Volunteer Spotlight: Matt Karakilic

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UXPA Volunteer Spotlight: Matt Karakilic (Collage Photo)

Matt Karakilic
Conference On-Site Volunteer Chair

Meet Matt, our wonderful and innovative UXPA International Conference On-Site Volunteer Chair. Matt has helped UXPA create welcoming and enjoyable conference experiences for more than five years. Feel free to say hi and to see him in action at UXPA 2024!

1) How did you get started in UX?

When I started my journey to become an engineer, I soon realized I didn’t want to be behind the screen not interacting with people. After countless visits to my engineer advisor, he suggested I check out the new department our university had. Before I knew it, I was enjoying everything Design was bringing to my plate! I took my first internship with SAP in India as a UX Designer and after, I realized what I’ve been doing all these years was called UX.

2) What do you find most rewarding about this profession?

I absolutely love interacting with people. Learning their pain points and designing solutions for those issues are my most rewarding moments. Doing research, bringing data to the C-level, and educating them are other rewarding moments I find in my profession. ❤️

3) What inspired you to start volunteering for UXPA International?

I wanted to attend a conference and UXPA was one of my first to try. I actually applied to be an onsite volunteer and was accepted! Volunteering is something I love, but never thought helping my own peeps in the same profession would be this rewarding. As I chatted with attendees at the conference, I started to notice how these individuals fix the companies’ products they work for, but no one helps them with what they need. So, if they are here to learn, and looking to have a valuable experience, I thought this will be a terrific way to give back to them! So, whether they want a better venue or a kick a** conference, I want to be sure they receive it! Before I knew it, I was involved with UXPA every year and working to improve the process with other volunteers to serve our peeps in the best way possible.

4) What are you most looking forward to at UXPA 2024?

Closeness – Everything that’s happening in the world affects us. We get separated by each other day by day. I think events like the UXPA International Conference brings like-minded people together to tackle the problems from the core. It’s an entirely volunteer run event and everyone puts in so much time to make this event special so that everyone feels welcome. As Rumi said in his poem “Come, Come, Whoever You Are,”

"Come, come whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving,
It doesn't matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow
a thousand times.
Come, yet again, come, come."

So, you are always welcome here. 🙏

5) What song at the reception can we play to make sure you get up and dance?!

“Tequila?” 😁

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