application process, I was very intentional about it. I was aware of my motivations and what I desired and product design ticks all these boxes for me so, it was a no brainer that I chose it.
While I was waiting for my acceptance or rejection mail, a representative called. She had called the day before, but I wasn’t available to pick her calls and couldn’t call back. The next day, I heard my phone ring and it was a confirmation call. OMG, I was so happy! “This is a good sign”, I said to myself. We had a good conversation and she asked some questions. Few days later, I got my acceptance mail. I was beyond thrilled. Perhaps it was because I rarely apply for things; scholarships, or anything else that generally includes a selection process, and when I do, it’s usually out of need, so I’m not typically upset when I receive rejection emails. But this was different and I was proud of myself.
During the training, we were divided into groups and I volunteered to be a team lead for one of the groups. Why? As a child, I’ve always held posts like class captains, the assistant even got considered for prefect posts and Alhamdulillah, I performed pretty well. So based on this and other qualities I’ve been told I possess, I was curious on how I’ld perform as a team lead. I also wanted a responsibility that would hold me accountable and push me to complete the course.
Being the team lead for my girls was a great experience but it wasn’t entirely easy. My messages were left unread so many times. I was literally entering people’s DMs because they weren’t replying to me on the Group Chat. Things I won’t do ordinarily but, it is what it is.
I’ld say being a team lead for the 1000 WID actually improved my public speaking skills. It’s not like I delivered a speech or anything but for someone that’s quite outspoken, there were instances I struggled to speak in front of a larger group, especially if I’m not used to them. Being able to address and even have conversations with these women sort of boosted my confidence.
Additionally, it gave me a sense of responsibility. It seemed as if I had to carry them on my back: providing answers to all of their queries and solutions to all of their issues. By doing this, I discovered how to genuinely come up with solutions without always approaching the main group coordinators.
Lastly ,I got the chance to meet incredible women, amazing women with common goals and some of whom I’m still in contact with. I also got the chance to tell this story.
As a learner, I learnt how to be patient with myself in respect to my growth. There were times when I felt intimidated by other people’s designs. I remember thinking, “Shebi, we’re learning this thing together. How come these people’s designs look way more perfect than mine?” But then I realized that some of these people I felt intimidated by weren’t even beginners like me. Since then, I’ve become more patient with my growth.
Learning design has given me a sense of direction. Career wise, I really had no idea on what I wanted to do with life before now. I didn’t even like my course of study and I was so terrified of the future. Now I can picture and firmly say where I want to be/see myself in two years time.”
You can reach Rukayat here