Diego Encarnacion ’18

Company / School: IBM

Position / Degree: User Researcher and UX Designer


  • BA, Philosophy, Vassar College

Diego Encarnacion (he/him) graduated from Vassar in 2018 with a major in Philosophy. After taking an online bootcamp and spending a year freelancing as a User Experience (UX) Designer for small businesses in Poughkeepsie, Diego was hired at IBM. Today, Diego is a UX Designer and Design Researcher for IBM mainframe security. He is heavily involved in the planning and development of IT security software—the applications that IT professionals use to ensure that personal data is protected from insider and outsider threats. On an average day, Diego interviews the people who use IBM’s security software, researching how the software may be improved to better address their needs. Diego also spends time creating wireframes—mockups of the websites and applications that developers will use as a guide for how an app will look and feel. As a Design Lead, Diego mentors four junior designers and helps steer IBM strategically when it comes to the mainframe. Diego’s role is hybrid—he sometimes works from IBM’s Poughkeepsie office, though most days he works from his home in Stamford, CT.

Advice to Students:

Remember that your major does not determine your career path. I was a philosophy major five years ago and now I work in tech. If I look at my friends who graduated in 2018, most of them do completely different things from what they majored in, and that’s totally fine. What matters is whether you can demonstrate an interest in something, even if you’re brand-new to it. Over time, people will notice. If you don’t know where to start, research how others in your desired career got to where they are. Work backwards from there.

Comments are closed.