The story started
My name is Yelena, and I’m a Web designer here at Pearl Lemon. Honestly, I was thinking for quite a while about where to start describing my journey. Looking at the time when I was not at Pearl Lemon, it seems like a whole different world – and it feels like it was.
Essentially, I come from a different background. Originally I’m Korean, born in Russia and raised in Kazakhstan. I hold 3 degrees in Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing & Management and MA in Fashion Communication, PR and Media. And now you might be wondering, how the hell did I end up as a Web designer? It was the most challenging and spontaneous decision, but it has been the best decision in my life so far. Here is how it happened.
It all started in February 2021, right after I got better from COVID-19 when the whole UK was on pause, and so was I. I was so fed up with the Fashion industry at that point because all those years that I spent educating and analysing it at multiple universities from different countries changed with the result of this worldwide pandemic. Covid-19 affected the fashion industry and everyone who had just started looking for a career in that industry.
I was looking for a job in Fashion for more than a year, and it was not as successful as I planned. I had three part-time jobs that were in a way connected to Art and Fashion, but I felt like something was missing. The jobs didn’t feel like this was“it” – as a lifelong career. So I thought, what else can I do with all the skills I gained throughout my education and various internships/jobs?
That was how I discovered UI / UX design courses teaching Sketch, Adobe illustrator advanced, and Adobe XD on Udemy. I thought: “Why not!? Might as well become an Adobe certified professional, lol.” After completing the courses, I decided to try and apply for Web designer jobs on different platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed and Workinstartups, where I was one of the luckiest people to find Pearl Lemon.
To be completely honest, I didn’t expect that I would get through it at all. Firstly, when I saw Pearl Lemon’s official website, I was just amazed at how beautiful it was. Secondly – some people could relate or not – but I was so mad at myself that I couldn’t find a decent job for so long that I non-intentionally stopped believing in it.
Then, the interview process went successfully, even though it was through WhatsApp (our primary communication tool the whole team uses daily). I felt that it was the right place for me because of the warmest welcoming and immediate involvement in the projects.
Here is a draft screen of one of the projects I’m involved in at the moment. The task is to redesign the current website and create something innovative, interactive, rich, yet easy for users to understand. Designing with complete freedom and no boundaries is my favourite type of project because sometimes I have to ask Kaushal (Head of Design) if I can go crazy with some particular tasks, lol. For this project, I mainly use Adobe XD and Adobe Photoshop.
Shortly after the placement start date, I had a one-to-one video call with Deepak, the CEO and Founder of Pearl Lemon, who eventually became my mentor, sensei and just the most incredible boss ever with a hard-working and reliable team.
Looking back to where I started the programme in May, it has only been four months. I gained technical skills (thanks to Kaushal – Head of Design), time management, and productivity in both work and personal life (thanks to Lydia – Operations Director). I got to experience the true meaning of “multitasking”, was able to deliver various tasks within a short period, and worked closely with clients.
During all that, I communicate with the team on a 100% remote structure. It was entirely new for me (thank you, Akhila, Head of HR, for all your help from the start until now).
I am now being transferred to become a full-time Web designer for Pearl Lemon, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Furthermore, I also hold a Kazakh passport which means that I need valid documentation to stay in the UK, where my heart is, and luckily enough, the company is happy to sponsor a work visa for me. I am more than grateful for the number of opportunities to learn and work on myself as a Web designer but, more importantly, as an individual.
My team motivates me to do more extraordinary things, so I can now proudly say that I LOVE diving into the ocean and that I am no longer terrified of exploring new experiences while trying to become a better version of myself. I even hated writing, but look at me now, lol :D.
Last but not least, I am so excited to expand my knowledge in Web design, and so, Kaushal and I decided that I am going to start HTML / CSS training as soon as I start working full time. There will be so many amazing and challenging projects ahead, and I am curious about contributing to the company and growing even more. I am going on a 2-week vacation the day after tomorrow, but I just cannot wait for September so that I can start my full-time journey with Pearl Lemon and continue my always-learning lifestyle.
Thank you, Deepak and Pearl Lemon team, for having me, and thank you all for taking your time reading this blog.
I hope it was not too bad; I promise I design better 😀