Michael Kopack

Michael Kopack
Major/Job Title: 
Product Designer, Facebook

Michael Kopack

Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology 
Endorsement – University of Northern Iowa (2011)

M.S. Human-Computer Interaction, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (2013)

What do you do in your current position?
I design user experiences for the Facebook jobs platform. This involves learning what users need, negotiating technology and business objectives, then designing screens and procedures to maximize user satisfaction.

How did your major help prepare you? 
Anthropology teaches incredibly valuable concepts like fieldwork techniques, ecological validity and human biological/behavioral variation. When combined with product design skills, this makes for an excellent background to translate customer desires into fantastic products.

Most memorable part of your studies?
Forensic Anthropology and Language & Culture were my two favorite classes in the anthropology major. Both took turns blowing my mind! I was also president of the UNI Anthropological Association for a time, which was a completely underrated and awesome group of students!

What advice would you give future panthers?
Don’t assume that a major in anthropology will be a detriment to your future job hunt. I’ve found that it’s not just a great conversation starter in interviews but that when you’re the only person in a stack of resumes who didn’t major in business, psychology or computer-science, you’re treated as a unique individual, which is a great place to be.