“Seeing my work being used on the internet and in print gives me joy.” Visual Designer, Ifeoluwa Aminu, Takes us Through her Tech Journey
- March 24, 2021
- Posted by: Funmilola Sanya
- Category: Women-in-Tech
Every month, Scale My Hustle, through its women-in-tech series feature, sheds light on young aspiring women in tech who are finding and creating their paths in the tech industry. We bring you real stories of women who amid gender biases are pulling their weight, and positively influencing the tech space.
Ifeoluwa Aminu is one of those women, and we are honoured to have her share her ‘tech journey’ with us.
Ifeoluwa, a graduate of Yaba College of Technology, holds a higher national diploma in estate management. Though she came out top with upper credit in estate management, she knew she didn’t want to practice real estate.
“Right after submitting my final project in March of 2019, I already knew I did not want to practice real estate, so I started seeking out information on what to do. I reached out to my sister and we had a conversation about what my options were. Software Development and Design came up. I decided I would explore both and go with the best fit. Software development did not work out and I started sampling graphic design. I downloaded Inkscape, a free design software, and watched lots of youtube tutorials. I found graphic design to be very fun. I spent all my time watching tutorials and practicing. Initially, I had no direction, which I find is an issue with many newbies, but I was having fun discovering new stuff. As time went by, I gained more knowledge and found a direction: visual Identity for brands. Fast forward to October, I decided I had learned enough on my own and it was time to intern somewhere. My initial journey was a lonely one. It was just me and my tutorials; I wasn’t even sharing anything with anyone. It was later I discovered a whole design community on Twitter.“
And so the journey began
“Fast forward to October of 2019, an intern graphic design position was retweeted to my TL and I applied. I got the job and worked there until August of 2020. During this period, I got better and started sharing my work on the internet. This move increased my confidence and surprisingly, some people liked what I shared. I guess lots of people noticed as I got some side gigs, and my next full-time job was brought to me via a message someone sent me on WhatsApp. I joined a design community, Asa Coterie, as a silent member during my design internship. One day in August, our community lead sent me a message about a design role that was open at their workplace and I applied. I got the job and I’ve been there since September 2020. It’s a great place to work. I’ve learned so much about myself and as a designer especially.”
Did she know the tech industry was for her?
“I didn’t know. Honestly, I was fresh out of school and I wanted to make money. Tech seemed like the path that would be the most successful and wouldn’t take too long.”
For Ifeoluwa, being a woman in the tech industry is a challenging one
“My career life as a woman in tech has been challenging, to say the least. I have to continue learning to keep up and remain relevant in my space as a graphic designer. But, it has also been exciting, learning new things every day and stretching my abilities to see how far I can go.”
She talks more about the challenges she faces
“Learning anything on the internet is hard and I appreciate everyone who has been able to pull it off. Another challenge is remuneration. I think graphic designers are one of the least paid and our role is extremely under-appreciated. This is why you see many designers having more than one side gig alongside their full-time roles just to survive.”
But then, she counts her blessings
“Seeing my work being used on the internet and in print gives me joy. I have been privileged to work on a couple of fun projects. I also realise that I don’t know as much about design as I should, and this knowledge is so humbling – it is why I take learning very seriously. I have been extremely fortunate in terms of settling down in the industry and I hope to work on more tech-focused products in the nearest future.“
We stan a growing queen!
How Ifeoluwa ensures her voice is heard in a male-dominated industry
“Life generally is not fair to women and we see how this reflects in every industry women are involved in. However, I find that in tech, the industry leaders do try. We see that special attention is being paid to ensuring that more women go for more roles in tech. I’ve seen several initiatives especially for women or with special emphasis on women being partakers. It is great to see more women joining the tech ecosystem now more than ever.
To ensure my voice is heard in the industry, I write about design and talk more about what I do on social media. It is my hope that this year, I get to write even more and speak more about design and encourage more women to join me.”
Ifeoluwa draws her inspiration from these women, and she tells us why
“First is my sister, Eniola Aminu, who is a badass product designer. She’s done amazing work at Cowrywise, YellowCard, and is about to begin a new role at Flutterwave – a superhero she is! I admire Odun Eweniyi, the co-founder of Piggyvest. I admire her grit and loud voice, especially on women-related issues. She’s a force and she’s awesome! I also admire Oluwatosin Olaseinde of Money Africa and her passion to ensure financial independence and security for young people. Also, Lade Tawak who is an Experience and Service Designer has done great work with Usable. She founded SheDesigns Africa and The African Woman in Tech podcast series. Lade is really inspiring. Not to forget Mariam Braimah, the Lead Product Designer at Netflix, also the founder of Kimoyo fellowship, a mentorship program for designers. They are all amazing women doing great work in tech.“
Thank you Ifeoluwa for sharing your tech- journey with us. We are proud of your becoming, and we are rooting for you as you reach for the stars.