Forty-one students celebrated the completion of the program during a ceremony May 17.
Stick with it. Push when necessary. Adapt. Listen.
That’s the advice the Interactive Media Class of 2012 received from Michael Radutzky, senior producer of CBS’ “60 Minutes,” during a graduation ceremony in Whitley Auditorium Thursday night.
“When I first started looking for a job in TV I was your age,” Radutzky said, adding that in those days, television was the new media and airtime was a scarce resource.
That’s no longer the case. In an era of iPads, YouTube and Twitter there is no need to impress a television executive to get your message out, he said. All you have to do is know how to package it and make it go viral.
“You are the storytellers of the future,” he said. “You are digital natives.”
But no matter what the platform of choice may be, Radutzky said, there is one thing that remains the same: the need for quality content that is truthful and of benefit to the public. He pointed to past “60 Minutes” stories that in one way or another have helped people or communities in need.
He encouraged students to never lose sight of public service, learn from their mistakes and find awesomeness in everything they do.
“You have the tools to build your own ecosystem,” he said. “This is really your time. People like you are taking advantage of this new digital world.”
“If you are determined to break new ground, do it with the confidence you’ve learned here,” he added.
The ceremony marked the culmination of an intensive 10-month master’s program that allowed the 41 members of the class to bond together as they created websites and developed projects for clients in places as far as in Panama and Iceland.
Stephanie Olsen, who graduated from Elon in 2011 with a strategic communications degree, said she decided to participate in the program to be better prepared before entering the workforce.
“I felt like we kind of skimmed the surface in undergrad,” she said, adding that her knowledge has been significantly deepened during the past 10 months. She hopes to get a project management job in the performing arts field in the Virginia/D.C. area.
For Antony Earathara, a Catholic priest from India who found out about Elon’s program through an online ad while on sabbatical in California, the program was a Godsend.
Working with young people in his native land, he said his job demanded the use of new media to develop educational materials. And while his journey through the interactive media program has not been easy, he is ready to bring what he has learned back to India and teach others.
“I see it as providence,” he said. “I never expected to come here but when I got here everything clicked.”
“I felt like that’s exactly what God wanted me to do.”