At haku, we pride ourselves on a diverse and unique collection of talent and personalities. The newest member of our haku family is Product Designer, Nelson Gaitan.
Nelson was born and raised in Miami to Nicaraguan parents, the first of his family born in the US. His interest in tech drove a desire to learn about websites and development, front and backend, in addition to creative design. He took courses in his free time and entered a bootcamp for web development. Now, he’s executing his craft at haku.
What's your role at haku?
My title is Product Designer but I’ll be doing multiple things including email design, branding, marketing. This is a bigger company than I’ve been at before and I’ll be working with the development team on UX/UI. At a bigger company, I can have a bigger impact.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’s never met you?
They’d think I’m quiet or serious and I get it, I give off that vibe. But eventually I’ll show the other side of me, which is very outgoing and friendly. I try to take it slow and relate to people and grow into the team dynamic that’s been built here. I love to read - I’m big into science fiction. I find outer space so interesting. We can’t comprehend what it would be like to land on another planet.
If you weren’t a designer what would your career path have been?
Music composer! Growing up we all had some fun times playing video games. To me, the music in those games was so unique. I could have been involved in that world. It doesn’t matter whether you’re feeling happy, sad or upset, you can relate to music. I played guitar as a teenager. I initially went to school to study music composition.
What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
This might sound a bit strange, but stretching. I have to do this before I leave the house or do anything productive. That’s in a tie with a good cup of coffee, but I have to move myself around and stretch and get the blood flowing. I find it important to do something that fulfills me. That’s motivation. Design is problem solving using creative metrics. I have to be ready to be creative in the mornings.
What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
Nicaragua. I still have family there. Ometepe is a beautiful island in the middle of Nicaragua and my mom is from there! It has two volcanoes, one still active, and it’s a very unique experience.
What is a dream destination you haven’t been to?
I would say Korea and Japan. I listen to alot of music in other languages. With my background in music composition, Korean and Japanese music has always interested me - there’s something about their sound. It’s a unique perspective on sound and after studying music and structure, it caught my ear. I would love to visit and explore their culture.
How did you hear about haku? Why did you want to work here?
I’ve known about haku for a while. While I was at the design bootcamp, Ironhack, they bring industry speakers for motivational or inspirational purposes. Ironically, one of the memorable guest speakers was haku’s own Jackie Levi. Go figure! She’s well known to us who took that course. For this position specifically, I saw the role posted on LinkedIn and just applied. And it worked out!
If haku announced a last-minute day off for tomorrow, what would you do with your suddenly free day?
Realistically on today’s timeline, I would most likely use this chance to learn about the business a bit. I know it sounds boring. But think about it like when you get a new computer and you try to learn everything about it - I’m only a fraction of the way in. I’ve learned so much in my first few days but I want to learn so much more. By the afternoon, I would probably go to a boxing class. I’m boxing a few times a week and it’s a great workout.
What is an important lesson you’ve learned that helps you career-wise or personally?
Whatever happens in life, we can’t control it. Today, tomorrow, any day. But you can control how you react. No matter what it is, or how difficult the situation, I can control how I react.
What are some of your long-term career goals?
I strive to be a Product Manager one day. (Watch out Adam W.! Nelson is coming for your job!) In the last year or so after working remotely, I’ve realized I can be more organized. Product Managers have to be organized. I’m taking product management courses and I love seeing different perspectives. It’s been helpful for me and my career. Thinking about how to remove roadblocks for our product to improve, hold briefings, budget considerations, working with other products that cross paths with eachother. I think managing all of that would be great in the long-term future.
We are very excited to have Nelson join our team and we will be showcasing his designs on upcoming customer-facing projects very soon.
Want to explore an exciting career at haku? We’re growing our team and always looking for talented and outgoing individuals to add to our incredible haku family. Check out our openings here.