Students of Xi: From Architect to Service Designer at Qantas
This year, Tobias Robinson decided to leave the comfort of his job as an Architect to enter the world of Service Design — an industry that had only recently popped up on his radar.
“When I found Service Design, I started asking questions as I didn’t know what it was. The more I delved into that world, the more excited I became,” recalls Tobias.
Before Tobias found Service Design, he felt trapped in the slow pace of Architecture. “Most Architects will say they’re the most highly skilled, underpaid people. And it’s true, but for me, money wasn’t the chief motivator — it was also the pace of the industry.”
Instead of staying in a job that failed to satisfy and bring him fulfilment, Tobias went out in search of a new field, industry, and career. He landed at Academy Xi and took both the part-time Service Design course and the full-time User Experience Design course.
At first, Tobias replaced his nine-to-five job as an Architect with a full-time UX course — essentially comprising the same hours as a full-time job for 10 weeks. Throughout the course, students were exposed to other fields of design that utilise the skills of UX. One of these fields was Service Design. Tobias became interested in learning more about this field and delved straight into the SD part-time course, two evenings a week, at the same time as continuing the UX Transform full-time course!
The exposure of two different fields, the overlap of skills, and the insights of multiple instructors created the perfect storm of experience. This experience, led by a determined motivation to learn and dive into new industries, would lead Tobias down the path needed to meet the right employer.
During the Service Design course, Tobias worked on a real-life project with Qantas. All of the students in the course focused on the service design of baggage handling: a project that was both complex and intensive, providing the perfect learning environment for deploying Service Design skills.
While working with designers at Qantas, Tobias was headhunted for a newly launched airline project. Qantas was on the lookout for someone with skills in Service Design and problem-solving to help them launch their in-flight connectivity service — essentially their new Wi-Fi offering, and Tobias seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
Tobias had always dreamed of working in the airline industry; it’s not only a glamourous industry, but it’s customer-centric at its core. “Airlines have a way of fostering skills and staff, which is not something that many corporations get right. There’s a lot of business-to-business work that goes on in Qantas, but at the end of the day, the touch point is the customer,” he explains. He started working officially for Qantas after [the UX/SD course ended], and was thrilled at the immediate opportunity available ahead of him.
In his new role as Service Design Business Analyst at Qantas, Tobias spends more than half of his time talking to people, whether they be customers trialing the MVP or engineers working on the service.
“It’s engaging with people, it’s coordinating people, and it’s knowing the right questions to ask,” explains Tobias.
On explaining the what-if scenarios, Tobias admits that if he didn’t have the courage to make the leap into Service Design, he would be stuck in an industry that just wasn’t for him.
“I would be very slowly chugging away at a career in architecture that presented a much narrower scope. There are a lot of amazing architects who really enjoy doing very particular things, but that was never me.”
And all of his hard work has led here: to a new job in his new industry, almost immediately after his investment of hard work and dedicated learning time. Reflecting back on his journey, Tobias smiles: “Working on real industry projects at Academy Xi has set me up for working as a Service Designer at Qantas.”
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If you’re like Tobias and are stuck in a career that’s not the right fit, make the change today and transition into a role that’s challenging, exciting, ever-changing. Learn more about our Service Design course and how you can transform your career.