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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iMedia Expectations

by Brad Berkner

Are you a designer? Are you a front-end developer or are passionate about project management?  These are questions the iMedia students ask of themselves before entering the program. Some students arrive at Elon with clear determination and specific goals while others find their path along the way. Many students find their path through course work and social engagement. As they prepare to graduate next week, I’ve asked our Class of 2012 what they thought entering the program and how it has stayed true to, or altered, their path.

Charity Holloway

I didn’t know what to expect when I first entered the program. I could barely even describe what interactive media was. However, I suspected I would learn skills like making a website. This program seemed to be skill based which was the reason I decided to take on this challenge. What I’ve learned surpassed my expectations. Coming into the program not knowing anything about interactive media and leaving with an arsenal of skills is very rewarding. Unlike my undergraduate degree, I feel like I can actually get a job based on what I’ve learned. There are students who feel the program did not offer enough in video, social media, or marketing. This program is great for people like me who are eager to learn and take on new challenges.

Carey Brown

When I entered the iMedia program, my hope was to increase my skill set and find something I’m passionate about. I also hoped I would be challenged and grow as a person. iMedia has given me the opportunity to do something I love. In this world, you have to work and everyone should enjoy what they do. I’m happy to say I’m one of those people and iMedia taught me how to achieve my goals. I wasn’t 100% sure about a specific career or skill coming into the program but I learned quickly what I was passionate about. iMedia provides great flexibility for students to explore and mold their own futures.

Ty Gwennap

Originally, I wanted to do web development. I wanted to be able to design and build a website from start to finish. In answering whether this has met my goals,  I would say yes and no. I learned what I set out to learn (scratched the surface), but I have an appreciation for the strategy and creativity behind the project as well. I’m not sure if I want to be a full-time developer, but I do want to incorporate it into a strategic production career.

Jessica Gerber

Entering the program, I expected to learn a range of skills and an overview of theory and social media best practices. It has definitely aligned with my goals of becoming a project manager for digital projects, as I now have full understanding of the digital media landscape.

Friday Workshops & The 10,000 Volt Ghost

by Brad Berkner – Coordinator of Interactive Media Projects

I created a series of Friday Workshops that began in 2009 and continue to evolve today. Each Friday at 2pm, we begin with a lesson followed by a critique session and finally a video screening of relevant topics surrounding design, interactive media and advertising. If Halloween cult classics Shaun of the Dead and Night of the Living Dead could be considered relevant then, yes, they are all relevant topics. The three-part workshop (lesson / critique / viewing) is less systematic and more fluid.

The lesson is always the centerpiece often filled with questions and thoughtful discussion. There is a relaxed atmosphere among the 20+ students. Topics may include HTML5 or jQuery for those interested in design and development. Content Strategy and Getting Paid, for freelance or contract work, are concepts everyone can get behind. Seriously, who doesn’t want to get paid? Often there are guest speakers and demonstrations.

Recently we had designer, developer, conference organizer and interactive extraordinaire, Val Head, video chat with the class about “Designing Motion” http://www.valhead.com/  Her presentation covered the intricacies of Star Wars http://starwars.com/ and the oddities of expectations. The oddities felt something like when you’re in a car holding the map and telling your dad to go left but he still goes right. Yes, unfortunately there are websites like that and thanks to Val we now know this queasy feeling exists online. (ask me for the site… go ahead) Coming in November we ramp up for the winter term, COM. 570 Interactive Project for the Public Good, where students study abroad in Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico and Iceland. We have workshops centered on documentary video production and content management systems (CMS). This November we are excited to chat with Happy Cog http://happycog.com/ Designer, Yesenia Perez-Cruz and Developer, Allison Wagner about “Designing for CMSs”.

Critique sessions follow lessons and provide a fantastic opportunity for students to share their work and gain valuable feedback on projects. The critiques shed new light on solutions they may have missed or open completely new ideas. The feedback and engaged atmosphere is a growing favorite among the students. They feed off the energy, like the 10,000 Volt Ghost, pushing each other and inspiring new creations.

10,000 Volt Ghost

The Scooby-Doo episode "Watt a Shocking Ghost"

“Watch While You Work” is the name of the video screening portion of the workshop. This is a time when students can relax and discuss topics they wanted to share or take a closer look at a friends work or just watch the video. It is a nice way to unwind after a long week.

The level of student engagement in the workshops, interest in the field and in supporting each other continues to amaze. Interactive media is built solely with the energy and foresight of the people who work within it.