Alumni Spotlight: Alumna and Trailblazer Lands Career in UX Design – LaRia Rogers MIM ‘20

iSchool News - May 3, 2021

Driven to pursue a higher education, LaRia Rogers, MIM ’20, found a second home at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies (UMD iSchool).

photo of LaRia Rogers smiling

Driven to pursue a higher education, LaRia Rogers, MIM ’20, found a second home at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies (UMD iSchool). Enthralled with the iSchool’s flexible programs, research facilities, and gateways into a vast professional network, LaRia began her Master of Information Management (MIM) degree with a specialization in user experience (UX).

“MIM was the perfect mix between academics, networking and career-building,” says LaRia. “I learned how to be a strategic leader, and I think that’s what separated the MIM program from the other programs offered at UMD’s iSchool. It allowed me to build my skills in technology and strategy.”

During her time at the iSchool, LaRia had the chance to apply her background in project management and technology to her work in and outside of the classroom. While navigating her way towards a career in UX design, she became the first-ever graduate student to complete a year-long Graduate Innovation Fellowship with UMD’s Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She also held the role of Design Project Manager for Terrapin Work, a space for designing and manufacturing resources for the community, and acted as the Public Relations Officer for UXTerps, a student-run organization which aims to foster a creative and inclusive space for future UX professionals.

One of LaRia’s most significant inspirations leading her to pursue a career in UX came after attending the inaugural UX Black Summit in 2019. Hosted by Deana Anglin, a Senior UX Researcher at Google, LaRia says, “This experience changed my life – representation is extremely important in this field and I’m happy to be a part of pushing towards diversity in the UX field.”

As a Lead UX Designer for Mindgrub, LaRia supports the Creative User Experience team by leading design research and strategy initiatives for various clients. She also maintains a strong bond with the iSchool as an Adjunct Professor for the undergraduate InfoSci program where she teaches information science, user research & design, and project management. In addition to her professor career, LaRia serves as a curriculum developer for Girl Develop It and is a Dent Education Coach Alumna.

As advice to current students, LaRia says, “you have to go above and beyond to show you’re passionate in this field – and there’s no better way to do this than to take advantage of the resources that UMD and the MIM program has to offer.” She emphasizes the importance of developing great communication and presentation skills, which can make a difference in stakeholder buy-in.

When she’s not working, LaRia enjoys keeping up with the latest binge-worthy Netflix series and playing with her goldendoodle, Saint.