OpenClassrooms x STAIRGE program

“As a mother, studying again has been an adventure.”

My name is Eri. I was born and raised in Harajuku, Tokyo, and now live in the suburbs of Sendai, a place I love for its abundant nature and space to play with my two children. For a while, I had a deeply rooted desire lingering in me for something new. When I was busy with my children and home, I would forget about it, but when I found myself alone, it would come back to me. The questions I asked myself were about my future, and how I saw my life evolve. 

Let me go back for some context. After graduating college, I worked in sales for a major advertising company. My twenties were vibrant years, filled with encounters, stimulation, and accomplishments. When I was thirty, I got married, quit my job in Tokyo to follow my husband to Fukuoka and after several years to Sendai. There I had no contacts or friends at first. Life was different from Tokyo. I quickly became a full-time mom and dedicated my energy to my children.

When my eldest was two years old, I got the opportunity to do some freelance work through a contact from my previous company. It became clear to me that I had regained the sense of self that had been gone for so long. Suddenly, I was part of a team and received positive feedback on my work. Such small things had a huge impact on me. I realized that in order for me to be fulfilled, I wanted to do a job where I could help people. To do so, I needed to learn the skills that would enable me to achieve this goal. 

I enrolled in the OpenClassrooms UX Designer course, offered by STAIRGE and will be  graduating in Octobre 2022. As a creative person, I liked the sound of “designer”: that’s what drew me to this course. But it was the fully online learning model that helped me make the leap. I can take the course from the comfort of my home while learning a new career. I am challenged by the high-level learning content and practical projects. However, my mentor is there to help me along the way. They understand my strengths and weaknesses, encourage me with advice and give me kind warnings when necessary. My mentor helps me build the confidence I lacked in my skills and makes me realize I have become a UX Designer. I am a UX Designer. That simple realization helps lift a weight of self doubt and opens a world of possibilities. I feel that I have found the answer to a question that had been lingering in my mind for such a long time: who am I?

It isn’t always easy. I worry about my ability to balance studying and being a mother. I tend to hesitate to take a first step into a new challenge due to prioritizing work and being occupied by our daily lives. However, a precious piece of advice was shared to me a while back: to just go with the flow. These simple words give me the push and reassurance needed to commit to completing my course and advancing into a world of new possibilities. 

I now allow myself to ponder about the future, not as a dilemma between family or work but a balanced combination of both. This adventure has only just begun.

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