Hernán Lozano Guerrero
Date of the interview
What motivated you to pursue a master's degree in Digital Media at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences?
Stepping outside of my comfort zone is one of the things that I’ve been doing consistently throughout my life and this was the case when I decided to continue growing professionally as soon as I finished my bachelor’s degree back in my home country. After doing extensive research and comparing the pros and cons of different study programmes offered by institutions from different countries, I chose the Master of Arts in Digital Media from Rhine-Waal, since its curriculum was exactly what I was looking for, the language of the study programme was English (as I wasn’t fluent in German at that time), and the opportunity to study at a tuition-free university with a diverse and international environment made this the perfect choice for me.
What was the topic of your thesis?
Optimizing Design Systems: Best Practices for Using and Maintaining Design Systems across Multidisciplinary Teams. You can take a look at it at the following link!
You’re currently working as a Digital Experience Designer at LOOP New Media GmbH. Please tell us more about the path you took to this career.
It all started by getting used to doing practical projects at Rhine-Waal in a very autodidactic way. You get a lot of independence since the professors are not going to tell you what to do, so you need to have a lot of initiative and be self-motivated to learn things on your own. This led me to do some side projects that I put together in a portfolio and it allowed me to land my first job at a design agency in Cologne. I was a working student (Werkstudent) and had to commute three hours a day. Then I continued working at a couple of other agencies during the pandemic. I had a lot of interviews during a certain period of time with agencies from different parts of Europe. In the end, I chose LOOP since it was the best match for me. It’s an international agency with a lot of benefits for its employees and it delivers high-quality work. It was not easy to get here, but hard work always pays off.
What are your main tasks and responsibilities?
I’m a digital designer who specializes in creating digital experiences and interactive prototypes for brand and e-commerce websites. I have applied my knowledge about optimizing design systems (my master’s thesis topic) and I have conducted workshops about Figma. I have been working on different types of projects for a wide variety of clients ranging from startups and mid-size companies to big brands such as Tupperware, Red Bull, Porsche, PUMA, and ADAC, to mention a few.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The opportunity to work 100% remotely, the great colleagues, everyone’s passionate about what they do and are quite friendly; the high standards we have to deliver outstanding work, the openness to try out new ideas and evolve in your career, the benefits you get as an employee, the list goes on.
Which important skills for this position did you acquire during your studies at Rhine-Waal University?
In a fast-paced environment such as the digital design field, you need to keep yourself updated by constantly learning new things and nobody’s going to teach you what you need to know. This is very similar to what I experienced during the master’s degree: you have to learn things on your own if you want to succeed. Once you make this habit yours, the ability to be autodidact sets you apart from many professionals who end up paying for courses to learn about new tools, methods, etc.
Looking back, how would you evaluate your degree programme in Digital Media?
Overall, I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to study in this programme, as it marked the start of a new career in my life that I didn’t even know I could excel at. The diversity of people you meet, the different cultures, and the experiences you get when you challenge yourself by studying at a university abroad are priceless. The only thing I wish I had was professors who had more specialized knowledge in digital design, but I wouldn’t change anything because this is what pushed me to go further and search for myself what I was missing at the time.