Jillian Hobbs is an excellent example of a highly skilled, exceptionally talented UX designer and product manager from New York who recently received her endorsement for exceptional talent and visa. Jillian had already gone through a similar process of obtaining a special visa to live and work in Paris for 2 years however, the process, she says, of the Global Talent Visa (formerly Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) endorsement was more challenging and required specific evidence of her skills, innovation and impact on the tech sector.
Having spent a few months seeking advice from an immigration solicitor to help her with the Stage 1 endorsement application and process, Jillian did not feel that she received the right support and almost gave up. Until she contacted me.
From the outset, and like many women in tech I help, Jillian was unsure about whether or not she would be eligible and even if she was, she was unsure about whether or not she would be successful. While I don’t guarantee success, I was able to help Jillian see how her evidence could meet the criteria by focussing on her accolades, her achievements, her innovative work, her impact and how to present her evidence to fulfil the criteria and show just how exceptionally talented she was.
And of course, having been through the process myself, there were moments of imposter syndrome and second guessing whether her evidence and skills were “good enough”. I reminded Jillian that her track record in designing innovative digital products leading to her winning awards for her design work in the science and fashion industry, her significant impact on the sector, her multidiscliplinary background as well as being accepted into Parsons, School of Design in New York where she was a top student to being a mentor to not only students but to her own teachers as she gained more and more experience, were excellent reasons why she should be endorsed with exceptional talent.
Most applicants that I speak to feel that an endorsement for exceptional talent are for candidates who are loud and proud, are extroverts who have a larger than life persona who show their leading talent.
Jillian, on the other hand is a highly talented and creative tech professional who leads by example, works with and leads teams across two international cities to produce high quality pieces of work that she is proud of and very humble even with all the awards she has won (and almost embarrassed to be recognised for her exceptional talent!). She is a quiet thinker and has life long connections with senior executives and experts who did not hesitate to provide her with excellent recommendations.
It was an absolute pleasure to work with Jillian over the summer months while she was melting in the summer heat in Paris and I, in Ireland where we worked remotely over skype and what’s app.
Jillian’s endorsement for exceptional talent was very well deserved because her evidence led the assessor to grant her with exceptional talent even though she submitted under exceptional promise. To think Jillian nearly didn’t apply because she didn’t receive the right support, I am so pleased Jillian connected with me before giving up and took the leap of faith that maybe, just maybe, she could be successful. And she was! And having been through it myself, this process really does test your confidence. It is also not just an application. It affects your professional and personal life, questions your why and purpose as well as force you to dig deep into what you want your future to hold.
And for Jillian, that future is London and her dream of living and working in the UK has just become her reality.
I felt an absolute whirlwind of emotions. One moment you feel very confident, the next you’re not sure, but Michelle was extremely reassuring and based on her own experience and experience with other clients, she’s seen it all. There’s something very comforting in knowing you’re not the only person to doubt yourself during this process. The most remarkable part was the amount of confidence I began to build during our time in working together.
I received so much more than just materials and resources. Michelle provided a valuable second eye on all my documents and writing, she questioned and helped problem-solve and provided endless encouragement which, trust me you’re going to need and be very thankful for.
I’m so grateful for my time with Michelle, we laughed, I cried (almost), and I have come out of the process more confident in who I am as a professional, but also where I want to take my career. It’s so worth it!
Jillian Hobbs, Exceptional Talent Visa Recipient
Thank you and congratulations Jillian! May your new adventures in London be as fruitful and successful as they were in Paris and New York. You are an inspiration to women in tech in Paris, New York and now London. Welcome to the UK!
This blog was written by Michelle Hua, Consultant, Speaker, CEO & Founder of Made With Glove. In 2016, Michelle was the recipient of the Exceptional Talent Visa (now called Global Talent Visa) and is the former #TechNationVisa Ambassador. Michelle consults for highly skilled tech entrepreneurs and people working in digital technologies on how they can receive the endorsement for exceptional talent or exceptional promise. Read Michelle’s other blogs on the #TechNationVisa here and Michelle’s own journey here.