Pecha Kucha: Your New Style of Presentation

The first big hurdle of the iMedia program is over!

iMedia ’15 has submitted annotated bibliographies and the first draft of research papers, which are (hopefully) about the topic we want to pursue for our capstone projects, are due in a week and a half. In the meantime, Pecha Kucha presentations began in Dr. Derek Lackaff’s class, Theory and Audience Analysis in an Interactive Age.

Pecha Kucha is a concise presentation style that’s made up of 20 slides that advance automatically every 20 seconds and you talk along to the slides, for a total of six minutes and forty seconds. The format sounds a little intimidating to keep all of your information in such a short amount of time for each slide, but the first set of seven presenters all did a great job handling the pressure. All students in Lackaff’s class are required to prepare a Pecha Kucha presentation on a course-relevant topic that goes beyond the assigned reading and their research topics “to present a coordinated and interesting treatment of the subject under investigation.” Students are graded on topic choice, expertise, organization, evidence-based argumentation, visual clarity, visual aesthetics, time management, professionalism and engagement.

The first week’s topics were Beauty Vlogging on YouTube, Fantasy Football, Bitcoin, 3D Printing, The Power of Video, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and Near Field Communication (NFC). The class live tweeted during the presentations using the Twitter hash tag “#pktheory” making the presentations very interactive. Some iMedia students’ tweets were retweeted and favorited by companies and profiles related to the topic.

Pecha Kucha presentations will continue for the next four weeks until Lackaff’s class ends before fall break. I am looking forward to seeing the upcoming presentations and learning about the new topics that my classmates have managed to become experts in on top of all the other work we have to do this semester.

iMedia Provides Students with Marketable Workplace Skills

The iMedia program is in full swing and loaded with exciting, yet tedious projects. In just our third week of classes we are submitting art in the form of self portraits, coding an online resume and preparing resources for an upcoming research paper. Along with these projects, we are learning about different typefaces and much to our dismay, learning JavaScript. We are accepting the fact that our lives now consist of little or no down time. As soon as we finish one project, we must begin another one.

In all of this chaos, I am slowly starting to realize how far we have come since we all met each other a few weeks ago. Coming from many different backgrounds, we are now on our way to becoming competent in many different areas of multimedia. Many of us have already started thinking about our future after the program. We all wonder what jobs will come our way this time next year. None of us are sure what our future holds, except for all of the late nights spent working on projects.

The variety of different jobs that iMedia alumni currently have is staggering. This list is not just limited to a few job titles, but a wide range of titles from UX designer, multimedia coordinator to project manager. It seems as though we are being prepared to enter an exciting industry where every student will be able to find a job doing something we are passionate about. The iMedia program is teaching us how to become extremely marketable once we graduate. The extremely high rate of employment (92% within four months of graduation) from previous classes is a testament to this.

I decided to reach out to a few alumni to see how the iMedia program helped them market themselves to prospective employers. Carolyn Frazier, a Senior Project Manager at Smashing Boxes and an iMedia ’11 alum explained, “The [iMedia] program taught me enough to get started and then let me learn on my own in a structured way. I got to build a website for an actual client from the ground up – design, content planning, development, and even some video production.” These are many of the skills that our future employers will be looking for us to possess.

Carolyn also added, “That experience really prepared me for working in an agency setting after graduation.” This is a great testament to how the iMedia program can jumpstart an amazing career in the creative industry. I am extremely excited to see our skill set continue to grow over the next few months. Each of these skills we learn continue to lead us towards something great. We are setting ourselves up for multiple employment opportunities after graduation, and I cannot wait to see what future jobs we will hold.

Welcome Class of 2015!

I know this post is a little late, but I wanted the chance to officially welcome the class of 2015.

Just when I thought I was really getting to know the class of 2014, they went an graduated on me. While recruiting last year, I had a chance to get to know a fanatic new crop of iMedia students, class of 2015! I know this post is a little late, but I wanted the chance to officially welcome them.

Before I start talking about iMedia ’15, I want to congratulate the class of 2014 on many successful job hunts. The class has been busy searching for their dream job since graduating in late May. I wanted to share a few examples of job titles, employers and cities students are working in post graduation:

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the laid back  class of 2015 this school year. Last week the program held an ice cream social in their honor. I enjoyed chatting with the students and learning what they were reading and working on.

The members of the class of 2015 come from a variety of backgrounds and majors including psychology, information science and technology, theatre, English, business, environmental studies and of course commutations students. A wide variety of backgrounds makes everyone’s classroom experience richer.

When they are discussing the readings in Prof. Derek Lackaff’s class, Theory and Audience Analysis in an Interactive Age, each student will bring a very different opinion with them, depending on their undergraduate studies. For the record they have been busy reading since they started classes. They have already read Reality Is Broke by Jane McGonigal, Networked by Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman and have started Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky. This class is surely busy and I can’t wait to share more work that stems from it.

It’s so exciting to see the work that comes from each graduating class – I can’t wait to see what the class of 2015 has in-store for us!

Shaping Up With Boot Camp

I’ve got my lunch bag packed, my shoes tied tight, I hope I get some sleep tonight!

The class of iMedia 2015

The class of iMedia 2015

iMedia 2015 has officially begun. Already we are immersing ourselves in reading, research, reading, blogging, coding, and did I mention reading? With just ten-months to master the realm of interactive media we’ve hit the ground running.

This year’s program consists of 32 students from many different backgrounds. Some students have come directly from their undergraduate studies in communications, a few students are focusing on forging a different career path, and all of us are looking to add new skills to our repertoire. To help prepare us for the iMedia program we completed a three-week boot camp in the beginning of August introducing us to the technology we’ll be using in the months to come.

My final photoshop project.  I can't wait to make this into a live website!

My final photoshop project. I can’t wait to make this into a live website!

Professor Phillip Motley served as our digital imaging guru. He instructed us in our crash course of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects. Even students who has never worked with the programs before produced posters, website mockups, and animated typography videos.

In the second week, my group and I moved on to HTML and CSS with Professor Brian Walsh. Even with our heads spinning with new terms like border padding and div and floats we all managed to replicate a page from Elon’s website with code alone. Pretty impressive.

In my final week, I moved onto video editing with Professor Bryan Baker. Armed with a Canon 70D and tripod we set out to record campus is a series of still and moving shots. During the week we produced a one-minute marketing clip for Elon and a short ‘about me’ video to help introduce ourselves to our fellow classmates.

Final site for the Phoenix Scene Scouts

Final site for the Phoenix Scene Scouts

Boot camp finished with a group project. Over the course of one week our groups built a website and produced a video for a local organization, business product, or concept. It was amazing to view the final results and see how far everyone has come in their media skills.

Now we are back in the classroom and moving at full speed. I can’t wait to expand on the skills I’ve learned in boot camp and can’t imagine how much we all will have developed by the end of the semester.

Good luck to everyone!

Full Circle

by maggie mullikin

Our sixth year in iMedia has begun. Our new blogging team met last week to collaborate and plan. As we discussed the coming year it made me so happy to hear that each student, who will be a contributing writer, had been reading our blog as part of their research as to whether they should join this year’s class. Writing about our graduates and where they have landed, following graduation, is a joy for me and one of the highlights of my job. One such student, I have previously written about, is Matthew Duncan. I spoke with Matt in 2013 and his career has taken him in new and exciting directions since then.

Matthew DuncanAfter graduating from North Carolina A&T State University with a degree in Graphic Design, Matt was looking for a master’s program where he could grow his skills in digital media, digital marketing, and user experience. Elon’s iMedia program allowed him to study and gain knowledge within all these disciplines.
After completing his degree at Elon, Matt immediately started working as a digital media intern for the political cable network C-SPAN. While interning he collaborated with the creative and technology departments to develop and implement strategies in the areas of online streaming and authentication.
Shortly after the internship concluded with C-SPAN, Matthew began working in the Communications Support Service Center inside NASA Headquarters, in Washington DC.
As a multimedia coordinator there he created apps, managed digital signage on kiosks, and was responsible for website updates. After a year and a half Matthew discovered working for the government was not for him.

When NBC Sports reached out to him for a web product specialist position in their product department he accepted the position and decided to chase his love and passion of sports. In the beginning of 2014 he relocated to Connecticut and started his new career.

While at NBC Sports Matthew was a coordinator between the editorial, creative, business development, marketing and technology teams to define and analyze success metrics for various web digital products and initiatives.

Matthew is a hot commodity. Not long after joining NBC, ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, reached out to him and offered him the job of associate product manager, which is where he is today.  However, on Friday October 24th he will be in the iMedia suite to speak with our current students about his opportunities and career choices. Full circle.

 

 

Congratulations, iMedia14!

Last night I had the privilege of attending the 2014 Master of Arts in Interactive Media Capstone Exhibition. The class of 2014 has been working for months to put together unique projects displaying the skills they have mastered in their 10 months in the program. I was extremely impressed and proud of the work I viewed last night. If you couldn’t make it, you can view projects on the website the class created, http://imedia365.us/.

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I have had a chance to get to know the class of 2014 very well. I remember discussing the program and possible outcomes with many of them before they had applied. A handful of students began the program without much experience with interactive media, which you wouldn’t know frobym viewing their capstones. I’m proud to say that I had a hand in the iMedia class of 2014.

The class of 2014’s time at Elon was fast and we will of course miss the class of 2014, but one of the beauties of the iMedia program is the 10 month time frame, tonight the class will graduate and make their way back into the working world, making way for a new crop of students that will be joining us in a just two short months.

To the class of 2014: You have all worked hard and I am proud of the work you have done. I know each of you will be successful in your chosen interactive media pathway. The four classes that have graduated before you look forward to welcoming you with open arms. Congratulations to the Master of Arts in Interactive Media class of 2014!

That Awkward Conversation: Talking Money.

By Marianne Brigola, Com Career Advisor

I remember when I got my first job offer after graduate school. I was days away from graduation, targeting a specific geographic location and stressed out about graduating without a job. When I got the call with the offer, they essentially said: “We’d like to hire you as a _____ and pay you $_____. What do you think?” I was so thrilled that someone was offering me a job that the first thing out of my mouth was, “Of course I’ll take it!”

Yikes.  Looking back now, I know I should have played it a bit cooler and taken the time to think about the position before accepting the offer. While the job was ideal, and definitely one I knew I wanted–I probably could have done more research to make sure my salary was comparable for the position (spoiler: it was not).

photo credit: Tax Credits via photopin cc

photo credit: Tax Credits via photopin cc

 

It’s so exciting to get that job offer, but talking salary can be awkward. You don’t want to ask for too much but you want to be compensated fairly. As the I-Media students are wrapping up their program and going on interviews, here are a few things to consider as you evaluate job offers:

 

 

Your job offer is a package. In addition to your annual salary, you want to make sure you consider other things that are included in your compensation: health benefits, vacation, flex-time, educational benefits, etc. The number on your paycheck isn’t the only thing you’ll be receiving from your employer.

Do your research. You need to reflect on whether your salary offer is fair taking into consideration the job itself as well as the cost of living for where it’s located. Your money will go much further in some cities rather than others. PayScale, CNN Money and NerdWallet all have cost of living calculators that can help you compare different cities. Some also provide info about housing costs, groceries, etc.

Having a general sense of the typical salary for someone with the same position. This is a bit trickier–some titles in different companies and industries may be the called the same thing but have completely different responsibilities, seniority levels, etc. Glassdoor, PayScale, Salary.com are all great resources that you can use to start researching salary information. Some collect data from employers, others are anonymously self-reported. Some other resources for salaries within the digital and interactive industries are available here, as an infographic. The Creative Group is a staffing agency specifically for interactive, design and creative talent. They recently posted their 2014 Salary Guide, as well as a salary calculator

Know Your Worth. Be sure you understand what you’re bringing to the table in terms of knowledge and skills, and how you’ll be contributing to the organization. Do you have special experiences or skills beyond what they’re looking for that will be vital to the employer?

Salary is always a tricky topic to bring up during the job search process–but it’s so important to make sure you’re starting off with a fair salary since it serves as the jumping point for any future raises or even your future jobs. Being prepared and doing your homework will help make that conversation easier when you’re having that conversation with your future boss.