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Interactive Media students showcase their work in pre-commencement exhibition

Students in Elon University's Interactive Media master's program showed off the work they've done this semester in their capstone courses at the Interactive Media Exhibition May 18 on the second floor of Powell.

The 32 students demonstrated to their families, faculty, staff and senior administrators the projects they’ve completed and the skills they’ve gained during the last 10 months of their graduate education.

“You give up a lot for this year,” said student Caitlin Smith. “It’s about how much you put into it. This is such an intense 10 months, but it’s been well worth it for me because it’s putting me in place that I’m very, very happy to be. It’s been wonderful.”

The iMedia students have spent the last two semesters and Winter Term taking courses in Interactive Writing and Design, Producing Interactive Media and Interactive Media Strategies. During January, they split in to groups to study abroad and produce web-based projects for the public good. It was a long, daunting year, but the end results have been overwhelmingly rewarding, students said.

“It was definitely an effort, something that, in order to get through this, you had to be committed to from the get-go,” said student Ali Boardman, who accepted a job as an interactive production coordinator at McKinney in Raleigh, N.C. “So the 10 months were a commitment and a top priority, and all 32 of us just knew we had to push through and persevere, and we did because we made it to the other side.”

Students also added that the skills they’ve gained have made them almost unrecognizable to themselves. Smith said she applied to the iMedia program last year so that she could add something new to her already well honed writing and art talents. And now, she’s pleased with where she is in her professional development.

“I think I can hardly recognize myself from 10 months ago because I feel like I know so much more,” said Smith, who will be working as digital strategist at Centerline Digital in Raleigh, N.C. “There was that big hump (early in the year), but then it took off. I’m where I wanted to be at this point.”

Student Mich Donovan, too, is happy with where he’s landed following a year of graduate work, even if Elon is not where he thought he’d stay for a master’s. He graduated in 2010 from the university with a Broadcast & New Media degree, but he wanted to continue exploring web development, so he decided to spend another year on campus.

iMedia student Ashley Pearson talks about her project with Communications Dean Paul Parsons.

“Because of getting those (web) skills, I was able to get a job in Washington, D.C.,” Donovan said. “Without the skills, I couldn’t have applied to that job. It’s been exhausting, but it’s been really rewarding because it’s all paid off.”

Donovan said he hoped gaining a master’s degree would help him land a job with a few more perks a bit faster. It worked out, as he’s set to begin work in Washington, D.C., at the Corporate Executive Board, a for-profit think tank that provides best practices to Fortune 500 companies.

“Luckily for me, I was able to get (a job) before graduation,” he said. “I never expected the program to do it for me, but it gave me the opportunity to get those skills and realize that expectation for myself.”

Those skills being referenced—everything from web development to coding to software—have provided the students with a dexterity, which they say will allow them to remain flexible and fluid in their future careers.

“I thought I would be more specialized when I came out the other end,” Boardman said. “Instead, I’m even more so a jack of all trades instead of master of one particular thing. In this industry, where you have to be able to do a number of things on any given day, I can adjust to that task.”

View Boardman’s, Donovan’s and Smith’s capstone projects by clicking the links below.


iMedia students have accepted jobs or internships at organizations, such as:

  • Likeable Media as the Social Media Strategy Director (Boston)
  • Wilson McGuire as a temporary Marketing Coordinator (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
  • VINDICO Group as a Creative Designer (New York)
  • Centerline Digital as a Digital Strategist (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • McKinney as an Interactive Production Coordinator (Durham, N.C.)
  • Microtech as an intern (Vienna, Va.)
  • Corporate Executive Board (Washington, D.C.)
Student Brittany Glover (left) and iMedia faculty member Derek Lackaff discuss Glover's capstone project.
Colin Donohue,
5/19/2011 10:52 AM