Elon’s iMedia Landscape on the West Coast

Conorby maggie mullikin

Conor Britain graduated from Elon’s Interactive Media Master’s program in 2010. Conor is an Elon undergraduate as well. I had the extreme pleasure of visiting Conor out in Santa Monica this summer at his office, RED Interactive Agency.

“We think of ourselves as a digital innovations company, one that is always trying to build new things and find news ways to creating fresh and awesome content on the web. We have two main departments: the ad team and the web team. The web team focuses on websites and apps while the ad team focuses on delivering rich media advertising across the web. I work with the ad team as an interactive designer, which has me wearing a few different hats as an animator, designer and developer. I’ve been at RED for a little over three years.”

Conor spoke with me about his road to the iMedia program.

“I got a BA in Communications at Elon University with an emphasis in Broadcast. I always knew I wanted to work in media somehow, but as I neared the end of my time at Elon I was feeling like my exploration of the arts wasn’t done yet. I took a couple of classes related to digital media and discovered that interactive platforms really excited me. I decided to pursue that interest with the iMedia program and found that I was able to refactor the video editing skills and the artistic sensibilities I’d learned as an undergrad into new interactive spaces in exciting ways.

“I chose Elon’s graduate program over the number of others I had applied to because I felt Elon had the right approach to studying interactive media. The one year time table was a quick turnaround but quickly got us into the professional environment with a real pulse on the latest trends in the industry, making us relevant as new media professionals. I was already used to spending hours (days?) on end in the editing labs of McEwen, so the dense nature of the program seemed like a challenge I was able and eager to take on. Even further, I had already spent four incredible years at Elon as an undergrad, during which I got a good sense of how Elon approaches learning; I knew that if Elon was going to take something on, a lot of resources would be dedicated to it and it would be done right. Having had so much momentum with Elon already, it was an easy choice to make.”

I love Conor’s advice for current and prospective students – so on point.

“Make sure you have some goals you want to achieve before leaving the program! Students may not know exactly what job they’ll want or the company they’ll work for when the go into the program, but if students can have some concrete things they want to achieve before the program is out, they’re going to get the most out of it. Want to learn how to be a producer of digital projects? Take it upon yourself to lead group projects in the classroom. Want to learn JavaScript CSS3 and HTML5? You’ll definitely have classes that teach it, but go the extra mile and build your projects and presentations with it. I found that hands on stuff is learned in the classroom, but mastered outside of it. Elon understands this; that’s why they’ve provided students with so many resources in the School of Communications. Don’t be afraid to bite off more than you can chew! You can always scale back a project if things get out of hand, but some of my favorite projects from the program were the ones where I didn’t really know how I was going to reach the proverbial peak at the beginning. The challenge forces you to use all the resources at your disposal, from the iMedia staff and beyond, and you end up learning things you didn’t even know you didn’t know. I love trial by fire and found that the iMedia program was a great environment for that approach.”

Conor is happy with his job and where he is living.  He is ever affable, charming, smart, and just one more example of the employable nature of this program.  Thanks Conor!
 

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