Back to List

Mentor Profile: Jeremy Karney

By JobwardMentorsJuly 23rd, 2020

Jeremy currently serves as the Design Director of the USAA Credit Card Experience Design Team. He leads a team of designers, collaborating directly with business, development, content, and legal partners to deliver high value member experiences for a Fortune 100 company.

Previous to this role, Jeremy was the Design Lead for the USAA Storefront team, developed the Design On-boarding program for USAA’s Chief Design office as well as co-led the Digital Investment Adviser (DIA) Robo Advisor design effort where he helped pioneer efforts to build better working relationships between business, designers and developers in an Agile environment.

Before USAA, Jeremy served in operational and design related roles at multiple small businesses and startups, including running two companies. He was one of the original members of the San Antonio based Geekdom technology co-working space and opened their San Francisco location. He continues to be an active mentor in the San Antonio design/technology community.

1. How do you assess what feedback is legitimate?

I think a better question would be “does the person who is currently giving me feedback have a perspective that matches my needs?” Put yourself in their shoes and try to imagine why they are giving you that feedback. Sometimes you can glean nuggets of wisdom from feedback you might not agree with because it helps you see the situation from a different angle.

2. How do you integrate feedback into your work and lifestyle?

I want to know what the people around me really think. What they honestly think. I want to be living and working in a way where the people around me feel like they can tell me if I am on or off track without worrying about how I’m going to react. I don’t have to agree with them. (See question 1 about perspectives)

3. How do you determine which weaknesses can be overcome?

Are you willing to admit that it’s a weakness? Cool. You can work on it. Sometimes your weaknesses have a silver lining. Attention is a huge weakness of mine. A diagnosed weakness. But those little random paths that my brain is connecting when it’s not focused on the task at hand can often be really great ideas or moments of inspiration. I’ll take that as a win any day.

4. Is there a particularly effective strategy for achieving success in this (or any) field?

You can’t control if you are the smartest person in the room. You can control if you are the hardest working in the room. I have rarely seen hard work answered with total failure. OK - caveat - Yes, you can work hard to build a company and have it fail, but you learn, grow and change from that experience. Those failures can be directly tied to growth that put me in the position I am in today.

5. Have you ever made a single change that led to tremendous success?

I walked out on Organic Chemistry II and changed my major away from Animal science. I was already developing websites by that time and realized that, although I was 3 years into my degree (and worried about who I would upset), I wasn’t following a path that would lead me to an ending that I could see myself loving or being successful in. I love what I do now. I consider that a tremendous success that probably would never have happened without making that choice to (literally) walk out of Organic Chemistry II.

6. Has your definition of success changed over the years?

Absolutely. I hope it always does.

Back to List
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play
+1 (210) 880-2825
601 Delaware St
San Antonio, TX 78210
Jobward 2020