Interactive Profiles: Student Hopes to Build on Self-Taught Skills

Linda Misiura was trained formally as a writer, but the design/multimedia skills she's acquired to this point in her life are self-taught. So while she joins Elon's new Interactive Media master's program with some communications experience already, she's also hoping to augment the technical side of her resume.

Linda Misiura

“I think this is a good fit for me to take the skills from my undergraduate (education) and the design skills that I’ve developed personally over the last two years and combine them with the interactive component,” Misiura says. “I’m going back to school for those express purposes: to make myself more marketable in an economy that’s kind of down at the moment.”

And the economy has been struggling ever since Misiura graduated in 2007 with a dual major in English and Communications from Cedar Crest College, an all-women’s school in Allentown, Penn. There, she worked for four years at her school’s newspaper and literary magazine.

After graduation, she worked as a marketing consultant for a boutique real estate agency in Carborro, N.C., where she produced fliers and e-mail campaigns. She next put her skills to use for a spa in Cary, N.C., redesigning its brochure and doing other creative work. She ended up rebranding most of the spa’s promotional materials, she says.

Soon after that, Misiura started her own freelance design company called Inkling. She’s worked with small business owners, designed wedding invitations and business cards, and done a little Web design.

Now, though, she wants more, so she turned to Elon’s iMedia program, which will prepare her and her classmates to think strategically across media platforms; plan and create interactive media content consisting of text, images, sounds, video and graphics; and manage information for interactive news, entertainment and persuasive communications.

Students will learn from award-winning professors, build their own interactive media projects in state-of-the-art facilities and help chart the future of media communication.

“I always planned on going back to school,” Misiura says. “The appeal of the (iMedia) program, other than the fact that it’s so hands-on, was that I’m going to graduate May 22. I completely love the intensity of it, and how we’re being thrown into this.

“The dedication that it’s going to take to get through this program is extremely appealing to me because I’m a busy person. The level of work and getting back into studying again and being a student is exciting because I like being a student, and I’ve missed it immensely.”

Misiura says she is looking forward to her elective courses in the spring, when she feels she’ll be able to dive deeper into multimedia/online design, an area she initially got into because, she says, “I had the software and said, ‘I’ll take a stab at it.’”

Of course, that spontaneous first step into the world of design has served her well and helped her start her own small company. But she wants to extend her brand now.

“Everything continues to go online,” Misiura says. “The more interactive content, the better we are able to capture our viewers. If you’re not keeping their attention with graphics and maps and something to listen to and something to watch, than they’re going to get bored because there’s not enough to pay attention to.”

Misiura wants to increase her HTML skills and gain some knowledge in Flash and video production. Where all of these soon-to-be newfound talents will lead her, though, is unknown. She’s not beholden to any specific position or organization, although she would like to continue running Inkling. She just hopes that after graduation she finds a rewarding and fulfilling career, no matter the field.

“I don’t have any plans at all other than to get out there and find a job where I can apply all of my skills, live the life I want to live and be in a city that makes me happy,” Misiura says. “The world is my opportunity. I tend to be a positive person. It’s carried me well so far.”

Interactive Profiles is a multi-part series that will profile a select number of students in the new master’s program. One part will run every week.

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