In this week’s Meet Our Totems series, I’d like to introduce Ann, our insanely talented UX/UI designer. She may look delicate, but she’s one of the toughest cookies you’ll ever meet.
The journey she’s taken to get where she is now is one that requires an amount of courage that’s completely unfathomable to me. To top it off, she’s got a crazy amount of style and spunk.
I got the chance to sit down with Ann and experience what currently is my most interesting interview session yet.
What is your quick bio/background
“I was born and raised in South Korea. When I was 12, I decided to move to Texas for junior high on my own without giving it much thought. It was my first time living by myself, and living in a foreign country. I had no idea what I was in for. It was a huge culture shock. From the kind of food people ate to the way they behaved and spoke to one another, everything was so different. I’ve never been so out of my comfort zone. Being young and oblivious to it probably enabled me to cope with it better. Knowing what I know now though, I don’t think I could deal with it the same now.
It wasn’t until I went to California for exchange (where it was more ethnically diverse) that I realized how uncomfortable I felt in Texas. Shortly after that, I decided to move back to Korea and finish international school there.
After moving back, I started thinking about what I wanted to do. Having found my calling in art and being creative, I eventually ended up back in the States, but in New York this time. I found out the hard way that In order to get into the prestigious Universities there, you had to either be a genius, or incredibly rich, and unfortunately I was neither. I quickly decided it wasn’t for me, and finished my post secondary education in Vancouver.
I happened to stumble upon TTT and started working here as a designer. I was surprised at how caring everyone was here. I feel like I’ve found a place where I belong, in a supportive environment.”
What are some interesting things about yourself?
“I’ve had 3 weddings (all with the same person don’t worry). One in Vancouver, one in Korea and one in Vietnam.”
What is your most memorable moment working here?
“Discovering how genuine everyone was. When my coworkers here first heard about the news of my engagement, a couple of them actually teared up. They told me “I feel like my younger sister is getting engaged”. It was so heartfelt, and everyone was like family here. It was so drastically different from past experiences, it was very touching.”
What is your secret super power? (something you’re very good at, that not everyone knows)
“I’m extremely organized. Whenever I hire someone to do something for me for instance photography, they’re always surprised by how much preparation and research I’ve already done. I give them very detailed instructions with all the aspects already planned out. My wedding photographer told me “I’ve never had a client so organized and detail oriented before!”
What do you enjoy working on the most?
“I love seeing when everything comes together. Seeing my designs brought to life when the developers make it functional. It’s very satisfying.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“I like going to parks when it’s sunny. Since a designer’s job is mostly indoors, I like being active and enjoying the outdoors when I have free time.”
Bonus: Who do look up to? (Who is your hero) Why?
“I’ve never really looked at it like that. I tend to get inspiration from pieces of work rather than the creator behind it. When I look at a piece of work, I interpret it in my own way, and I internalize it and make it my own.”