Gearing Up for Graduation

Can you believe that May is almost here? It seems like just yesterday we were writing ‘Eye on iMedia’ posts welcoming our fellow students to the Elon iMedia Class of 2016! Now we’re hammering away at our keyboards day-and-night, working hard to create the best darn Capstone projects that the interactive media field has to offer.


A 100% accurate depiction of Elon iMedia students right now

Our projects are so varied, as are our interests. Students are working with a myriad of topics, from interactive journalism to mobile app development to virtual reality. We’re developing deep expertise in areas we had the chance to explore (and subsequently fall in love with) during the Fall semester.

Jacob Grady, for instance, has unearthed a passion for coding. Currently, Jacob spends countless hours working to produce MyTeam, a mobile application that matches users with pick-up athletic events in a given area.

Salma Tantawi, on the other hand, loves to write and to help others find their own writing inspiration. Her capstone focuses on doing just that. She’s created Scribblers’ Hub, an online resource for writers, featuring intriguing articles and inspirational material designed to boost productivity.

These are just a couple examples of projects in the works by members of the Class of 2016. Our Capstone Exhibition will offer opportunities to explore all of the exciting projects our students have dedicated the Spring semester to refining. We hope you’ll come see all of the amazing things we’ve developed on Wednesday, May 18th!

Keep an eye on the ‘Eye on iMedia’ blog for updates, and make sure to follow Elon iMedia on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information about the 2016 Capstone Exhibition!

Giving Back

by maggie mullikin

I am feeling a little sentimental with this post. Sentimental for many reasons. We are in our seventh iMedia year and some days it simply doesn’t seem possible. However, this week of spring break it does feel possible and I will tell you why. More than ten of our current students are spending their spring break networking around the country. We have students in northern and southern California, New York City, and Washington DC. Each one of these students has been greeted with open arms by the iMedia alum who are living and thriving in these cities. I began reaching out a few weeks ago and each former iMedia student I spoke with was excited at the prospect of meeting with current students, giving advice, offering networking opportunities, and showing off cities and offices. I have seen quite a bit this week on social media as these wonderful people all connect.

As well, we have had a record number of iMedia graduates return this year to speak to our current students. They have been so generous with their time, answering questions, assuaging fears, discussing the ups and downs of the job search but always emphasizing the fact that this degree opens doors. When employers look at what has been accomplished in these ten months they ask more questions, become more curious, and more often than not, make offers.

Our graduates come back to campus on a regular basis to help with iMedia open houses and they speak to prospective students who want to better understand the processes, the classes, and the culture of the program. We will be hosting our final iMedia open house for spring 2016 on April the 5th and, again, we will have alumni give their valuable perspective.

Our iMedia graduates truly are giving back. And in the blink of an eye, our class of 2016 will be giving back themselves.

Save the Date: iMedia ’16 Capstone Exhibition set for May 18

The iMedia Class of 2016 Capstone Exhibition is set for Wednesday, May 18 in the Powell Building at Elon.

The annual event gives students a platform to unveil their individual projects to area professionals, potential employers, faculty and staff, prospective students, family and friends.


With just two short months to go before the big showcase, iMedia students are busy developing a plan to host and market the event.

As a part of the planning process, iMedia students were split into three primary groups – public relations, creative and event management. The work of each group is critical to creating a successful capstone exhibition where all students have the opportunity to showcase the incredible work that we’re doing on a diverse array of creative projects.

Team 1 – Public Relations

The public relations team is charged with promoting details of the event on and off Elon’s campus via traditional and social media outreach. The team will develop communication material, determine key audiences and manage the event’s messaging.

Team 2 – Creative

The creative team is responsible for designing a variety of visual elements from print components to web and mobile site development to video and motion graphics. Members of this team will create the logo and identity of the exhibition.

Team 3 – Event Management

The event management team will coordinate the event space, technology requirements and other logistics. The capstone exhibition will be housed on the second and third floors of Powell.

Of course, in the midst of event planning, the work doesn’t stop. We continue to develop our capstone projects and digital portfolios, complete classwork for Spring courses and apply for jobs. No pain, no gain.

Stay tuned for more details. Click here for a look at projects from last year’s iMedia class.

Don’t Know Where You’re Headed? Don’t Fret!

With graduation less than three months away, “what are you going to do?” is the question eating at everyone’s conscience.

Some of us have a crystal-clear idea, and some of us don’t. Either way, that’s totally okay. You’re going to be fine.


Maybe you’ll land a job that you’ll end up loving right after graduation. Maybe you’ll land a job you’ll end up hating. That’s totally okay. You’re going to be fine. Repeat it to yourself: “It’s totally okay. I’m going to be fine.”

In fact, you’re going to be better than fine. You’re going to rock this whole “career” thing. If you don’t know what you want to do right now, who cares? The average American changes careers several times throughout the course of his or her working life, and 91% of millenials don’t expect to remain in their current position for more than 3 years. 

Taking the time to explore different areas is becoming the “new normal”, and there’s something to be said for experiencing several possible paths before settling into something on a more permanent basis.

The important thing to remember is that everything is a learning experience and, especially in the interactive media field, we can never stop actively seeking out ways to expand our knowledge. Whether it’s via interactions with difficult clients, e-learning courses on topics that interest us, or following industry blogs, every little bit counts in this ever-changing digital landscape.

So whether or not you currently have a good idea of what you want to do in May, try not to view it as settling into a position for the rest of your life. View it as the next step in your lifelong education. You can always shift focuses.

Luckily for you, the iMedia program has thoroughly prepared you to tackle any number of career paths in the digital realm. Our education has sculpted us into flexible, “T-shaped” professionals, and whether we end up loving our first job or hating it, we’re going to be in a fantastic position to grow, transition, and otherwise take the “real world” by storm.

Learning from those who came before us

Today, two of our capstone classes had the pleasure of hearing from former alum, Brenna Mickey ‘14 who now works as an Interaction Designer with Centerline Digital of Raleigh, NC. Centerline started as a small production company focusing on video production, animation and motion graphics. Today, they house nearly 150 employees and focus on content marketing for Fortune 500 companies around the world.

During the presentation, students were given the chance to pick Brenna’s brain about her time in iMedia and how to handle the next three months as we approach graduation. She had a lot of great advice for putting yourself out there and finding the job that is best for you, but summed it up in these five things to consider when looking for a job:

Show your hybrid-ness

  • Building connection points across disciplines makes you more valuable
  • Shows you are open for new ideas, opinions and perspectives
  • A well-rounded “specialist” is hard to find!

Save your process documents

  • They could serve as jumping off points for other projects
  • Reference your “thinking-out-loud” artifacts during interviews (e.g. wireframes, storyboards, sketches)

About those portfolios

  • Speak directly to the work that you did
  • Clearly document or explain the overall business value of the creative work
  • Link to process documents
  • Nix inflated language, like “guru, expert, moguel, rockstar”

Be open-minded to the possibilities

  • Freelance vs. agency vs. teaching vs. professional services
  • There’s more out there than you think.
  • Nothing is permanent!
  • Focus on job descriptions, not titles
  • Same title means different things to different companies

You know more than you realize

  • Confidence! (But not arrogance, you guru, you.)
  • Knowledge gaps exist everywhere: just because you understand something doesn’t mean someone else will

We’re lucky to have so many talented iMedia graduates out there who are willing to help our current students grow. However, no matter the industry, these points can be helpful to anyone looking for a job. So, take note and put yourself out there. Something amazing is sure to come along.

Have degree, will travel

by maggie mullikin

We have our first iMedia graduate in Jackson Hole Wyoming. Drayton Beebe is a 2015 iMedia graduate. We spoke on the phone about her new opportunity out west. I just love how happy she sounds and this is what she had to say,Unknown

“I’m currently working as a graphic design intern at Teton Gravity Research in Jackson Hole, WY.

“After iMedia, I took time at home to figure out how I wanted to use my newfound skills, where I wanted to live, and what kind of company I wanted to work for. I knew I wanted to move west and work for an outdoor company doing graphic design. I love skiing and snow sports and am happy to have ended up in Jackson Hole at TGR.I work with the digital and sales teams creating ads for the site, marketing materials, etc. and the content team creating any visual aids for stories from info graphics to photo editing.

“iMedia teaches you a wide range of skills. Figure out which chunk you want to focus on and build your portfolio around that. If you want to be a web developer, find a professional developer’s portfolio to understand how to showcase fully developed sites you’ve built. Then, figure out how to leverage the other skills you’ve learned when you’re marketing yourself in interviews. The iMedia program is truly unique and the first of its kind. One year for a master’s degree, a wide range of digital knowledge, and international project experience puts you on the fast track into the digital space no matter what your previous knowledge or professional experience is.

“I think as students we are hyper focused on the next step forward and we develop tunnel vision to the next goal. I think this sets us up for failure and or disappointment. Since graduation, I’ve learned that patience, thoughtfulness, and quality over quantity, in applications and your portfolio, are important during the job search process.”

Sapient advice from another talented iMedia graduate.




Setting the Course for Capstone Success

We made it! We’re back from our incredible winter term flyins. If you missed our presentations, you can view the replay online here.

So what’s next? We’re a week into our spring and final semester of the iMedia program and we’ve got a lot to think about. We’ll be graduating in a few short months. Before that, we’ve got resumes to update and jobs to apply for. But that’s not all. We also have to conquer the capstone.

In lieu of a thesis, the iMedia program requires that students complete an individual capstone interactive media project accompanied by an explanatory paper. Students come up with their own capstone ideas in the realm of news, entertainment, informational services or strategic communications, and work to transform those ideas into fully functional presentations. Capstone projects are revealed to industry professionals, family and friends at a final exhibition prior to graduation at the end of the semester.

Some students knew what they wanted to do when they entered the program, some are refining ideas developed during our first semester in iMedia and others are still deciding which idea they will commit to. No matter where our passions lie, it’s become clear that setting the course to a successful capstone is a process.

Planning is an essential first step. Many of us will start this planning process by completing a project treatment that delves deeper into our approach to the project. The treatment evaluates purpose, methods to completing the project, technologies that will be utilized or required, and any roadblocks or concerns related to completing the project. Beyond the treatment, we will compare and contrast our projects with existing competitors. In addition, we will use tactics such as Design Sprints to test problems associated with design or other aspects of our projects. We also will consult with others outside of the program to serve as external reviewers of our work.

It’s true, we’ve got our work cut out for us, and this is just the beginning. But there’s no turning back. With just three months left in iMedia, the finish line is in sight.