Thriving in UX design and digital product management and achieving Hackathon success


Madeleine Koh

HEALTH-I HACKATHON Champion (2023)
Completed SkillsFuture Career Transition Programme in UX Design and Digital Product Management
We are thrilled to introduce one of our outstanding SCTP programme learners who has demonstrated exceptional determination and skill. This accomplished learner emerged as the victor in the HEALTH-I HACKATHON, jointly organised by SingHealth Polyclinics, GP+, and AstraZeneca together with her team members while in the midst of completing our SCTP programme. Her journey reflects the incredible potential that our programme unlocks, and her story serves as a testament to the power of determination, knowledge, and practical application.

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

Upon learning about the hackathon from our trainer, a group of us expressed interest and coalesced into a team for participation. Balancing the demands of the UXPM programme and the hackathon presented challenges, but the journey proved delightful through collaboration with my fellow course mates. While victory wasn't my primary aim - seeking experience was - I triumphed unexpectedly, marking my first hackathon win. The surge of confidence I gained reaffirmed my choice to pursue this learning path wholeheartedly.

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

Earlier this year, I encountered this programme, but the imminent deadline prevented my enrollment. During a conversation with my manager, I expressed my interest in self-enhancement through this programme, emphasising its potential applications to my job. Regrettably, mid-course, I faced a job loss. Remarkably, the programme's engagement shielded me from the distress, as my course mates became my virtual 'colleagues'. Despite this unexpected career shift, my long-held aspiration for a UX career rekindled. Seizing this opportunity allows me to either retrace that path or explore an alternative career with the newfound knowledge.

How was your learning experience with this programme?

My learning experience with this programme has been truly enriching. The blend of theoretical concepts and practical applications provided a well-rounded understanding. The engaging trainers and interactive sessions made each class enjoyable. The mix of online and on-site sessions allowed for diverse learning experiences, and the insights from guest speakers were invaluable. Overall, this programme has not only equipped me with new skills but also instilled confidence in pursuing a career in UX.

Which aspect of this programme did you like the most?

The blend of online sessions twice a week and one on-site day appealed to me. The physical meet-ups facilitated more fruitful discussions and camaraderie among fellow learners. Collaborating face-to-face with fellow learners fostered a strong sense of community and deeper discussions. Guest speakers, who are experts in the field, added immense value by sharing their experiences and insights, benefiting newcomers like myself transitioning into UX. Witnessing the achievements of programme graduates instilled confidence in our potential to excel in this realm. Overall, I really appreciate the comprehensive learning experience I have gained through the mix of theory and practical application.

What were the challenges you faced when trying to complete this programme?

Seeing the thrice-weekly lessons, I questioned my capacity to manage them with young kids. Gratefully, my husband backed me fully on my class days. Josh, our adept trainer, led captivating sessions; despite their 3-hour duration, I relished each. Supported by him and the teaching assistants, queries and uncertainties never fazed me - their ready assistance ensured constant guidance.