By Nolan Ether, iMedia, ’12
It’s already March but this is the first post I’ve written since the end of the fall semester. We’re already waist deep in our new coursework, internships, capstone projects, and job searches. For the benefit of future iMedia students, I think it is valuable to take a look back at the fall and winter terms while they are still fresh in our minds.
We would like to pass on some of the wisdom and best practices we have acquired thus far in the program, in hopes that future students will take our advice and not have to learn these same lessons first-hand. Instead, they can use this knowledge to be even more successful than the iMedia classes that came before them.
- “Find time to chill… You will be tempted to work all the time, but you have to make time to relax, even if only for a short time.”
- “Start projects early and don’t leave them for a few nights before they are due. That way you have at least one day a week that you can take time to step away from work and relax.”
- “Don’t worry about not hanging out with your friends. If they’re really your friends, they’ll be there when you’re finished with the program. Keep your social life to the point of keeping your sanity, but mostly focus.”
“Listen More, Speak Less”
- “We’re told to think of every project as a portfolio piece, but I’d take that a step farther by saying once you’ve handed it in and gotten feedback, make those changes right away. Even if you’re sick of looking at the project, you’re better off making those changes immediately than pretending you’ll com back to it later.”
- “Don’t take everyone’s comments about your work personally. Use your peers as tools. They are there to give you help and constructive criticism. Use that to your advantage. It is something positive to help you improve your skills… not something you should beat yourself up over.”
- “Learn from those around you, keep an open mind, stay positive, and keep progressing.”
“You Can’t Know it All!”
- “It’s not about how much you know more so than the next person but it’s about taking what you know and capitalizing. Creating a new pathway for your future. Embrace your comfort, while learning new things, but find a way to make your comfort your new empire.”
- “Even if you don’t master everything, find one thing you’re passionate about trying and master and run with that!”
- “I don’t know how to do it can’t be an obstacle. There are going to be times where you don’t know and you look it up and you still don’t know. Sometimes it’s about finding an efficient work-around”
- “Be as prepared as possible but mostly be ready to be flexible and hit the ground running. You won’t really know what your project is until halfway through your trip, so be ready to observe, collect, invent, experiment, and learn.”
- “It’s amazing the way things tend to come into focus during the Winter Fly-in. If you don’t know what you want to do, this will likely be where you’ll be able to narrow it down. Be aware of what aspects of the project you’re drawn to and which you aren’t interested in.”
The fall and winter terms are really tough. Once your winter fly-in projects are completed it is natural to feel as if you’re “over the hump”. The spring semester is really about networking, refining your skills, and completing a nice portfolio and Capstone project. Fall and winter are your foundation. Make the most of them.
A special thanks to my peers in the iMedia Class of 2012 for providing such great insight.