I had the absolute pleasure of spending time with Brad Mu (’11 iMedia) at his office in Oakland CA. Brad is Project Manager @ Free Range Studios. Free Range is a creative agency that tells stories across media platforms; interactive, mobile, print, and video. Sound familiar?
So Brad and I had time to speak about his journey to Elon’s iMedia program right through to where he is today.
“After leaving the investment bank, my intention was to work as a waiter for 6-8 months and then go to work at a magazine. I saw magazines as offering interesting content but more importantly interesting content that’s well designed. I figured I could either create the content or design it. “The economy entered the recession and even though I worked at a small literary magazine I knew the market was shifting. Magazine circulation was consistently dropping. Magazines or even entire publishing houses went out of business. So I began to think about what it was that was replacing magazines. That desire we have for that kind of content wasn’t going away. The medium was just changing. Obviously, websites, in whatever shape or form, were taking the place of magazines.
“But it wasn’t just a logical choice of knowing what line of work I needed to get into to find a rewarding job, I wanted to be in a forward looking field. I wanted my work to at least, on occasion, be something that had never been done before. I wanted to be excited by my work. And I started seeing this field as the intersection of interesting, valuable content–which is always new and unique–and using technology to distribute and use that content in new and radical ways.”
So, fortunately for us, Brad found Elon’s iMedia program to be just what he needed to launch his career in the right direction. The unique aspects of our program fit perfectly with Brad’s vision.
“I wouldn’t be where I am and doing what I’m doing today without the iMedia degree. At best I would be working for some small regional magazine, living a respectable life. But it’d be dull. And I’m not satisfied with dull. The program gave me a foundation of knowledge and a level of credibility that would have taken years to amass as a freelancer or even working in a studio or agency. Of course working in a studio or agency is valuable, real world experience. But unlike those settings, the iMedia program gives you access to many different areas of specialization in the digital field. Most importantly the program allows you to explore what interests you most–a luxury that is sadly a rarity in a studio or agency.”
As usual, I ask our graduates what their advice is for our current students. This is what Brad had to say,
” Know what you want to do with this degree. It’s fine to enter the program not knowing exactly what you want to do. Take time while in the program to explore things that may interest you. Eliminate the things you know you don’t want to do. Repeat the things you think you may want to do. But always have a plan–even if it’s a rough one. Have an idea of how you’d apply this degree to a job or even an idea of your own.
“Use the time you have while in school, which will be time unlike any other in your life if you make the most of it, to explore what interests you and makes you happy. It can be the most illuminating and inspiring time of your life. But you have to embrace it. Take opportunities. Work through the night on occasion. Obsess over your work. It’s a short program, so you might as well look at it as a brief period of time that’s completely yours to explore the possibilities of where your career can go.
“You’ll never have access to the tools, people and time, ever again in your lifetime, that this program affords. Make it fun. Make it your own. And don’t limit yourself in either what you do while in the program or what you think you can do after.”
My time with Brad was wonderful. He is bright, thoughtful, focused, still the problem solver he was when in iMedia, working in a career he is passionate about, always learning and, without question, missed.