Yesterday I was sitting in the library on campus and waiting for my first face-to-face Graduate class to meet for the first time. I’m 36 years old, been out of school since 1994, and I find myself studying the emerging field of Interactive Communications at Quinnipiac University. Since the graduate school experience is so new to me, I figured I’d do a blog about graduate student life. Trouble is, I had all of half an hour and couldn’t think of a snazzy name for the blog, so I put off the effort and went to the first day of class.
ICM501: Intro to Interactive Communications. Or, as I like to think of it, “What the hell are you about to study, anyways?” Taught by the esteemed Dr. Alex Halavais, the first night’s class makes it clear that we are not only encouraged to have a blog about our academic journey, for this particular class it’s a requirement.
Glad to see I’m thinking in the right direction already and classes are just beginning.
The Road Here
I encountered the graduate program offering a couple of years ago while I was making an internal transition while working for TracyLocke in Wilton. I moved from Studio Management for print design and production over to Interactive Project Management. That wasn’t my exact title, but those were what my duties ended up entailing. I looked at the program as a way to get some credentials in the new field I was entering.
Life intervened, and work changed from actually working inside the agency structure to trying my hand at recruiting for the Creative fields in order to try and grab some of the fabled ‘abundant cash’ to be had. Less than a year and two recruiting agencies later, I’m back on the freelance design beat and grabbing hold of the chance to take my Masters as I do it.
A Confluence of Disparate Experiences
During the time between getting the finances in order and the paperwork processed and actually starting classes, I spent some time on campus and off browsing around and trying to get a better picture of what I was doing, and how this was going to help me out. Gone are the blissfully ignorant ideals of just being myself and having folks throw buckets of cash at me in recognition of my brilliance as an artist and loveliness as a person. Thirteen years since my last graduation trying to scratch out a living in the overpriced market of Fairfield County, Connecticut have cured that particular idealistic affliction.
So for me now, I’ve got the weather eye out for how to use this technology to best effect. How to integrate my experiences in the past with the probable continued corporate future. I begin to think that I’ve got some pretty invaluable life experiences which come together now in ways that weren’t even options when I did my undergraduate work. My artistic talents, my writing skills, and my decade of experience not just in doing the work of graphic design but working in creative agencies and marketing-driven service corporations seems to be coming together into this Master’s pursuit.
So I’m pretty confident I’m in the right place. And while this blog is required for my coursework for the ICM501 class, I think I’d like to continue it and develop it. This is an emerging field, and not everyone has the luxury of attending a graduate program for it. If I can help disseminate some of the knowledge and use this to track the process of learning over the calendar year this is going to take, then I gladly move forward to do this.
A Professional Advantage
The real reason is that a Masters will provide credentials, but the creative world likes to see what they’re investing in when it comes to consultants or personnel. As a designer, I’m used to assembling a corpus of creative and marketing work into a portfolio to get me a job. What better way to begin than to use this new medium from the beginning to help organize the data thrown at me into actual information for use by anyone.
A good idea. And away we go.
Oh… and in case you’re interested… here’s my resume.Adam’s Resume