Time To Brag About It

By: Amber McCraw, Assistant Director of Career Services, School of Communications

At this point, our iMedia students are several months into a 10-month intensive program.  And, while it feels like they just started, it is already time to start thinking about life after iMedia – I know, hard to believe right?

You’ve been reading posts about all of the great things the students are learning, the skills they are gaining, and the experiences they have been and will be privy to. A couple weeks ago, there was a post about the draft for Fly-ins.  Along with all of the other experiences the students are gaining, this is an incredible and unique opportunity for students to participate in and expand on their skills.

While our students are gaining these experiences, it is important for them to remember that now is the time to start bragging about them.  What I mean is this: these are the experiences and skills that they should be promoting on a resume, their LinkedIn, and their website/ePortfolio. I want to focus on the ePortfolio because this is the most time-consuming piece. Often times, I will recommend a student use a platform such as Weebly, Wix, or WordPress to create their ePortfolio, but our iMedia students are learning to code, so they have the skills to create their own, which is a little more time-consuming. Below are some tips to keep in mind when creating an ePortfolio.

  • Choose a website name
  • Each section should be its own page (Resume, Contact, About Me) and I recommend labeling pages based on skill (i.e. Writing, Design, Photography, etc)
  • Build a site map to organize your content
  • Get prior approval for client work
  • Provide context for the work you include
  • Make sure your ePortfolio promotes your career goals and matches your profession
  • Choose your best work that aligns with the skills you want to promote
  • Keep it simple and easy to navigate
  • Embed videos to keep visitors from having to navigate away from your page
  • Let your personality shine through

In today’s market, employers expect candidates to have ePortfolios.  While a resume can tell an employer what you can do, an ePortfolio shows them what you can do.  For our students, who are creating so many visual pieces, this is pertinent for their job search.  It also provides a way for people to contact them for freelance or contract work as well.

If you haven’t started creating your ePortfolio, no worries! You’ve got plenty of time.  Start thinking about the things you want to include, such as your Capstone project and work from your Fly-ins.  Then, make an appointment with me to get feedback and advice as you start creating your tool kit (ePortfolio, Resume, Cover Letter, LinkedIn).

Happy Learning & Creating!

Lessons in the struggle

I really thought iMedia would be easy. (I’ll wait a moment for the explosion of laughter to subside.)

Seriously, though, I entered the program thinking it would be a breeze compared to the work I’ve done before. I spent years working as a journalist at newspapers in Virginia, Mississippi, and most recently, North Carolina. There were days when I worked almost literally from sunrise to sunset or even later, not leaving the office until after midnight. I’ve turned around three or more news stories in one day. Some assignments involved not only writing, but also live tweeting and shooting short videos. What else could be more exhausting than that, right?

We all know the answer.

My automatic response to questions about my weekend plans is, “Homework.” I don’t think about what’s showing on TV during the week; chances are I won’t be home to watch it anyway. I’m routinely up early early morning to finish reading or other assignments. I regularly fall asleep while reading or working on my laptop. My life was completely different almost three months ago. But that’s a good thing. Yes, I’m usually exhausted and somewhat overwhelmed, but I generally feel good about what I’m learning and doing. The pain and frustration, generally, are worth it.

I joined iMedia hoping to broaden my career options. I also entered with what I thought was a clear plan of what I wanted to do next. A few days of boot camp made me realize that like Jon Snow, I knew nothing. But that’s a good thing. Here’s why: I’m already doing things that were completely foreign to me before I started this program. I’ve actually coded websites. I’m much more comfortable with Photoshop and Illustrator — programs I hadn’t really used before.


We’ve also had a number of guest speakers, which is one of my favorite things about the program so far. Less than three months in, we’ve heard from a number of iMedia alumni. Other guest speakers include Scott Kelly of the Elon business school and Lee Rainie of the Pew Research Center (who is also author of a book we read in one class). We attended a session with internet pioneer Vint Cerf. I also attended a broader university event with legendary Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward.

Insight from those guests, as well as everything I’ve learned in class so far, led me to toss aside my post-graduation plans. I don’t know what I’ll do then or what I will be capable of doing. While that occasionally sends me into a panic, it also leaves me a little excited about the possibilities.

Get Ready for The Draft!



The time has come: on Tuesday October 11th, the draft for fly-in trips happens. This means we all figure out what country we will be going to, what our job will be, and who our teammates are.

We have some amazing locations that we could go to: The Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Iceland. In these countries, we will work with nonprofits to create an interactive media project to help their organization.

While this is an exciting part of our time here, we can’t help but be a little nervous, mainly because not knowing is just so hard.



The anticipation has built up for such a long time, and we can’t wait to see how it turns out. Who knows how it will go and who we will get to collaborate with?


After all, the part we’re most excited about is getting together with our groups and creating an amazing project for a non-profit. Soon enough, we’ll all be in sync like a great team.



So as nervous as we are, once we get picked and find out our group, we’ll be super thankful that we made it and have this great opportunity.



Then the collaboration starts and it’s countdown to fly-ins, where we’ll have the time of our lives with our friends and make some amazing projects for great causes.



So with less than a week left, we are ready for the draft. Bring it on!


Seven Signs We’re iMmersed in iMedia

We are two weeks from finishing one of our classes this semester, and it’s hard to believe we’ve been working in iMedia for two whole months. There is a new challenge to tackle every day, but some things have remained consistent. Here are seven ways we’ve been immersed in iMedia!

  1. We survived bootcamp!


It was a tough three weeks, but we made it through! Bootcamp gave us a crash course in all the programs and tools we need to be iMedia wizards and we aced it! If we can do it, you can too! 

2. We’re reading so much we’re pretty much ready to write our own book on media principles.


Okay, maybe we couldn’t write a whole book, but definitely at least a literature review for our capstone projects next spring.

3. We may or may not be surviving on caffeine and caffeine alone.


How else are we supposed to crank out that lit review (plus the seven other projects we have lined up)? We have four coffee and tea machines in our lounge that our fellow classmates have loaned us for those late nights (thanks, guys!).

4. We’ve coded at least one 90s-lookin’ website that’s still pretty rad.


Are your friends coding websites? I think not! You go, master coder!

5. We’ve found a niche group of friends in the program, and everyone is here to support each other.


We bring each other coffee, the stuff friendships are built on.

6. We’re getting more and more excited about the fly-in every day.


We’re super pumped to get outta town and collaborate with our group members – wherever we might go with whomever they might be! We find out soon which country we’ll be working in and who our group members are, but “soon” feels awfully far away.

7. We’ve got our eyes on the prize.


In eight months we’ll all have a Master’s Degree in Interactive Media and all the hard work will be worth it. In the meantime, we’re soaking up every bit of knowledge that we can – keep your heads up, iMedia 2017!!


Keep Your Eye on the Prize

by maggie mullikin

Jenna Wagner, a 2011 Interactive Media graduate returned to Elon to speak with the new class – the class of 2017. Jenna was a wealth of information regarding her personal experiences as an iMedia student, the career path she has been on since graduating, and her detailed explanation of specific roles she has taken on with her new job. Jenna is currently the Public Relations & Marketing Director for the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation.

Upon graduation from JMU, Jenna attended Elon University’s Interactive Media Master’s program in Elon, NC. Focusing on further honing her skills and determining her career path. With guidance from her mentors, she landed in Charlotte, NC pursuing a career in motorsports, one of her greatest passions. After working in the industry as a graphic designer, project manager and digital marketer, Jenna returned home to Virginia to learn more about non-profit, government and ultimately develop her home region of Southwest Virginia. https://www.myswva.org/

Jenna spends her days on relationship marketing and promoting Southwest Virginia as a tourism destination. This includes graphic design, social media marketing, website development and event management.

After Jenna spoke about her present title she then listed, “what else I do.”

Marketing strategy | Social media strategy & execution | Focus groups | Relationship building and marketing | Website development | Content generation (photos, videos, etc.) | Graphic design | Budgeting | Grant writing | Storytelling | Asset Management | Event management & promotion | Merchandise | Database management |

Jenna’s enthusiasm was contagious. Her advice and reflections could not have been more clear. The hard work today will pay off tomorrow.



From Surviving Digital Bootcamp to Thriving in the Fall Semester

Entering into week 4 of the fall semester, it is hard to believe how far we have all come since the beginning of August!

As new iMedia students, we were put through a grueling three-week Digital Media Workshop (also known as bootcamp), during the month of August – I would be lying if I said that it was all rainbows and butterflies. However, you literally hit the ground running and I can assure you, that is the best (and busiest) three weeks of your life.

For 4 of the 5 days each week, you are in one of three sections (switching to a new section each week), with three days of learning and a final on the 4th day. Trust me, this final you are fully prepared for!

  • Graphic Design
  • Photography & Video Production
  • Web Development & Design

Also, during these three weeks, you are divided up into groups to complete a bootcamp final project consisting of assignments we have learned over the past three weeks:

  • A logo (created in Adobe Illustrator)
  • A video (created mainly in Adobe Premiere)
  • An animation (created in Adobe AfterEffects)
  • A website – that we code in our group and include each of the above projects

GroupPic.jpgFor my groups’ bootcamp project, we chose to express our personal creativity and comment on the “bootcamp” experience by spoofing the beloved Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song. With such an upbeat and fun project, we were able to demonstrate the variety of new skills we have learned while conveying the positive outlook that we have on the upcoming semester. All twenty-six students in this program deserve our sincerest recognition and gratitude, as we will continue to learn from and lean on each other as we accomplish our goals and truly become THE BEST of Powell-Air. Be sure to view our website for The Best of Powell Air!

You may wonder how what the point of the Digital Media Workshop is or how it prepares you for the fall semester? The answer is simple. Everything you learn in “bootcamp” is either a new concept or an in-depth review of something you may have learned in the past. Regardless, you work with the best professors and learn much more than you ever though possible in the short time of three weeks.

Meet Our #iMedia17 Bloggers

It’s nearly a month into the fall semester and students in Elon’s eighth Interactive Media class are well on their way to discovering all the program has to offer. And just as in previous years, they want to share their details about their journey with you here on the Eye on iMedia blog.

As you can imagine, the 10 months in iMedia go fast and a lot can (and does) happens. From alumni visits and class projects to winter flyins and career exploration, the year will be full of amazing experiences and we look forward to bringing conversations about those things to the blog. In case you’re wondering which students you’ll be hearing from, check out the bios below – but don’t be surprised if a few other post from time to time.


Ashley Anderson


Marquita Brown


Katie Carpenter


Ginny Merrill


Beth Pandone


Kristen Rivera




For more information about this year’s bloggers and the entire #iMedia17 class, visit the “Meet the Class” page.

Along with the students’ reflections, you’ll read posts from staff. Maggie Mullikin, Coordinator of Graduate Outreach & Special Programs, will discuss happenings and careers with iMedia alumni; Amber McCraw, Assistant Director of Career Services, Communications, will discuss career development; and Tarah Holland, Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions (that’s me), will discuss a variety of topics related to iMedia admissions. We may also have a few guests posts additional staff throughout the year.

Please subscribe to the Eye on iMedia blog to stay up to date on #iMedia17 this year.

For more about the iMedia program, visit elon.edu/imedia.