- Mili Gopal

Term : April, 2015
Department : Engineering
Program : User Experience and Web Design

Mili Gopal worked in Web design in India before moving to California with her family. In 2013, she enrolled in UCSC Extension’s Web Design program, and over the course of two years, she earned the full certificate, had a child, interned at two Bay Area startups, and landed a job as a Web developer at eBay. How did she manage it all? Gopal was happy to share her insight.

What brought you to UCSC Extension?

I was looking for a program in Web design that I could finish in one year—that could sponsor me for an F1 visa. One of my friends took UCSC Extension’s program, and I found it to be really great.

What courses stood out to you?

I learned a lot in “Adobe Photoshop, Introduction,” “HTML/XHTML Building Blocks for Web Development” [now called “HTML Fundamentals”], “Adobe Flash—Animation for Web and Interactive Media,” “Mobile Interface Design,” “Visual Design for the Interactive Web”, “User Experience Design Fundamentals”, “JavaScript for Designers” and “Adobe Illustrator, Introduction”. My work experience in India was focused on basic HTML and static Web pages. UCSC Extension got me into the world of responsive design—making websites viewable on multiple devices. I’m very comfortable making websites responsive.

All of these skills were helpful when I interviewed for internships and jobs, especially CSS and advanced CSS. I was pregnant throughout my program; I only took one month off after the delivery of my child. My teachers encouraged me a lot and helped me through my assignments, and perhaps because of that, I just kept going. My interactions with my classmates were also really helpful, because a lot of them work in the Bay Area and could recommend startups and companies that needed my skills. None of this would have been possible without the support from my husband; he used to drive me to class every day after work, because I was pregnant.

How have you applied these new skills?

When I interviewed for internships, it helped to say that I was studying at UCSC Extension. For a year I interned at Market Share Incorporated, doing Web development. I helped them modify the look of their existing website and did user tests, which was a great experience. I interviewed users and went to my friends’ houses to test the site and get their feedback. I also interned at Baynet World, a company that creates websites for real estate agents. That was great because I got to work with different kinds of clients.

From there I applied to work at eBay, where I was hired to concentrate on email campaigns—I develop HTML emails. This is a great step in my career; it’s a dream come true, to think that I joined eBay so soon after finishing my program. All of the classes I took, especially HTML, CSS,  
“Photoshop” and “Mobile Interface Design,” helped me get into this field.

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