And We’re Off

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

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3 responses to “And We’re Off

  1. Adam–I’ve been trying to get INTO Tracy Locke since my junior year undergrad! What possessed you to leave?! I have a friend who currently works at their Greenwich office, they practice under the name “Slate.” He does the Jawbreaker commericals, played back in January I believe. Do you think with your masters, you would try to go back into the agency world? Or continue to work on your own?

  2. ‘Slate’? The Greenwich office for TracyLocke spawned after I had left last July, and the only person that I’m aware of who works there is named Brian, but he could have the nickname ‘Slate’ I guess. *shrug* I’ll have to ask him.

    As for why I left TracyLocke, a lot had to do with an aptitude for sourcing employees for creative and production positions and a strong relationship with the agents and recruiters I used to work through as a freelancer. They sold me on the idea of recruiting, my job had become redundant and my operating and development budget had gotten taken away in reforecasting, so I decided to take the leap and left on -extremely- good terms.

    The culture at TL has shifted significantly over the past 4 years due to senior management changes and redefinitions of various inter-corporate departments. It wasn’t better or worse, just different, and the atmosphere changed significantly enough that leaving wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Had I known how hard recruiting would turn out, I might have tried to stay on, but at least this way I left under my own choices instead of being potentially downsized. (The other guy who did what I did and was also therefore redundant found himself laid off 2 weeks after I left, so I don’t think it was an idle decision.)

    In a nutshell. It’s still a great company to work for, and I’m keeping on trying to get back in. Just not desperately. I’ve got lots of friends and professional contacts there still, and I maintain those relationships carefully.

  3. I’ve been corrected, it’s Ice Breakers, not Jaw Breakers!

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