The OCC Effect: Helena Jaramillo

Helena Jaramillo was born in Ecuador, immigrated to the United States and grew up in Syracuse. After spending her freshman year at Nottingham High School, she moved out west and graduated from a high school in Boulder, Colorado. Her desire to attend Onondaga Community College brought her back to Central New York. “It was an excellent choice for me. I saved money and explored different subjects so I could find what I was most passionate about.”

Her exploratory journey led her from journalism to web development. “I remember the CIS (Computer Information Systems) classes, because they helped me build a strong foundation in coding, in order to later grasp new material better.” After her time at OCC, Jaramillo transferred to SUNY Purchase to study New Media.

Shortly after earning her degree Jaramillo moved to Zurich, Switzerland to become an Interaction Designer at Google until 2016. Since then, she has been working at TransferWise, a London based company, as a Product Designer. “In short, I design digital services like apps and websites so that they are both delightful and easy to use.”

Despite working almost 3,500 miles away and for some of the biggest companies in the world, Jaramillo still reaches back to her OCC roots almost on a daily basis. “I worked while going to school full-time, as did many of my classmates. That work ethic along with the fundamentals from my CIS classes are always with me and keep me motivated and inspired.”