Making an Impact: How a MetroStar UX Strategist Won a 2020 Rising Star Award


Blue portrait styled line art of a woman who is Liz

MetroStar is exploring the positive impact our people are having on the world around them. In this series, you will learn about the different roles, projects, and positive changes MetroStar’s team is helping to create.

Within a year of Liz's arrival, she has made incredible impacts within her field.

Liz was raised in the DC area, so she was excited to find her way back to the city after a stint in Michigan. She is currently a Senior UX Strategist at MetroStar working with Federal clients. She is responsible for the user experience on websites for Federal customers, contract holders, and potential customers.

A Place To Call Home

After receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Religious Studies, Liz pursued her Masters in Human-Centered Computing from the University of Maryland and a MicroMasters in User Experience (UX) Research and Design from the University of Michigan. 

During her first job after college, she fell in love with the process of website building and how great sites can positively transform an organization. She learned the most critical part of a website is truly understanding the user's needs and how they will interact with the site.

Fast forward a few years, Liz moved to Michigan with her future wife and began a Web Strategist job at the University of Michigan. It was there that she was able to hone her website building skills.

"I had a really great mentor and learned so much about coding and the back-end of coding. It was nice to be learning in a safe environment," Liz said.

These new skills unlocked a greater passion for user-experience, so when the time came to move back to Washington, D.C., Liz knew she wanted a job in the field she had grown to love, and began applying to UX jobs across industries.

"I was nervous going back into consulting, and I only applied to one place that I thought looked really inviting -- it was MetroStar," Liz said.

Liz knew MetroStar was the right choice for her because she could connect with other passionate people. "Every day, I get to work with people who are so good at their jobs, so that makes it easy for me to be better at my job. I truly lucked out," Liz said.

When looking at consulting roles, she knew company culture was a huge factor for her long-term happiness.

"This company is socially conscious, and when you hear leadership say people are the forefront of the company, they truly believe that," Liz said. "I could learn new skills and have a new career path but still find a role at MetroStar. There are no barriers to your long-term goals."

While the company culture drove her to apply to MetroStar, she has since discovered how much she enjoys creating solutions for her client and their projects.

"By helping our client, I see the impact of our work in real-time because it creates opportunities to help other people who need their resources," Liz said. "By keeping our client's website as user-friendly as possible, we can see the impact they have on the greater community."

Her Work and Impact

Despite only being with the MetroStar team for over a year, Liz has been an invaluable member of her client's team. 

Liz and the UX team follow MetroStar's DesignOps process to ensure our client's website visitors can easily navigate the areas of the website that they need or that are of interest to them. Liz's process involves engaging stakeholders, product owners, and end-users in UX research exercises, including user interviews and card sorting activities to extract the information required to redesign a user-friendly website.

Her dedication and drive for her client, MetroStar, and her team secured her a spot as a 2020 Rising Star Awardee with the Government Innovation Awards. This award recognizes individuals who are early in their Federal IT careers but have already made an impressive impact in the industry.

"It's really humbling even to be nominated for the award, let alone win. Many people get nominated, and to be chosen as a winner is a great honor," Liz said. "This award reminds me that I am always supported at MetroStar, and I have great mentors that have helped me grow."

Liz is also a rising star within MetroStar's Experience Strategy Team. Her leadership role requires her to share her client experiences during the team's Digital Ignite Series. The lessons she and her UX team have learned during their client's website redesign process will help other UX team members accomplish current and potential projects.


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