Headshot photo of MBS alumni

This month, we are thrilled to be sharing the story of MBS alumni Suleiman Ali Shakir. Suleiman graduated from the Professional Science Master's program in 2019 with a concentration in User Experience Design (UXD). He serves as Design Systems Designer at Amazon.  

With a background in computer science and engineering, Suleiman has strong roots in app and web development. Wanting to improve his understanding of design to effectively solve the right problems for users, he enrolled in the MBS degree with a concentration in UXD in 2017. He has worked as a designer across industries including healthcare, automation, and media. Currently, he focuses on building design systems for various teams to educate and help them ship higher-quality products efficiently.

Why did you choose the MBS degree?  

A large part of design is being able to understand not just user problems but also the business. Coming up with solutions and then effectively ’selling’ that to stakeholders is also a part of the job. The courses offered focused on those areas beyond design which was a huge factor. 

What did you find to be the most valuable aspects of this program? 

A focus on core business courses were most valuable. The longer I am in the realm of design, the learnings from those courses have become all the relevant. 

What did you enjoy the most about this program? 

A lot of electives that truly let you customize your learning journey. Although I was studying design, I had the freedom to stretch beyond into areas such as development and ML [machine learning]. Glad I took those courses because I’m able to work a lot better with those teams. 

What has been your biggest professional achievement?  

Being fortunate to have learned and experienced a great deal in this profession that I’m able to help/mentor many other designers - https://adplist.org/mentors/suleiman-ali-shakir 

Do you have any advice for current students?  

With AI disrupting a lot of domains, there never has been a more exciting time to be in design. Always stay curious and learn as much as you can. Meet many people, learn and re-learn from their experiences. Beyond core design skills, I would also focus on cross-domain expertise, communication and collaboration as they become important on the job. Lastly, don’t get discouraged if you come from an atypical background into design—it gives you a unique perspective so turn that into your superpower. 

Read more from Suleiman on his blog.  

Author(s): Julianna Rossano Published on: 07/12/2023
Tags: MBS Alumni, alumni, Alumni spotlight, alumni advice, User Experience Design