Senior Design Partner
When she first graduated from IU in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in religious studies, Anna Eaglin didn’t quite know what she wanted to do. She worked for a while but still felt like she had more to learn.
“I was working and doing the whole post-grad thing for a while,” remembers Eaglin. “I had always wanted to work in tech, but I had no tech background.”
So, she started researching programs and found one that she liked here at IU: the Human Computer Interaction Design program at the School of Informatics and Computing. Here, she honed her skills as a user experience designer and established a tight-knit network of peers that she’s remained in contact with.
“Every job I’ve ever gotten in tech has been through alumni connections, and I’ve helped others too,” says Eaglin. In fact, one of these connections got her a job working at Lextant, a design research and user experience design firm in Columbus, Ohio, right after she graduated in 2011.
However, Eaglin, who is a Madison, Indiana, native, got a hankering to return to the heartland so she and her wife could be closer to family.
Through another HCI connection, she landed a job as a senior design partner at Innovatemap, where she still works. This Indy-based product design agency partners with startups to help them develop their product. They conduct research, design user experiences and help the startup with marketing. “We help bring big ideas to life,” says Eaglin.
Although she wasn’t involved with CEWiT as a student, Eaglin has recently been drawing attention from members here due to her accomplishments as a woman in tech. She was even asked by Jennifer Turrentine, CEWiT’s Assistant Director for Cross-Alliance Initiatives, to participate on a panel at the upcoming Be Golden Conference that focuses on diversity in tech. The conference was held last week and was intended to provide women of all kinds with a weekend full of resources and support to better themselves and gain confidence.
Eaglin says that, although women are very well represented in Indianapolis’ tech scene and the wage gap here is much smaller, not everywhere is as accommodating, so we need to make sure that we are continuing to welcome diverse groups of people into the industry. “As we bring products into the world, it is important to have different experiences, identities and backgrounds banded by a common experience,” explains Eaglin.
One way to do this is to encourage women to pursue whatever they want and not let anything stand in their way.
“We are socialized to be accommodating and apologetic and not be aggressive,” says Eaglin. “My advice is to go after anything you want. Fake it ‘til you make it.”