CT&D #75. Graduate School: Reflection on Goals

An excerpt from my own past experience: 

Having began my academic pursuit in studying for my master’s program in digital media just 9 months and 30 credits ago, I had a few set goals on my mind that I wanted to accomplish that I either didn’t get to do or didn’t complete in my undergraduate program. Academically, I knew I had it in myself to further my education in hopes of acquiring new and valuable skills in fields concerning design and creativity. Naturally as a graphic design major, I was looking to explore content creation through video editing so that I could find a career that I personally would love to call my job. This led into my next goal:

Profession. Even though I loved math and science and at one point studied engineering before switching to graphic design, I was knew that the day would possibly come where I had to seriously think about whether or not I would passionately love the work I would do post-graduation. Fortunately for me, it came toward the middle of my undergraduate studies. 2 years later, I acquired a degree, but not without the challenges in finding work immediately. Furthermore, I knew that at some point, graphic designers would be limited in their work as far as incorporating other aspects of multimedia; on the contrary, I strongly felt that producers in digital media would be creatively unlimited in brainstorming and executing ideas using assets from graphics themselves to sound and footage shot and recorded before being edited for entertainment and / or educational purposes. After all, the sky’s the limit. This of course segues into my final goal:

Personal. This one’s the hardest to write about because I feel that this area has been and still is the weakest aspect of myself and of my journey since I began the college phase of my life 5 years ago. Entering graduate school, I hoped to meet new faces and create new bonds. I admit, I have never historically considered myself a people person but I do enjoy and prefer company and friendship. Nonetheless, I partially blame this failure on commuting back and forth from college and my disappointment with the social and cultural makeup of the student body. I like to be around outgoing people – beyond people who also have things in common with me; this is especially what I counted on in befriending someone who I could have as a partner in my future endeavors or more importantly, a best friend in a career and in life.

Nonetheless, these goals haven’t changed or evolved. I will always look forward to working on them even as I look to study for a doctorate degree in the future elsewhere and move on to a full-time career. When I applied to the digital media program at Northeastern CPS, I immediately chose the digital video concentration. There was no question about it. Regarding my biggest interest, without hesitation I can say it is video editing. Visually, it comes naturally to me as an avid consumer of TV: the look and feel for cutting around segments and adding effects; it helps that my interest in editing came from high school. Now, having experienced editing through actual editing classes, my skills have only been expanded – exactly what I wanted gain from the program. My hope is to continue to expand my skills in video editing, as well as in sound editing too (as it helps in producing multimedia) through entry level work in the coming years.

To a lesser extent, some of which came as a surprise, a few of my courses beyond editing have taught me more about how to be more hands-on and creative (digital storytelling, screenwriting and web bootcamp courses come to mind specifically). These are the most important things I’ve learned, aside from video and sound editing (which I considered my areas / targets of interest) and without a doubt, I expect to apply these principles toward my professional career. Those courses also allowed me to record voiceover in-studio, publish websites and push the limits of what I thought I had in telling a complex, multilayered story.

Finally, to wrap up, as I look to producing my thesis beginning in January 2017, I do anticipate some challenges. Namely, is the fact that I never directed anyone before. I do not have a problem with experiencing this but if anything, if I want to start somewhere to gain experience, why not then? One other thing would be refining and painstakingly putting together my thesis as a quality product as best as I can. I am a perfectionist; this will undoubtedly lead me into possible burnout should I not plan accordingly for shooting, screenwriting, editing, etc. Ultimately, my two goals that I hope my thesis project will accomplish is that one, I need a career to show to employers of whom they could give me that I can demonstrate the right skills needed to get hired and two, I need a justifiable reason for why I want to pursue my education to the highest tier at some point in the future. And there’s passion too as I believe that creating content is fun!

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