Five lives. Fierce!

By Ross Wade, Elon School of COM career guy

I had my first meeting with the iMedia class of 2012 and had a GREAT time! I decided to mix things up a bit and spend my first meeting facilitating a little exercise called “Five Lives” (Osborn & Zunker, 2006*), where I asked each student to write down five professional life/career options they would love to have if they had unlimited money and had the capacity to learn anything they wanted over night. The students created their lists individually and then paired up. In their pairs they asked each other the following questions: 1. Tell me about each option – what does it look like every day (e.g. environment, co-workers, daily activities), 2. What is attractive about this job to you? Next, we broke up into pairs of four where each group member shared their favorite two lives and answered the following questions: 1. What do you actually know about this job (e.g. salary, education required, skill set)?, 2. How can you find out more about this job? Then, we discussed as a group. There were some great “lives” mentioned, like VP of the USA, skuba instructor, social media coordinator, brand manager, etc.

What was the purpose of this exercise? I wanted the students to start thinking about what roles they may want to play in the world of “interactive media”. In looking at all five lives, they can pick up interests and pair them up with possible jobs/roles. Do they want to design? Write? Coordinate? Program? What common themes came up in their five lives? I want them to start to understand who they are as professionals, be able to structure the 10-month iMedia program to meet their needs, and be able to have a strong and intentional professional identity when it comes time for the job search.

The result (this is where the fierce comes in)? The iMedia students started researching companies, types of jobs, and Elon alums and other professionals  for info meetings to find out more (researching AND networking at the same time). In the past couple of days I have received two KILLER resources from iMedia students:

1. @NolanEther sent this great infographic and post on social media jobs and how to find work in social media

2. Carey Brown sent me this great article about jobs in the interactive media sector






The iMedia students are already on their way researching and networking…and it is only the second week of school!

*Osborn, D.S., & Zunker, V.G. (2006). Using assessment results for career development (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.


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