Alum of the Month - November 2023

Justyna Belkevic

My time on a CEMS exchange at Sydney University was nothing short of transformative - an experience that stands as a highlight among the chapters of my life.

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  • Programme studied: MSc Global Masters in Management (with CEMS exchange)
  • Year of Graduation: 2016

In December, we are hosting the 2023 CEMS graduation at LSE to celebrate its 35th anniversary. In this blog, we look back at Justyna Belkevic’s time at LSE and on her CEMS exchange, and how it elevated her creative journey through business education.

Current job title and description of what this role entails:

As a UX Design Manager and Product Lead at a leading tech company in Singapore, my main focus involves creating user-friendly digital products. From diving into detailed user research to crafting imaginative wire frames and prototypes, my role covers a wide range of tasks. The ultimate goal? Ensuring the products provide a smooth, enjoyable experience for the extensive customer community. Here's the thrilling twist – my work directly impacts over 5 million users who interact with my carefully crafted features each day and adds to the company’s bottom line!

Tell us about your career journey since graduating from LSE.

Following my graduation, I stepped into the corporate realm, but it didn't take long for me to realise where my heart truly belonged – the captivating world of UX design and creativity. Guided by my curiosity, I embarked on a journey as a budding designer at Salesforce. Under the guidance of remarkable female mentors, I refined my skills and gained invaluable industry insights. Over time, I tackled more complex projects and eventually landed my current role as a UX Design Manager in APAC's tech scene. This role fills me with joy as I infuse innovation into every pixel, collaborating with a brilliant team of designers.

If I've learnt anything, your career can start in one place and evolve into something extraordinary when you listen closely to that inner compass; it will guide you to where you truly belong. And don't be afraid to pivot! It’s never too late.

How did the international CEMS environment and community help you on your professional journey?

My time on a CEMS exchange at Sydney University was nothing short of transformative - an experience that stands as a highlight among the chapters of my life. The city's dynamic pulse, the fellow students from all walks of life, and the stimulating academic environment created an atmosphere of boundless inspiration and fun. Immersing myself in conversations with peers representing every corner of the globe broadened my horizons. 

As you embark on your journey, I urge you to release preconceived notions or expectations about what lies ahead. Instead of seeking the "best" experience, allow yourself to be present in each moment and embrace the unknown with an open heart. This approach will free you to discover the beauty and lessons that unfold naturally, unburdened by the weight of expectations. Remember, unplanned and unanticipated moments often leave the most indelible marks on our journeys.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received?

One of the most valuable pieces of career advice I've received is to believe in the unique value each of us brings. It's easy to downplay our strengths and contributions in a world filled with exceptional talents. However, understanding the distinctive blend that our skills and qualities create can be a game-changer. This insight isn't just about excelling in a role; it's about recognising that we have the power to make a meaningful impact. By nurturing this belief in our potential, we can embrace challenges with greater confidence and navigate a career journey that's authentic to us. So, to anyone on their career path, remember that your uniqueness is your strength – own it and let it guide you to success.

What did you enjoy most about undertaking the CEMS programme at LSE? How has it helped your career since you graduated?

Undertaking the CEMS programme at LSE was a highlight of my academic journey - etching unforgettable learnings of global business dynamics and forging invaluable connections. Rooted in the firm foundations of business acumen from LSE, I now enter meetings not only as a designer but also as astrategic thinker armed with a deep understanding beyond design concepts. This perspective continues to be a cornerstone in my UX design career. It shapes my ability to craft solutions that serve diverse user preferences and complex business requirements.

What’s the greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Transitioning from a traditional business background to a creative field like UX design was a significant challenge. As I made this shift, I found myself navigating a labyrinth of uncertainties and uncharted waters. I felt determined but, in a sense - lost. However, my drive to learn about user-centred design and become a designer fueled my growth. I immersed myself in self-learning, attended workshops, and collaborated with experienced designers to build a strong foundation in UX design. Yet, what indeed kindled the flames of courage and resilience were the cheerleaders who stood by me in those early days. Friends, colleagues, mentors – they were the wind beneath my wings.

What are your hopes for the future?

I aspire to continually expand the horizons of UX design and champion ethical design practices within the tech sector. I'm driven to lend a helping hand to individuals who, like me, come from unconventional paths but harbour a curiosity for design. I desire to give back, guiding others in their career journeys just as I was once supported. Here's to a future that's bound by possibilities and to a journey of growth and shared success!

If you would like to be our Alum of the Month or if you would like to nominate a Department of Management alumni, please email dom.alumni@lse.ac.uk.