Well…it is official. The new crop of MA, Interactive Media (iMedia) students have started their “10-month all-nighter“. I had a chance to meet them yesterday, their first day, and I gotta say…they seem like a great group. Excited. Passionate. Ready to kick some rear! A few students were already shooting video outside of my office earlier today as a part of their media bootcamp. This year I plan on doing a fall workshop the first week of class to address some career ideas and strategy. Over the past two years I have had the opportunity to talk to some incredible employers that have offered me some great advice, and I want to get it to the iMedia students ASAP this year. Here are a few things on my list:
1. Have students better understand and recognize their skills and interests at the start. I’m hoping this will help them identify their future role in media (e.g. designer, programmer, strategist), and better utilize their 10 months to really focus on growing their skills for that role. I think this will help during the job search as they will have a stronger identity, which will help them better market themselves and network.
2. Learn the art of the “piggy back”. Helping them see the career opportunities in class assignments. Need to write a research paper? Pick one of your “dream companies” and reach out to professionals currently working there as resources. Networking and knocking out a research paper all at the same time…piggy back style.
3. Start gaining experience NOW. There are low impact ways to get some good experience and entries for your resume early in the program. For example, some Elon offices (e.g. Academic Advising, Service and Leadership) may need help developing and managing their social media strategies. This could be done quite easily and serve as 10 months of experience on your resume.
4. Discuss a clear career plan and timeline for the 10 month period. I want my iMedia students to better understand when to start networking, how to create a killer resume and online presence, etc.