Top 3 career tips from one of Intuit’s design leaders

As part of our job readiness program, Cesar Villegas- VP of Design at Intuit, imparted some career advice during a week-long design camp held at our San Diego campus.

A brunette tech worker in her 20s smiles while looking at her tablet in an industrial chic open office setting. Next to her a young, Black man with short braids works at his computer.
A brunette tech worker in her 20s smiles while looking at her tablet in an industrial chic open office setting. Next to her a young, Black man with short braids works at his computer.

Whether you’re looking for a career in tech, design, or another field altogether, there’s power in learning from a professional who has made the journey ahead of you.

Earlier this fall, as part of our job readiness program, a group of high school interns took part in a week-long design camp at Intuit’s San Diego campus. They learned how to apply Intuit’s Design for Delight (D4D) methodology to creative problem solving. They rolled up their sleeves to create solutions to help students make smart money decisions. And they got some great career advice from Intuit VP of Design, Cesar Villegas.

With National Mentoring Month upon us, there’s no better time to share Villegas’ three practical career tips. Read on and learn—they might help you achieve your career goals.

Make friends with who you want to become

Whatever you want to do in life, make friends with someone who’s already doing it. Whether you want to be a designer, a copywriter, or a coder, befriending someone who is already working in that role can fast-track your own journey.

This is not the same as networking or connecting with someone on LinkedIn. We’re talking literally making friends with them. Go to events to meet them, then do what friends do. Schedule a get together over coffee, go to dinner, and get to know the person. In Villegas’ words, “When you hang out with people that do the things you want to do, you end up becoming more like them.”

This puts a fresh, positive spin on the (usually negative) saying, show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. When you hang out with people as friends, you can ask them questions about what they do, and you’ll usually find they’re happy to tell you. Not only will you have a new friend but you’ll be able to learn from them and grow as an individual. 

Assume good intent

If someone does something to you that appears not to go your way, don’t assume their intentions were bad—assume good intent. For example, if you sent your portfolio to a prospective employer and didn’t get the response you hoped for—or got no response at all—resist the impulse to go negative. Don’t assume they didn’t like it or that you’re not good enough. More often than not, it’s not you—it’s them. Perhaps they missed your email, or they had a bad day, or they just forgot about it.

Cultivating this mindset can take work, but it’s worth it. Assuming good intent empowers you. It helps you keep a positive attitude versus feeling like a victim or feeling rejected or inadequate. And this, in turn, allows you to keep following through with a positive demeanor.

Be solution centric

Finally, be solution oriented. If you go to your manager, teacher, or even your parents with a problem, always come up with a solution or solutions of how to fix it—even if you’re not clear what the solution is. Instead of saying, I have this problem—what should I do?, try a different approach: Hey, I have this problem. I don’t know what to do with it, but here are three different solutions that I think might work. What do you think?

If you bring problems without proposing solutions, you’re missing an opportunity to develop that problem-solving muscle. But if you offer solutions, your boss or teacher will appreciate you for it. Rather than expecting them to solve it, you’re working with them to solve it. You’ve given them a starting point.

This is especially important if you want a career in a field like design. Any time you bring a problem, always have a perspective, always have a solution. It will serve you well.

No matter what career path you may choose, these three tips—make friends with who you want to become, assume good intent, and be solution centric—will help set you up for success.

Our commitment to building future prosperity for students

We’re passionate about helping students build financial and career skills that will better prepare them for the real world.

During the 2021-2022 school year in the U.S., nearly one in four high school students had guaranteed access to personal finance courses. However, according to Next Gen Personal Finance, this figure drops to one in 20 students in schools where more than 75% of students are economically disadvantaged, as determined by eligibility for the USDA’s Free and Reduced Price Meal program. This inequitable distribution of personal finance education perpetuates the existing socioeconomic gaps in our communities.

We’re uniquely positioned to address this inequality and education gap through our products, TurboTax, Credit Karma, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp, and Design for Delight (D4D), our design thinking methodology to problem solving.

Our job readiness work focuses on three areas: finance skills, career skills such as critical thinking and collaboration, and career education that showcases career pathways through internships and mentorships. Since fiscal year 2020, we’ve helped prepare 1.2 million students for jobs, have partnered with 21 school districts across nine countries, and have the goal to prepare 5 million students for jobs by fiscal year 2025.

To learn more about job readiness programs, visit our website.


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