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Design Panel Discussion: Working at an Agency vs. Consultancy vs. In House


Thinking about making the switch to designing in-house, for an agency, or for a consultancy? Each work environment presents unique opportunities and challenges to work on fast-paced solutions and solve complex problems. Join us for a panel discussion where design and user experience experts will provide firsthand accounts of the pros and cons of working in house versus an agency or consultancy. The panelists will share lessons learned, transferable skillsets, how to approach getting the job you want, and give advice to those setting out in design or looking to change things up.

Participants will leave the session with:

  • Advantages and disadvantages of in-house vs. agency
  • Skills checklist for career pivoting
  • Job tips for agency, consultancy, and in-house roles


Elaine Meese, UX Manager at Flexport
Elaine is driven to build outstanding teams and impactful products. Her career has seen her though a design firm, innovation consultancy, digital consultancy, and now an in house role. At Flexport she empowers UXers to inform product strategy for logistics tools, turn complex processes into intuitive workflows, and make space to have fun along the way.

Patty Ni, Principal Product Designer at Root Insurance Company
Patty is a Chicago-based product designer at Root Insurance. When not sitting behind the glow of a computer screen, she enjoys cooking, playing the ukulele, and taxidermy.

David Burns, Design Director at Grubhub
David Burns is a Design Director at Grubhub and an adjunct in the HCI program at DePaul. David has over 20 years of design leadership experience. Some of his previous stints include Digitas, IBM, Motorola, Redbox, and Manifest.

Mo Goltz, UX Researcher and Design Strategist at CuriosityTank
Mo Goltz is a UX Researcher and Design Strategist currently developing UX Research courses at CuriosityTank. He has worked in-house and at startups as a Designer in Silicon Valley, and as a Research consultant in the midwest. Mo has rediscovered his passion for improvisation and storytelling during covid.

This event is co-sponsored by SPR and Flexport
With vast backgrounds in technology and UX, SPR and Flexport are teaming up to host this panel discussion. SPR is a technology modernization firm that helps companies adapt and build systems that balance the evolving technology landscape with shifting user expectations. Flexport provides a purpose-built cloud software and data analytics platform to help its clients deliver a better freight forwarding experience when importing and exporting globally. Both companies focus on providing the best experience for the people using their platforms and services.