Alicia Lin (MIIPS '12)
Empowering Students in Their Career Search
After receiving her master's degree in 2012, Alicia Lin was searching for a job that would complement her new skills in product and service innovation. The program had taught her to approach everything differently, even the job search itself. While exploring and applying for positions, innovation-minded Lin recognized a glaring opportunity gap for technology to better support college students in finding their ideal career path, “In the 21st century, with all the technology available, [I thought] there must be a better way for college students to prepare themselves to find not just a job, but a desirable career after graduation,” she explains. Fortunately, Lin found her next career step at LinkedIn, where, as a Senior UX Designer, she has addressed this challenge for college students by developing an innovative product: LinkedIn Students App. She has sinced moved on to a Designer role for YouTube Kids.
When at LinkedIn, she came up with the idea for the LinkedIn Students App and presented it to the CEO.
She explained her vision of how LinkedIn could not only help students find a job after college but also assist them in pursuing the right career based on their skills and goals. Lin says, “I am grateful that I was able to present my ideas [and] thrilled that the CEO saw the value in my proposal.”
In November 2015, Lin and her LinkedIn team piloted the LinkedIn Students App for undergraduate students at San Jose State University. As part of the pilot, they conducted a formal research study where they asked students to use the app everyday and provide feedback on its usability, features, and expectations. In February 2016, they used the feedback to redesign the app and presented this new product iteration to students at the University of Central Florida. “Our team traveled to UCF and assisted students in crafting their LinkedIn profile, taking a professional headshot, and showing them the LinkedIn Students app,” explains Lin.
After seeing its success in the pilot programs, LinkedIn decided to back the app. In April 2016, the company publicly launched the app in both the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.
The Integrated Innovation Experience
Lin obtained her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Unlike many mechanical engineers who traditionally focus on product implementation, she became interested in front-end development after studying the Integrated Innovation Institute's Master of Product Development (now Master of Integrated Innovation for Products & Services). “I was really lucky to have the option to pursue an interdisciplinary graduate degree, like MPD, since it helped me figure out my path into design and product [and] land my role as a UX Designer at LinkedIn,” she says.