Elon iMedia on the West Coast by maggie mullikin

Chris Kirkham, a 2012 iMedia graduate, is one of a handful of former iMedia students who moved to the west coast to begin his post-iMedia career.

Chris is working for a small design house, Analog Creative.  He is an Interactive Developer and his responsibilities include turning the designers’ work into  a functional application, website, or Flash project.

Chris explained to me why he chose iMedia.

The reason I chose the iMedia program was that Elon is one of, maybe, three schools in the US that offered a curriculum based in interactive or new media, which was the field I wanted to pursue academically and professionally. I researched the program from the first year it started and ultimately decided that Elon was truly ahead of the game. As Wayne Gretzky said, ‘You don’t want to be where the puck is, you want to be where the puck is going.’

I graduated with a degree in journalism about the time that the newspaper industry put a gun in its mouth and broadcast networks all became video tabloids. I started working in online marketing, but I my heart wasn’t in it. I could see that the direction of both journalism and the communication industry as a whole was shifting to the web, so I decided to shift my focus to that. I believe that being an effective storyteller now requires the ability to produce interactive elements with which your audience can engage and participate.”

I need to point out while Chris was a student here last year he had lots of advice to dole out to anyone who would listen.  And listen we did.  Chris’s energy and entertaining manor is missed but, happily, he continues to give advice.

The advice I have for iMedia students is to pick a city and an industry- specifically where you want to live and what industry you want to be working in. Do that early. That takes care of 80% of the job hunting. All you need after that is to find a job that you’re qualified for. This seriously would’ve saved me dozens of hours I spent spinning my wheels. Another, probably more important, piece of advice is to be nice to each other and help each other out. Teach each other hat your strengths are and you’ll find that your classmates will network for you. I have my job because one of my classmates interviewed here first and decided it wasn’t for her. But she knew my interests and expertise and recommended me for the position.

“For those considering iMedia, I have this to say: It goes fast. You’ll never do more in a shorter amount of time. I’d recommend this program to anyone who knows where they’re going after this. You’ll get cutting-edge training, a massive network and contribute enough academia to pursue a Ph.D. if that’s in the works for you. If you’re not sure what you’re going to use an Interactive Media degree for, this program is going to go way too fast and you’ll be back at square one before you know it.”

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