POE: Multimedia Production & International Studies
Get to know a little about Alex and her adventures post graduation! “While being a student at Juniata, I was heavily involved with extracurricular activities and campus jobs. I can’t stress the importance of this enough.”
Were you individualized or did you choose a designated path?
Both, Multimedia Production was an individualized POE through IMA and Communications but International Studies was designated.
What drew you to choosing your creative path?
I came in starting with the international studies POE program. But all my life I always knew I loved video, photography, and production, and after having some on campus jobs in video production with the sports information department and the TSC Video Production Team, I decided to add it on formally as an additional POE.
Why did you choose Juniata College?
I was really drawn to the individualization opportunity of the POE program, but I was also drawn to Juniata for the music department. For a long time I had the intention of going to college to major in music, but quickly realized I didn’t want my love of a hobby to turn into something I have to do and may no longer enjoy when it becomes a career. The music department at Juniata is so strong, and has no music majors or minors, so everyone who participates solely does it for the enjoyment of their instruments or singing, and I absolutely loved that.
Where are you currently employed and what is your current position title?
Comcast Spotlight (name soon to be changing November 5) with Mnemonic, the internal creative agency. My job title is “creative lead.”
What is your favorite thing about your current position?
I love that every day at my job, I get to develop fun and creative stories for videos and see them come to life. I love the pre-production phase of video production the most and my favorite thing is having a client that I need to develop an awesome story campaign for their video advertising, and I get to be fully creative with no limits, and often actually execute on some amazing ideas and see them come to life on screen.
How long did it take you to find a job after graduation?
I received an internship opportunity immediately after graduation from a connection I made at the Juniata career fair. It was a great placement in video production with a part of a production company as it helped propel me forward towards the career I have now with the experiences I had and the connections I was able to make within the industry.
What are your main sources of inspiration?
A lot of my creative ideas and inspiration come from my own life experiences in every day life, or from other films or advertising/commercials that I’ve seen. When I’m tasked with a new project, I do significant research into video creative within that client’s industry to get a sense of what some other brands have done with their advertising, and start my idea generation there. But often, I start to get ideas within meetings when I’m talking with clients, or even in the most random moments, like when I’m taking a shower (that happens a lot oddly.) For example, recently I’ve worked on a creative campaign for a business that provides solutions to those with hearing loss, and the ideas I developed came directly from my own experience with my grandparents as they struggled with hearing loss. I was able to find the humor and emotion in bringing a similar story to my own to life.
Like I mentioned earlier about my background in music, I actually pull some inspiration from songs and music that I listen to. When listening to a song I almost put my imagination in a music video that adheres to the music, and sometimes my ideas come from snippets of those images I have envisioned.
Naturally I find creative inspiration in lots of shows and movies that I enjoy, pulling effects, camera techniques, and more from things I’ve seen that I’ve loved. These are also great inspiration for future projects outside of my regular job to do just for fun.
How would you describe your art/design style?
I’m not sure if I necessarily have a style – I think a lot of the work I do is actually very different from one another. I almost like to challenge myself to always do something a little different, rather than sticking true to one specific design or style in my work. I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into one specific style and not be able to accelerate my career forward because I only work one way.
How do you balance your work life and home/social life? Any tips for soon-to-be grads?
This is probably the most difficult aspect of my job – trying to balance the work from the personal life. The media industry is particularly difficult because we can take jobs and work at any time, any day of the week. As far as having regular hours with a full time job in the media industry, my advice would be to stick true to your boundaries when you are able to. When I have a harsh deadline, yes, I need to work beyond regular hours and commit to finishing the project. It’s important to be willing to do this within this industry when you need to. But when I know I don’t, I’ve made it a habit to put my work phone and computer away when I come home for the evening, and not look at it again until I’m back the next morning. The best advice I received was that we’re not doing brain surgery, no one is going to die if something has to wait until the next morning, so leave work at work.
Any final thoughts words of wisdom?
While being a student at Juniata, I was heavily involved with extracurricular activities and campus jobs. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Especially in the media industry, it can be hugely important to be able to bring an experience like those to the table, because many have not, and that can provide you with a step up. Being a part of the concert choir, wind symphony, and women’s rugby team give me the professional understanding of being a part of a group and team and how your role fits into the bigger picture. But my personal experiences as a part of those groups are where I often draw inspiration from when it comes to my creative ideas.
And, take the time to travel when you are able to. My study abroad experiences at Juniata provided me with immeasurable life-changing skills and understanding that aid me in my ability to communicate well and see things in my career from a different perspective that no one else is able to do.
Also, I can’t recommend enough – do your best to get an on campus job specific to media. Many positions, while they may be “entry level,” still look for real life experience within the industry, and an on campus job within media is hugely impactful to getting your foot in the door.