Engineering a Creative Career Change

by Tyler Drake | May 23, 2019
High achieving Web Design student Nicole Porata trained as an engineer but recently chose to explore a career that inspires her more creatively: Web Design. By enrolling in the Sessions Web Design degree program, Nicole is pursuing a path that engages her analytical and her expressive sides. As a President’s List honoree and on track to graduate this fall, Nicole’s career change seems to be coming up aces.

Q: Nicole, you began your professional career as an engineer. What got you interested in that profession?

That’s right, I have a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering with a minor in Renewable Energy. I graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2013. Originally, I wanted to be an Architect but ended up in engineering to learn the math behind building design. With this degree I was planning on continuing my education into a Masters Degree in Architecture. Of course, this plan changed.

Q: What made you decide to switch to a more creative field?

When I started working in the engineering field, I instantly knew I could not do this for the next 30 years. Although it’s a fantastic career, the repetition was suffocating my creativity and excitement toward everyday life. I needed to be in a field where I could fully express myself, which is why I chose Web Design.

Nicole Porata web design project work

Q: You were recently nominated an Honor Roll and President’s List student for the Winter 2019 semester. To what would you attribute to your success?

Woo! Definitely time management. I am still working full time as an engineer so managing my time properly has been my savior. Dedication and passion have kept me motivated throughout the overbearing moments.

Q: At this point of your academic career with Sessions what has been your favorite class?

I have really enjoyed the classes on Adobe Dreamweaver, putting HTML and CSS together into this incredible program allows me to use both my analytical and creative side. I love it!

Nicole Porata AOS degree project work

Q: Do you see any parallels between engineering and Web design and development?

I do. The problem solving skills I learned in engineering have greatly helped me in the back end coding of web design. I am used to coming up with and executing every possible solution until something sticks. Which happens often in both fields.

Q: What advice would you give to others that are looking to making a career change and/or furthering their education?

Just do it! It is terrifying to start over especially when you already have a secure and stable career but spending everyday unhappy is not worth the security. You never know what taking that leap of faith will provide you in the future and taking that risk is always better than wondering what it could have been.

Visit to find out more about our Web design degree and Web Design certificate programs. Talk to our friendly Admissions team to find out more about our completing your application, available financial aid, and more. 

Tyler Drake is the Senior Director of Student Services at Sessions College. Tyler earned a Masters Degree in Sports Leadership at Concordia University Chicago. He is passionate about sports, movies, music, family, and the benefits of a quality education.