“This is what I want!’ – Enikő’s journey from theater to UI Design


5 min read

Enikő Cserepesné Ozvald took a giant leap, transitioning from a long career in theater to the world of UI design. Today, she’s a bona fide professional, making her mark in software UX/UI design. Dive into her story to discover how she navigated this change and explore her journey through our UI Designer training program!

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Can you tell us briefly about your life before the UI course? What was your situation like before you enrolled?

I’ve been involved in the theatrical arts for 20 years. I’ve dubbed, directed, and acted in film and on stage as well. When I enrolled in the training I was at home on maternity leave with my 3-year-old and 1-year-old children.

What inspired you to switch and become a UI Designer?

Back then I felt that I’ve had enough of the theatre, I was probably burnt out. As a mother of two young children, I knew that the lifestyle I was leading was incompatible with motherhood, sometimes working 16 hours a day. There was no way I could play any role in my children’s lives with a schedule like that.

With UI Design, I would never have gone in this direction on my own. I didn’t even know the profession existed until January 2023. It was my husband who suggested that I look into this profession to see if I would like it.

For a long time, I was debating between a UX and a UI designer course. Finally, I have decided to go for UI Academy’s course. I went to one of their final presentation events, and bam! I saw the type of magic  you can create in only 13 weeks, and it was very convincing. I thought to myself “This is what I want!”

Tell us a bit about your current job! Where do you work, what are your responsibilities?

With a small team at Kemba Design, we are redesigning furniture designer software for carpenters. We recently completed the first phase of the project.

We started by setting up a UX research plan ( e.g., process exploration, persona identification, competitor analysis, flowchart, usability test, interview, and heuristic analysis). Next, we made a summary presentation for the client and some screenshots to show the software’s future version.

What do you like best about your job?

On the one hand, it brings out new aspects of me. I have ideas of a different depth and quality, and I function differently. It feels good to experience something that brings out more in me as a human being.

On the other hand, I can now be part of a super team where everyone has a can-do attitude. We inspire each other and can rely on each other. It’s an incredible feeling.

Thirdly, I can use my previous knowledge and experience as a designer.

What do you think are the biggest challenges for UI Designers today?

Really, what challenges you might face depends a lot on where you are in your career. The problems are different for everyone, depending on how much they know or how long they’ve been working.

But generally speaking, it’s pretty important to remember that sometimes things just don’t go as planned, no matter how hard you try. And with everything always changing and new things to learn, you’ve got to keep up, especially with technical stuff.

It’s also key to make sure everyone understands why it’s important to test and research things before moving ahead. Keeping doubts about yourself in check is another big one, as well as bridging the gap  between design and development. That’s how you make sure projects not only finish but turn out great.

What skills do you think are needed to succeed in this profession?

The most important things you need are humility, the ability to do things on your own, willingness to work hard, and always ready to try things. These skills matter more than how good your taste or job you have right now. A lot of the stuff you need to know for this job, you can either learn by doing it or from others who are good at it. But, just like any job, you also need a bit of luck to be in the right spot at the right time to make the best decision.

What are some of your memories of the UI course? How did you find it?

It was super tough when I started the training because I didn’t have any experience or know much about the field. Right from the start, during an online chat with mentors and other students, they used so many terms I didn’t get I almost wanted to quit. I told the course leader, Feri Muck, I felt really out of my depth. But he told me not to worry about keeping up with everyone else; it wasn’t a race, and I’d get the hang of it.

The support from the course leaders was incredible. I had amazing mentors who really understood me. They noticed how much effort I was putting in and went out of their way to help me, which made a huge difference.

Even now, I maintain a connection with some of my mentors. Their doors are always open for me, whether I have a triumph, a setback, or a simple query. The level of support I’ve received is truly remarkable. And you know what? Despite my age, it was during this course that I truly grasped the importance of humility in one’s career.

What have you worked on since then? What project are you most proud of?

I wanted to learn more and get better at what I do. So, I made two websites and got a mentor who helped me assemble my work in a portfolio. What I’m most proud of right now is getting to help redesign this existing design software. It was a big deal for me, and I’m so thankful to Balázs Keményffy from Kemba Design for picking me to do it.

I am very proud to have found a complex accessibility issue within the project, for which I received appreciative feedback from the team. I’m grateful to Károly Szántai (UI Academy instructor), who made us aware of the importance of this perspective of the profession in his class on accessibility.

Plus, I am an active member of UX Budapest Hungary, where I set up out-of-the-ordinary meet-ups. These events are significant for people who feel isolated and want to discuss their work challenges.

What further opportunities for advancement and opportunities for learning do you see for yourself?

I’ve got plenty of chances to learn more. For example, I’ve already looked into an AI-related course that’s meant for designers and it’s going to take 13 weeks too. My first big goal is to move away from just working on projects here and there, to having a place where I really fit in. And one day, I’d love to be a mentor myself, though I know that’s going to take a while.

What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to apply to the course and try their hand at this profession?

When considering taking this course, you should figure out why you want to do it. Are you looking to switch careers, learn more, pick up a new skill, or just because you’re curious? Make sure what you expect from the course matches why you’re doing it.

If you’re okay with getting feedback that helps you improve, learning something new every day, and seeing things in a new way, then definitely go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose. What you learn can even help you in other jobs. I’m living proof that UI Academy can set you up for a new start in design or a career change. It’s a good investment, but only if you have the time, resources, and support you need. The only people who miss out are the ones who don’t give it a shot.

Interested in UI design? Can you picture yourself in a creative digital career?

With UI Academy x Codecool’s online, English-language training, in three months you’ll gain the knowledge and UI portfolio to open the doors to IT.

Check the course’s page, see all the technologies and skills that we teach, and let us know if you have any questions. We’re glad to help and excited to get to know you!

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