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Solid Sit-Downs: Miguel Seclén Benites, Web Designer

Miguel Seclen Blog Cover

Miguel is a designer based in Connecticut, who graduated from UConn with a BFA in Digital Media and Design. He has experience working as a graphic and web designer and is passionate about creating great design solutions. When not designing, he likes to go running, watch movies, and play video games.

What is your favorite quote?

“Apes alone… weak. Apes together strong.” – Caesar, Rise of the Planet of Apes

What inspired you to become a designer?

There wasn’t really any one thing or person that inspired me to become a designer, instead, it was more of a gradual evolution. Drawing was how I first got into art of any kind, and I picked up Photoshop and began learning other software from there. I decided on digital design because it intersects with so much of what I enjoy doing. Not just design, but technology, problem-solving, animation, and more.

What are your top 3 favorite books or podcasts?

Any reading I do is typically news and as far as podcasts, I’ve mostly been listening to one recently, “Some More News”. It’s a news-style comedy podcast that provides commentary on national or world events.

Who is your tech or design inspiration?

I look for inspiration in many places, and I found that album covers are a great source of interesting visuals. I am always searching for new music, and 3D artist Jonathan Zawada’s work is one I came across when listening to some of my favorite electronic albums. His work may not be directly related to the medium I work in, but his work is always branching out into new territory and inspires me to do the same.

What is a tip you can give to someone who is interested in a similar career path as you?

I would say practice being a good team member. This is sometimes understated among designers, where a lot of the focus is on being creative. Contributing, being dependable, and considerate of your colleague’s duties and time can often go farther than being creative alone. People remember and enjoy working with people who are good team members, and it might open doors you didn’t expect.

What are some ways that technology has influenced your life?

Not just me, but it has made learning about or getting info on any topic very accessible. If I don’t know about something in a conversation or can’t remember a fact, I can quickly pull out my phone and Google it. If I want to pick up a new workout routine or find restaurant recommendations, my phone is literally an arm’s length away.

What is your favorite type of food?

Peruvian food. It’s what I grew up with, and I’ve always loved the variety of dishes from all the different regions in the country. The blend of indigenous ingredients with European, African, and East Asian flavors and techniques are what makes the cuisine so unique in my opinion.

What is your favorite candy bar?

It comes in a lot of different forms, but I’d say Reese’s peanut butter. I don’t really crave candy very often, but I always enjoy the classic peanut butter and milk chocolate combo.

What is a mobile application you can’t live without?

Probably YouTube. There’s so much to do on the platform, it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole. I can always find interesting music videos, tutorials, commentaries, or really any type of content.

If you could travel to a country you have never visited before, where would you go?

I would want to go to New Zealand. There’s a surprising amount of landscapes packed into one island, and you can see so much all in one place. I would be happy visiting any of the forests, mountains, glaciers, beaches, or other natural attractions there.

What is your approach to providing great customer service?

My approach is to actively listen and ask questions. Both can help you form a better picture about where a customer is coming from. I would also say being proactive and taking small steps to help them and anticipate their needs can go a long way.

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