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Danielle Demme ’16

Danielle Demme ’16 currently works as a designer for IBM Watson. Her degree from La Roche enabled her to start her career with a Fortune 500 company within one year of graduating.

What does your job entail?

I work on enterprise software, specifically Watson (Artificial Intelligence) with a focus on conversational design.

As a designer I am a champion for the people who use our products and services, creating delightful experiences through crafting the emotional design, behavioral influence and reflective consequence.

I use user-experience design through the interpretation and synthesis of human research, insights and requirements, and an understanding of complex systems and cognitive technology.

This defines the end-to-end solution experience—how a solution will be organized, how users will interact with them and how information will be presented. This enables users to be successful and delivers a highly useful, usable, compelling and satisfying experience.

How did La Roche prepare you for this position?

I was taught how to use different methods and techniques for problem solving. If you have the toolbox of skills you need, there is nothing stopping you from achieving the ultimate goal.

We were able to put these skills to the test when collaborating with real clients and companies that came to work with the students.

La Roche’s program is very plugged into the design community, which allowed our curriculum to fit what the industry was looking for when we graduated.

Why would you recommend La Roche to a prospective student?

You are a part of very exclusive community that makes it easy to build long-lasting and memorable relationships. It is easy to be seen as who you are rather than another number, and this can be a very special experience throughout your journey over the next four or more years.

Why did you choose La Roche?

I chose La Roche because I am a Pittsburgh local and knew the school had a strong design program that holds merit both in the city and beyond.

What impact did La Roche have on you as a person?

My professors and mentors encouraged me to push myself beyond limits I thought I wasn't capable of. Today I still continue to have the same drive.

What are you most proud of when you look back on your La Roche experience?

I am most proud of winning the overall Best in Show Award at the annual Positive Space exhibit. Local design professionals volunteer their time to judge students’ work.

What advice do you have for our students?

Network. Always attend local events and build relationships with people. You never know who you will meet, so always keep a positive attitude.

I also suggest looking into internships as a backup while you look for the ideal job you are trying to pursue. These internships could turn into full-time jobs, or allow you to gain experience in different domains and grow your professional skills.

You need to be determined to get where you want to be. Work hard, and everything will fall into place. Grow from your mistakes, and always look at tomorrow as a new day to start over or learn something new.