Tanuja Pawar


Tanuja Pawar

Master of Arts in UX Design Experience and Applied Innovation


Can you tell us your name, job title and the course you studied at ATU? 

My name is Tanuja Pawar. I have recently completed my Master of Arts in UX Design Experience and Applied Innovation. As part of this program, I undertook a 3-month internship at SITA during my 3rd semester's Work-Based Learning module. 

Can you share your career path to date?

My career journey is quite distinctive. Initially, I completed my graduation in commerce, which laid a foundational understanding of business and finance. After my graduation, I took a 12-year break to focus on my family. As I ventured back into the professional world, I embraced a significant shift by entering into the field of UX Design, which was entirely new to me. I pursued a Master of Arts in UX Design Experience and Applied Innovation at ATU Letterkenny, including a 3-month internship at SITA. This course and the internship have been pivotal in transitioning to this new field, where I am now eager to establish my career.

What motivated you to start studying? 

I was eager to begin my professional journey and UX Design really interested me. It seemed like a great field to start my career in, so I decided to study it. This is my first step towards getting my first job.

Why did you choose this course from ATU?

I've always been interested in the design field, and the UX Design course at ATU caught my attention. It being an online course was perfect for me as a mother of two daughters, allowing me to balance my family life with my studies. The course provided everything I was looking for to pursue my interest in design.

How did you find the process of studying online? What elements did you find helpful? Were there elements you found challenging? 

Studying online was good for me. I liked that I could learn at my own pace and manage my time around my family. The flexible schedule was really helpful. Sometimes, it was tough to stay focused at home, but overall, it worked well for my situation.

How did you balance work and study?

Balancing my studies with family life was made easier thanks to the support and encouragement from my husband and daughters. They were really understanding, which helped me create a schedule that worked for both my studies and family responsibilities. Their support was key in maintaining this balance.

In terms of your employer, were they supportive of your decision to study? Were there elements of the course that were particularly relevant to your current employer? 

During my 3rd semester at ATU, my 3-month internship at SITA, as part of my Work-Based Learning module, was a cornerstone experience. I am immensely grateful to SITA for their support. They not only provided a practical environment to apply my UX design skills but also offered invaluable guidance and mentorship. This experience helped me bridge the gap between academic theory and real-world application, and for that, I thank SITA for playing such a pivotal role in my educational journey.

What advice would you have for anyone considering studying online?

If you're thinking of studying online, stay organized and disciplined. Set a regular study schedule. The professors at ATU Letterkenny were incredibly helpful and supportive, making online learning much easier. They were always available to assist students, very polite, and encouraging. Their incredible support really enhances the online study experience. Also, don't forget to balance your study time with breaks to stay focused.

In what way has studying online with ATU benefitted your career?

Studying online at ATU has greatly benefitted my career. It allowed me to balance learning with family life. The skills and knowledge in UX Design I gained are crucial for my career. Additionally, interacting with my classmates was a valuable part of the experience. Their diverse perspectives and support enriched my learning. The professors at ATU were also incredibly supportive, making the learning journey effective and enjoyable.

Did this course provide any unexpected benefits to your career?

One unexpected benefit from this course was the confidence it gave me in my abilities. Learning something completely new and succeeding at it has shown me that I can adapt and thrive in different environments. This confidence is something I'll carry into my future career.

Did you find that the elements you were studying had practical relevance in your day-to-day role? 

Definitely. In my second semester, I worked on designing a school bus tracker app screen. This involved interviewing parents to understand their needs and expectations, which was a practical application of UX research techniques I learned. also The UX Design principles and techniques I learned were directly applicable during my internship. Working on real projects helped me understand how these concepts are used in everyday professional scenarios. This practical experience was invaluable in bridging the gap between academic learning and real-world application.

What were the key skills you took away from your time studying at ATU?

During my studies at ATU, I developed several important skills. I learned to communicate effectively, both in presenting my ideas and in collaborating with others. My confidence grew, especially in being creative and thinking differently to solve problems. Research skills were key, particularly in understanding the needs, wants, and goals of users, as shown in my project work like the school bus tracker app. These skills have prepared me well for a career in UX Design.


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