Name: Tassia Pellegrini
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Topics of Interest: Graphic Design, UX Design, Front-End Development, UI, Information Architecture
Occupation: Interface Designer, Booking.com
When Tassia Pellegrini was a teenager growing up in Brazil, she was so desperate to sharpen her design and coding skills that she applied for an international credit card just so that she could subscribe to Tuts+.
Now she's a successful web designer working for Booking.com in Amsterdam, creating user interfaces for large products. Read on to find out how Tassia achieved such swift progress in her career, and what advice she has for other people who want to start a new career in a new country.
Tassia has always taken her professional development seriously. She studied Internet Systems at a private college in the Brazilian city of Salvador, and supplemented that with her own learning online.
She credits all the Tuts+ tutorials, books, articles and courses she's read or watched over the years for helping her achieve her dream of a career in web design.
I started to think broader, and to pay attention to other details, which made me feel more mature in my coding skills. All the things I learned helped set me apart from the average designers in my region at that time.
She focused mostly on learning advanced techniques for the most common design tools (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and In Design), and sharpening her HTML and CSS skills. Tuts+ also helped her learn how to build themes for WordPress, giving her more skills to add to her portfolio, and she says it was a good way to improve her English too!
Her hard work started to pay dividends when the biggest newspaper group of Brazil’s northeast hired her as a senior web designer.
But although she dreamed of moving abroad and furthering her career, Tassia was held back by fear and self-criticism, and spent six years getting no further than dreaming about it.
Then, finally, she decided to take the plunge.
She took a long look at her career history and her strengths and weaknesses, and spent a year shaping and developing some skills, like:
- leadership skills by doing volunteer work at AIESEC
- project management skills by being a freelancer
- public speaking skills by being a professor at a design college
- making experimental/personal projects of different kinds to practise her design approaches
After all that, she rebuilt her portfolio and résumé and started to apply to places that were aligned with her goals.
This mindset change helped me figure out my main goals and feel confident to move forward. And it happened.
Tassia is still only 25, and there's plenty more she wants to achieve and learn about, like prototyping and data-driven design. But the hard work she's put in to developing her skills has allowed her to achieve a lot, and she's happy with where she is right now.
In the end, there’s no rule or method to be successful, but knowing your “whys” and “whats” can help a lot in achieving your goals. At least for me it was the key.
Want to see some more of Tassia's work, or connect with her to chat about web design? You can find her at: