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Early UX Career Lessons Learned

  • 08 Dec 2021
  • 7:00 PM
  • Online


  • Current TorCHI members


This panel brings together recent graduates from University of Toronto who studied some UX as part of their degree. Now they gather to share their learnings about: getting that first job, finding a great fit with an employer, and even some of their early career mistakes and lessons learned.


Valery Zavalna arrived in Toronto 12 years ago. After a few bartending jobs, she started at the University of Toronto, intending to study economics and psychology, only to find herself graduating in Computer Science. Fast forward a few years, Valery has a family and a successful career in IT, serious hobbies, and is exploring new career directions.

Kyle Osborne works at CIBC as a UX researcher, and worked p reviously in product management at Learners, a startup. His research philosophy is to not only answer questions, but empower others to be curious. In his free time, Kyle likes skateboarding, reading and music.

Carlson Lau works at Okta as a Software Engineer, where he  focuses on the development of full-stack applications, from web apps to deployment infrastructure. He studied UX as part of his  CS major. Outside of work, Carlson likes exploring restaurants and has started rock climbing.

Sarah Esmail  started her career at IBM as a UX Designer after graduating from the Industrial Engineering program at the University of Toronto. Now she is a zDevOps Product and Development Manager with the mission to improve the developer experience for IBM Z customers. Outside of IBM, Sarah plays ringette and has completed at the World Ringette Championships.


6:50 - The web meeting waiting room opens

7:00  - Presentation via ZOOM

8:00 to 8:30 - Networking on ZOOM

Web conference details
Meeting ID: 875 2796 1844
Passcode: 123123

Related event on Tuesday December 7th

You are invited to attend the Student Design Competition Finals of a 3 UX design class at the University of Toronto. This event features the top 4 teams, out of 20, with the winners getting internship interviews at top tech organizations!

Event details:

When: Dec 7, 8-9pm
Zoom URL:
Meeting ID: 896 9698 6871
Passcode: 456456

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