MCDM Survival Tips from an Older Student





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Published on Jun 4, 2012

Perspective on the MCDM experience from an older student from Louise Maxwell, 2012 MCDM grad.

Tip# 1: Forget how old you are.

This is a message for all you older students out there. I started the MCDM program 27 years after I had graduated college. I'm older than a lot of the professors in the program. So, if you're worried that you're too old to do this, you're wrong.

Yeah, some of the younger people in the program may be more familiar with the digital media tools than you and I might be, but it really doesn't matter, and quite frankly some of them can help you learn how to use them. The point is, you bring a wealth of professional expertise that's really needed for all sorts of digital media efforts.

Tip#2: Get your hands dirty.

So, you don't need to be an expert filmmaker to do well in the program, but you do need to be willing to experiment with some of the tools that are out there. In fact, I think if you have a real beginner's mind mindset, you'll do better because you'll be willing to experiment more. And, it's really safe place to try out a lot of your ideas. They give you a lot of free reign for your projects.I've seen projects as creative as one of my classmates used Alice in Wonderland illustrations to describe her vision of the next generation web. And there was one group project that devised a social media plan for an upcoming election. And another used mobile technology to improve the deliver of healthcare in Subsaharan Africa.

Tip #3: Get ready to make some sacrifices.

Let's talk time management. By far, the biggest challenge for me getting through the program. So if you're like me and you're a working professional and going to school, you're just going to have to say goodbye to some aspects of your social life. I'm sorry to say, but there's just no two ways around that. So, first of all, I would set a date night with your wonderful, supportive, patient, loving spouse who's helping you get through all this. And, let your family and friends know that you're just not going to be around as much as you used to be. I would really be prepared to put in some late nights. I mean, there were many nights I was up til 4am finishing projects and I also took some vacation days form work to finish up school work. It's just kind of the way that it is. But it's so worth. You know, your'e going to be tired, but it's a good kind of tired, because you're going to be exercising your creative muscle, and you're going to be working with great people, and you're going to be doing really cool work.

Tip #4: Enjoy it!

You will love the intellectual stimulation. You're going to get to do everything from developing a business plan for your digital media idea to exploring the history of your favorite medium to creating videos for real-world clients and you're going to examine how digital media is shaping current events all over the world.

The MCDM has given me the framework and theory behind digital media that I was looking for and also now the comfort with those tools so I can use them in a professional setting and can go out and experiment with them even more. It is really rich; it's stimulating; it's creative; it's fun; it's challenging and exhausting. So get in there and dive in and have fun!













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