Agatha Tutia
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Squares 2017: Before the Show

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One year ago, I volunteered for the Squares Conference as a curious student from a business major knowing nothing of the wonderful world of User Experience (UX). Now, I return as a volunteer and a future cohort of University of Washington's Master of Human Computer Interaction + Design program. Much has changed this past year. While binge watching my favorite TV show ever, Parks and Recreation, one episode really pulled at my heartstrings. "Are you better now than you were a year ago?"

Leslie, I am.

When I declined a secure position with Grant Thornton, I took a leap of faith and moved forward with an Visual Design internship with Zappos and 6pm. Whatever I did now, it'd also be design-related. Design, my friends, influences the world, hell, it is our world for everything is design, and at the time, I desperately yearned to learn more. So when Amanda Jill, the experience maker, pitched the Squares Conferences at my graphic design class, I volunteered.

Squares was the John the Baptist to Zappos' Jesus. As an intern at Zappos, I fell in love with UX, and at Squares, I was briefly introduced while waiting in line for the restroom. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, but now, it's my thing

I've accomplished great and amazing feats this past year: interning at Zappos, graduating Magna Cum Laude, backpacking to Venice by myself from Interlaken, and getting accepted to one of the best programs in the country for UX. And I'm eager for this next year of studying, group projects, and capstone planning.

This week, I return to my roots, and with a new perspective, I hope to converse with a plethora of designers and developers from across the country, attentively listen to an array of erudite speakers, and improve my comprehension of the field with great humility. And play some real good ping pong.

The next coming blog posts will be my key takeaways of the talks and panels and spontaneous moments. Don't really know what to expect, but that's only half the fun.

Let's do this Squares 2017!