My Mid-Semester Resolutions

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Miramar Beach, Florida

As I’m writing this post, I’m looking out the window at a big patch of green grass, sunny skies, and a clock that’s waiting to tell me in an hour that I’ve earned some beach time. Spring break introduces a challenge to prioritization. On one hand, studies show that taking a vacation (or a break in general) is good for your health. It not only clears your mind to improve your focus when you get back to work, but it also improves your heart health. On the other hand, I made a to-do list of about a million things I should really get done over the break to prevent my workload from being overwhelming next week, and getting all of them done means there won’t be much of a break at all.

As someone who likes to plan ahead, it can be hard to tune out stressors. At this point in the program, there seems to be a lot of stress about finding a job, finishing our projects, and keeping it all together. I decided I would take this break to reflect on what I want my last two months (!!) in the program to look like, and come up with some resolutions to make that happen.

  1. I will embrace everything I have learned about myself and media production in the program. For our fly-in, I served as the Project Manager of the Costa Rica team. The task was very challenging, but I came out of the experience feeling more prepared for real-world experience than I did upon entering the program. It instilled confidence in me that I can handle any challenge that comes my way. In addition to that, I have improved my video editing skills and my knowledge of using DSLRs for videography. I can code a site that doesn’t look like it was made in 1995! I’m still learning every day.
  2. I will focus on my time left in iMedia – not wish it away in favor of getting a job. One of the biggest appeals of this program is how marketable we can become to employers. Elon University provides so many networking and career-building opportunities for us to find our dream jobs. A good portion of our class is made up of students who came straight from undergrad, and that means -for most of us, anyway- that we don’t know exactly what that dream job looks like. There is so much room for trial and error in our job search and in the jobs we take as we figure out what that dream job really entails. My biggest resolution is to focus on what I can still learn over the next few months. That includes editing a short comedy film for Advanced Video Production, mastering Cinema 4D, and learning the Bootstrap framework. I want to dedicate my time to those things- even if it means putting the job hunt aside for now.
  3. That being said, I will still utilize the services offered at Elon. Amber McCraw compiled a fabulous list of tasks to prep for our job search as iMedia students. I will commit to completing most of these tasks before I graduate… after I finish my homework!
  4. I will express gratitude to everyone who has helped me get through this whirlwind of a year. We could not have gotten this far without the support of the iMedia faculty, staff, and our friends and family. I am declaring on the internet in all its permanence that I will write some thank you notes and emails to the people who have supported me on this endeavor. It’s such an easy way to spread positivity and brighten someone’s day, including your own!
  5. I will take that break! For now that means walking on a white sandy beach, but for the next two months I will rest my eyes for a few minutes after editing for hours or walk to Moseley and back between classes. I only have a couple of months left to enjoy our beautiful campus and I can’t let that time pass me by!

What are your mid-semester resolutions?

 

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A Measure of iMedia Alumni Success

Deciding whether or not to go to graduate school can be a daunting task.

Your finances, the need to relocate, discipline and academic stamina are important factors that you may be wrestling with. Just as critical is considering the post-graduate career prospects for the program you’re considering.

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Interactive Media graduate Erin Turner ’15 G’16 works as assistant social media editor at Essence Magazine. 

Lucky for you, if you’re looking to earn a M.A. in Interactive Media from Elon, you’ll have a chance to join an impressive list of alumni with exciting careers in both the public and private sectors, throughout the country and abroad.

Since the iMedia program launched in 2009, there have been 257 graduates. Of those graduates, 97 percent are currently employed for such companies as Amazon Web Services, Razorfish, ESPN, Essence Magazine, Automattic, NASCAR, CBS Interactive, Dribble, the Smithsonian, Microsoft, IBM, and the Dallas Morning News – just to name a few.

Among dozens of job titles, iMedia alumni serve as web developers, UX designers, digital strategists, multimedia producers, social media managers and many other highly-skilled roles. Furthermore, these careers most often boast competitive salaries and advancement opportunities.

But these are just a few details about the success of iMedia graduates.

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Employed at Automattic, Interactive Media graduate David Kennedy G’10 develops WordPress themes under the title “theminator.”

If you’ve been thinking about applying to Elon’s Interactive Media program, but can’t make it to a campus visit, join us for our first virtual information session at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 30, via WebEx.

Click here to register for the event.

We’ll be sharing details about this innovative and accelerated, 10-month master’s degree program, including courses, admissions requirements, alumni success and more. We’ll also introduce you one of our professors, who will offer insight into students’ hands-on experiences in classes, work with real-world clients and the program’s state-of-the-art facilities.

For those who attend this virtual information session, we’ll waive the $50 application fee when you apply.

For more information about the iMedia program or admissions questions, please call me, Tarah Holland, at 336-278-7683 or email tholland@elon.edu.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

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.

Portfolios

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…

* Portfolio
* Resume
* Business Cards
* Email signature
* Social Media Profiles

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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.”