Alumni Profiles

Elon’s Interactive Media alumni are digital marketing managers, visual designers, front-end developers, digital media producers and UI/UX developers. They are working all over the world in places such as Google, World Economic Forum, ESPN, Anheuser-Busch, Northface, The Baltimore Sun, Southwest Airlines, Groupon, LinkedIn, Estee Lauder, Politico, Baltimore Orioles, Red Hat and Amazon. Their stories share at least one thing in common – the knowledge, skills and experiences gained while participating in the Interactive Media program prepared them for their careers.

Kendal Cinnamon G’15

Position: Product Design Lead

Company: Vitality Group in Chicago

Kendal leads a team of product designers, designs features and journeys for the products, manages the design system, and works with cross-functional teams on product strategy and vision.

After earning an undergraduate degree in public relations and strategic communications, Kendal wanted to dive deeper into coding and digital design. Elon’s Interactive Media program’s coursework, which included coding, design, UX, research and production allowed her to obtain knowledge in a variety of areas and helped her design a specific career path. From front-end development to design and prototyping, video production and editing, research methodologies, teamwork, communication, creative problem solving and confidence, Kendal gained hard and soft skills that she uses daily.

I know that I have found success and happiness in my career because of my decision to get an interactive media degree. Being part of an intensive, cohort program helps you build close bonds with not only other students but also the professors.

Nick Cook G’18

Position: Presentation Design Specialist

Company: McKinney in Durham, N.C.

Before he even started Elon’s Interactive Media program, Nick had his eye on a position at McKinney. The program allowed him to focus on gaining the skills needed to get the job he wanted when he graduated. He continues to use the skills he learned in the classroom in his current role.

The intensity of the program, the study away component and access to state-of-the-art equipment, software and facilities were key parts of Nick’s experience at Elon. The relationships he made with his professors also had an impact and were instrumental in helping him navigate the program and his job search.

I do believe my interactive media degree gave me a competitive edge. Not only did it help me strengthen my design skills, which helped me craft a stronger, more dynamic creative portfolio, it also helped educate me about the industry and desired skillsets.

Ashley Deese G’13

Position: Assistant Director of Digital Media and Communications

Company: Smithsonian Science Education Center in Washington, D.C.

Ashley leads a digital media team throughout the production and distribution of Smithsonian science products, such as game apps, interactive and videos for children around the world.

Since graduating from Elon’s Interactive Media program, Ashley has produced internationally acclaimed and best-selling games for the Smithsonian, such as “BumperDucks,” “Disaster Detector” and “Showbiz Safari.” Ashley’s game “Morphy!” received an honoree award by the Webby Awards in 2016. “Aquation: The Freshwater Access Game” was a 2018 nominee for The Webby Awards’ inaugural games category for public service & activism. Ashley’s games are played in more than 100 countries and have been on the Top Charts on the Apple App Store. She was named to the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

I owe a lot of my career success to my time at Elon. Not only did the Interactive Media program help cultivate my skills in all areas of digital media, but the faculty also guided my growth as a leader within the creative industry.

Mara Frontera G’18

Position: Designer

Company: Anheuser-Busch in Los Angeles

Mara links her career success to her Interactive Media degree. It was during the 10-month program that she learned how to collaborate with coders, videographers, photographers and social media teams. Understanding all those areas made her versatile and helped get her foot in the door.

Mara’s class traveled to Nicaragua for the Interactive Project for the Public Good course. She worked as the project manager, enabling her to further develop leadership skills and handling of tight deadlines. In addition to the professional gains, it was life-changing experience for Mara — one that put her life into perspective.

The group dynamic in the Interactive Media program fostered an amazing collaborative experience, which I consider to be the most valuable skill I gained. Working side by side with people with different skill sets helped me develop a patient and collaborative mindset and enabled me to bring my ideas to life in a more diverse way.

Grace Krafte G’14

Position: Interaction Designer

Company: Google in New York City

Grace has worked on a variety of projects at Google, ranging from authentication and account creation to analytics and data visualization. She conducted her first usability test while in the Interactive Media program. Now, she regularly runs studies at Google. She even drives around in a decked-out research van.

When Grace started at Elon, she had limited coding experience and no formal knowledge of UX. The Interactive Media program was transformative. She gained valuable front-end development and interaction design skills that made her stand out when applying for jobs.

Dedicating a year to advancing my career and gaining new skills was one of the best decisions I ever made. Additionally, having an advanced degree set me apart in the interview process. I was selected for my current role in New York City in part because of my experience in data visualization, which was the focus for my literature review and capstone project.

Jordynn McKnight G’16

Position: Visual Designer

Company: World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland

In her role as an interactive designer, Jordynn creates visual designs for digital and dabbles in UX, print and branding design. She links her career success to her understanding of web development, knowledge of usability and her international experience — all gained while in the Interactive Media program.

Jordynn entered the Interactive Media program with some design experience and had the opportunity to advance her skills and become a nimbler designer. Challenged to add new programs and software to her toolbelt, Jordynn was able to master Sketch, Invision and Illustrator while expanding her understanding of UX, UI and basic web development. The program’s study away course, Interactive Project for the Public Good, allowed her to apply what she had learned.

The opportunity to practice my newfound knowledge in a real-world context outside of my comfort zone was a really rewarding experience. Also, positioning that experience right at the halfway point of our studies allowed me to assess my personal strengths and weaknesses in my chosen field and use the rest of the school year to build them up before I re-entered the workforce.

Nick Margherita G’15

Position: Video Editor

Company: Private Division in New York

Nick collaborates with developers, internal marketing teams and producers to conceptualize and produce high-quality game trailers and video assets. He produces relevant social assets for partner games for social media and communications teams. Working within 3D environments, he sets up and records footage for trailers, b-roll and gameplay videos.

The Interactive Media program gave Nick the chance to expand his knowledge and experience with text, graphics, audio and video. The hands-on work with cameras, sound and lighting equipment and video editing tools enabled him to build an impressive graduate portfolio that showcased professional cinematography, creative storytelling and post-production editing.

When potential employers learned that I earned my master’s degree in interactive media and was well-versed in multiple skillsets in addition to video production, my resume rose to the top of the list.

Mike Sales G’11

Position: Digital Transformation and Innovation

Company: Duke Energy Corporation in Charlotte, N.C.

Mike Sales chose Elon’s Interactive Media program to jumpstart his career. The 10-month program allowed him to gain the skills and knowledge he was seeking, so he could quickly get back in the workforce. After graduation, he tapped into the network he developed and landed a job as senior director of creative design at NASCAR.

Now at Duke Energy Corporation, Mike oversees design thinking strategy for Duke’s digital transformation efforts across the IT business unit, with specific emphasis on human-centered design approach. He leads user experience, interaction design, and user research efforts for three teams at various points in their product cycle. He also leverages usability testing to provide creative direction to UX/UI designers in order to center user’s needs within the larger product vision and improve product adoption scores.

I saw myself as a designer and when I came out of the program, I saw myself as a leader. The program gave me the opportunity to lead. From relationships to strategy, marketing and technology to anything going on in the industry, you could take it and run with as far as you wanted to. The program is probably one of the most valuable educational experiences I had. If you stick with the program and follow the process, you can come out of the other side and do whatever you want to do.