Tag Archives: ga grads

Founding a Company Entirely on UX Design: How GA Grads Started Jewelry Company Vrai & Oro

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General Assembly grads Vrai and Oro

For years, Chelsea Nicholson and Vanessa Stofenmacher felt that the fine jewelry on the market just wasn’t for them. They wanted to make a statement with pieces that were classic yet attainable, and had an inkling other women felt the same. After graduating from General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive program in Los Angeles, they decided to do something about it.

The pair, who were friends before they were classmates, teamed up to launch Vrai and Oro — a Warby Parker-style fine jewelry startup that embodies UX principles its core. Vrai and Oro means truth (in French) and gold (in Spanish), and the name is reflected in the company’s values: quality, simplicity, and transparency. Chelsea and Vanessa produce their jewelry with ethically sourced materials in downtown Los Angeles — without designer markups. And, true to their UX-driven brand, their website and eCommerce platform is minimalistic and image-driven for easy use.

We caught up with Chelsea to learn more about Vrai & Oro, the site’s user experience, and how GA helped the co-founders achieve their goals.

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An Agency Perspective on Hiring at General Assembly

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Hiring at General Assembly

Keval Baxi is the CEO and Chairman of Codal, a UX Design, Web & Mobile application development agency based in Chicago. Below, he shares his thoughts on hiring at General Assembly, why he uses General Assembly as a talent pipeline for his company, and tips for graduates on how to stand out to recruiters and hiring managers.

You can almost always find someone from my company, Codal, attending one of the “Meet & Hire” events at General Assembly’s Chicago campus. As an agency that has grown at a consistently high pace over the last few years, we are always looking out for additional talent to join our team. It can often be very challenging to find quality candidates for interviews, but we’ve had a lot of success with hiring at General Assembly — especially at Meet & Hire events. We’ve put together several aspects of GA that have brought our company value and advice for new grads about getting hired.

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Welcome Home, Colin Hart!

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Teaching and learning at General Assembly

From classical ballet dancer to software engineer and instructional leader, Colin Hart transformed his life and career when he graduated from General Assembly’s Back-End Web Development course (BEWD) and Web Development Immersive (WDI) in early 2014. He came back to GA to teach WDI and was recently snatched up by the new WDI Remote team to be a lead instructor for the pilot course, which launched on May 16. Colin sat with us to share his story about teaching and learning at General Assembly.

Tell me about your journey.

I spent my youth training to be a classical ballet dancer. Even though I wasn’t able to do it professionally, it was like my first career because I would spend five, six hours a day training and performing. Getting injured led me to attend college instead, and I ended up majoring in media and communications and focusing my studies on digital communications. I interned for the United Nations writing a preliminary literature review around rights and dangers for youth online in Malaysia.

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