by Nolan Ether, iMedia ’12
As we enter the last full month of our 10-month program, reality is beginning to set in. After finishing the Winter Fly-In, many of us were relieved, having heard that the Spring semester goes by much faster and is significantly easier to manage. While I agree that it has flown by, it is certainly not easier. Just as childhood feels like it lasts forever because you’re encountering so many new experiences, the first few months of the iMedia program seemed to move at a snails pace. Many of us were learning a whole new skill set and each day seemed to last an eternity as we struggled through tutorials and projects to hone our skills.
The Spring semester is much different. The learning curve is gone but the boundary has been pushed out, yet again, just beyond reach. Capstone projects take up a large portion of our time but many of the other classes offered in spring are just as challenging as the fall course load. In addition to our Capstones and our regular coursework, a slew of other things eat our time and weigh on our minds.
This is why we’re all here, right? We were told that our program would lead to enough quality work to build a whole portfolio. We came in realizing that this was the end-goal and most of us have geared much of our work this year toward making it “portfolio-worthy”. What many of us didn’t realize however was the thought, time, and energy it would take to turn a rag-tag group of projects into a cohesive portfolio with clear goals and a focused message.
Our Personal Brand
While the portfolio may be the hub of the personal brand wheel, there are many other spokes that need to be fleshed out. Essentially we are branding ourselves. This can mean everything from nicknames, and slogans to color schemes, logos, and a unique style.
Once we decide who we want to be, we are tasked with implementing it into all aspects of our professional life, including…
* Business Cards
* Email signature
* Social Media Profiles
As graduate students, we are tasked with creating an event near the end of the semester, intended as a networking event and showcase of our individual Capstone projects. We are all split into groups including project managers, advertising, event coordinators, social media and more. It is our responsibility to plan and coordinate the event. This includes everything from reserving and setting up a space to coordinating refreshments, to finding and inviting people to attend the event.
We have all put a lot of work into this year and our Capstones are supposed to be the culmination of all of our work. All of us want to throw a great event to create opportunities for ourselves as well as to celebrate our accomplishment.
The Job Search
Ross Wade is a crucial and valuable resource, but he can’t be tasked with personally finding jobs for every student in the program. From the beginning of the spring semester, Powell had a different feeling. No more games. We were hungry. For many, the past few months have been a blur of networking events, meet ups, informational interviews, and internships in hopes of making that one great connection.
Some people are starting to get interviews and a few even have jobs lined up already. While the sentiment seems to be that the economy is improving and the job outlook is better this year than in previous years, it’s not stopping any of us from pounding the pavement and doing whatever it takes to make it happen for ourselves.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Our professors seem to be reminding us every day how much time we have left in the program. It’s obvious they’ve been through this before and have seen other classes get hit with reality as the spring semester flys by and students begin to run out of time.
Friends and family have been asking me lately, “Do you see the light at the end of the tunnel?” My answer to them? “Get back to me in a month.”