Mastering UX design and digital product management to champion the Hackathon


Joji Mendoza-Chan

Alumni of NIE/2016
Research Associate at Nanyang Technological University
HEALTH-I HACKATHON Champion (2023)
Completed SkillsFuture Career Transition Programme in UX Design and Digital Product Management
We are delighted to present one of the remarkable learners from our SCTP programme, showcasing outstanding dedication and expertise. This accomplished learner emerged as the champion in the HEALTH-I HACKATHON, alongside her team members, jointly organised by SingHealth Polyclinics, GP+, and AstraZeneca, all while actively participating in our SCTP programme. Her journey vividly illustrates the immense potential our programme fosters, and her narrative stands as a testament to the profound impact of determination and expertise in action.

Please share your experience of participating in the hackathon with us.

The hackathon organisers provided us with a rich experience – including conversations with patients, doctors, and industry professionals – from which we could draw inspiration for our final product. The day of the hackathon itself was intense, the conference venue buzzing with activity, and our team hyped up on excitement and adrenaline as we prepared to pitch our ideas to the judges. When it was announced that our team emerged as the champions, I felt a humble affirmation that we could indeed change the world through design.

Please share with us your professional life’s journey and at which point in your career did you aspire to pursue this programme?

I was a secondary school teacher for five years. I had always been passionate about unlocking the potential of technology to design better and more meaningful learning experiences. In 2022, I left my position at MOE to embark on a new path and join a team of researchers at NTU. Led by Associate Professor LG Pee, we developed a cutting-edge educational technology platform. The experience was simply eye-opening. Under the guidance of Prof LG, I discovered UX and found myself resonating deeply with its principles. This journey eventually led me to pursue PaCE@NTU’s SCTP in UX Design and Digital Product Management and obtain a formal certification.

Describe the factors that led you to choose PaCE@NTU.

I considered different programmes to enrol in, but I chose PaCE@NTU because of the holistic UX curriculum offered. We acquire a solid foundation in the principles of user-centred design and apply it through a four-month long capstone project. We collaborate with classmates, work on real apps, interview real people, and ultimately hope to make a real impact. I learned all this during the information session, during which the course trainers and career coach were also introduced. Josh, Justus, and the entire team gave an impression of expertise and trustworthiness. I’m glad I chose PaCE@NTU!

Which aspect of this programme did you like the most?

I really appreciate the opportunities I have to work and learn from other people. Peer learning is embedded in the curriculum – not a lesson goes by when we aren't encouraged to discuss, debate, ideate, and critique ideas together. My classmates come from different industries and levels of experience, providing the perfect ecosystem for great ideas to flourish. Our trainers also come from different UX fields and specialisations, from consultancy to research to service design. They're dedicated to their craft and are all committed to guiding us to experience success.

Do you think lifelong learning is important? Please share your thoughts about it.

I’m an advocate of lifelong learning. It’s simply impossible to learn everything during the 15-odd years of formal education many of us go through. Lifelong learning not only allows us to keep pace with changes in society, technology, and global developments but also satisfies that innate curiosity we have as humans to discover more about the world and ourselves.