On Designing Collaborative Environments: Jessica Tremblay

On Designing Collaborative Environments: Jessica Tremblay

Leading up to our Winter ‘19 iteration of WORK, we'll feature select interviews with some of our conference's speakers and thought leaders. In this interview, UX/UI designer Jessica Tremblay talks working with others and finding her people.


Jessica Tremblay is a designer and front-end developer for IBM Design.  She has lived and worked in Austin, TX since 2002, and is a graduate of UT Austin with a BFA in Studio Art.  Jessica spends her day working on scaling the practice of design thinking internally at IBM and externally with clients.  She is also a member of the AIGA Austin and Design Ranch boards.  In her spare time, Jessica enjoys traveling, drinking a glass of fine red wine, and chilling on her couch with her cats playing Zelda.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Driven, loyal and free.

How would you describe your work?

I absolutely love what I do. I get to work with some of the most brilliant minds in design and development. My team and I are working to scale the practice of Enterprise Design Thinking both internally at IBM and externally across the globe. I get to meet all different types of people around the world and experience their food and cultures. I bring that experience back into my what I do on a daily basis to make whatever I do better for my users and those who I am developing experiences for.

How do you approach concepts of “work-life balance?” Does that term mean anything to you?

Work-life balance is all in your personal approach. I work with teams all across the globe, which means that there will be those phone calls with China and India at 9 o’clock at night. I have developed a respectable relationship with those I work with on a daily basis, as well as those who are above me. We understand from a human level that life comes first, then work. If one of us needs assistance, the other steps in. As long as communication streams are open and honest, then we are in constant harmony with living fulling lives alongside having maturing careers.

How do you approach working with others?

Communication is key. If you are not able to understand and empathize with one another, then your relationship with your team will not be at its fullest potential.

What advice do you have for starting/switching career paths?

Be open to all and any opportunities. There will be bumps and walls, but learn how to navigate around them. Be sure to network, network, network. Meet people and learn from their experiences. And listen.

Have you ever experienced a form of career uncertainty? If so, how did you overcome it?

Every damn day. Imposter syndrome is a real thing. To conquer it, I found my people—those who will support me and help me when I’m stuck. Those people who encourage me to step out on that steep ledge of uncertainty and pick me up when I fall. Know that failure will happen. Figure out how to learn from those experiences, pick yourself back up and try again.

About WORK: WORK is a biannual pop-up space, designed for sharing new ideas and approaches to creative and entrepreneurial work. The event's panels, workshops and speaker sessions explore personal and professional curiosity, storytelling, diversity and equality, business management and creative entrepreneurship. Our next conference pops up in July 2019 at Rowling Hall in Austin, Texas. ✨Click here for more information.

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