Sabrina Hernandez: From Dental Tech to UX / UI Product Designer

Sabrina Hernandez

After 7 years as a dental tech, Sabrina Hernandez was ready for a change. She enrolled in Flatiron School and has since pivoted into a career in UX / UI Product Design.

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Sabrina Hernandez, a February 2022 UX / UI Product Design graduate from Flatiron School, spent almost 6 years as a Dental Technician before making the decision to transition into tech.

She shares her journey from Dental Technician to UX / UI Product Designer below.

Nearly A Decade In Dental

Sabrina Hernandez’s career initially began in medicine – driven by her desire to have a positive impact on people. Following an internship at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2013, she became a licensed radiology Dental Technician.

“I was a dental tech for seven years,” she said. “I worked with cross-functional teams, assisted with fourhanded surgeries, fabricated custom removable dental appliances, operated cutting-edge 3D oral scans, and so much more.”

Her time in the healthcare field, Sabrina said, “solidified [her] passion for providing scalable positive change for people.”

Despite enjoying her position, Sabrina recalls feeling the need for a change. That change, she determined, was a new career in design. 

“A career in design attracted me because I know there’s a need for human-centered talent, and as a health care provider, this comes naturally for me,” she explained. “ And I knew that my leadership, teamwork, adaptability, and people skills were transferable.”

Her Experience At Flatiron School

The decision to attend Flatiron School was an easy one for Sabrina.

“I decided to earn my foundational product design training from Flatiron school because of their emphasis on design ethics,” she said. “When I learned this, I knew that Flatiron was the right school for me.”

While at Flatiron School, she recalls the faculty she encountered as being the most influential part of her journey into design.

“I found them all inspiring and motivating; they gave me the confidence to learn new skills and grow into a strong designer,” she explained. “A special thank you to Joshua Robinson, Bani Phul-Anand, Brian Pumilia, Ashley Kays, and Rick Dobbis for their continued support.”

But, like many other career changers, Sabrina wrestled with doubts that she could successfully transition into a new field.

“The most challenging part of becoming a product designer in this program is working through impostor syndrome,” she said. “It is a natural feeling to feel out of place or uncomfortable in a new environment, and it is essential for growth, so learning to embrace it was the best thing for me during my transition.”

Diving Into Design

Sabrina graduated from Flatiron School’s UX / UI Product Design program in February of 2022 and, aided by her career coach, had a relatively short job search.

“I was fortunate to get hired eight weeks after graduating from a design studio that was a part of Flatiron’s career partnership,” Sabrina explained. “My career coach Rick Dobbis was essential in my job hunt journey. He assisted me with polishing my resume and prepping me for the interview that landed me my first design role.”

Sabrina is currently working as a Designer / Researcher at Grand Studio. Her experience in the field thus far, she says, was worth the journey. 

“I am genuinely enjoying product design as a whole. Every day brings new challenges and is a rewarding and stimulating career,” she said. “I have many goals and dreams for my future in product design, and I am taking actionable steps toward them every day.”

Looking back, her advice to others thinking of pursuing a career in design is one of self determination. 

“Stay curious and take charge of your education. Going to school and getting your certificate will make you eligible to get your foot in the door, but your self-motivated pursuit of knowledge will reserve you a seat at the table.”

Ready For A Change, Just Like Sabrina Hernandez?

Ready to take charge of your future? Apply Now to join other career changers like Sabrina Hernandez in a program that sets you apart from the competition. 

Not ready to apply? Try out our Free UX / UI Product Design Prep. Or, review the UX / UI Product Design Course Syllabus that will set you up for success and can help launch you into a new and fulfilling career.

Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of January 25, 2023. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.

About Anna Van Deusen

Anna Van Deusen is the Marketing Content Manager at Flatiron School. When not writing about tech and Flatiron School students, she can be found hanging out with her dogs on a beach…

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