You want to shape users’ experiences, but you have no clue where to start. Reading Getting Experience with User Experience is your first step. The piece is aimed at college graduates, but it’s applicable for anybody who wants to learn more about UX design.
Many UX veterans have changed careers to UX and eased their way into the field. There isn’t much of a clear path for those who are just starting out and have a formal UX related education. The challenge becomes getting a foot in the door and putting those book smarts to work with a career.
The experience you get and the amount you learn is most certainly dependent on your motivation, resourcefulness, and ability to work with others. One of the variables that can help cultivate your skills as a UX Professional is where you choose to incubate your skills.
See UX Booth’s suggestions for places where you can learn user experience design here.