Media Design Assignment #1

My name is Jennifer Lee and I am a first semester student in the MS Media Management Graduate program at The New School. As you can see, I did not make this blog overnight. I started working on it early this summer as a personal project. I wanted to use it as a platform to write and create content about topics I am interested in such as Fashion, Beauty, Entertainment, Celebrity, Politics, Travel, and Lifestyle. I am thrilled that I am able to use it for posting assignments for Media Design, so I will have more content to have on my blog. Toujours Sourire means “always smile” in French. I chose the title because I am a bubbly, outgoing person and I feel like it is a good reminder to not take everything so seriously. I also like that it is a French saying, which makes it a little mysterious to those who do not know French.

I grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia and I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a minor in Fashion Merchandising, and a certificate degree in New Media Studies.  I began my college career with a plan to get a degree in Psychology, but had not really thought out where this might lead.  As a Psychology major, I immediately found myself in large competitive classes filled with students who seemed to know exactly what they wanted to do with their psychology education- many were planning on going on to Medical School.  Early in my major studies, I admit I suffered somewhat while taking several of the prerequisite science classes.  These classes were a challenge for me but I got as much out of them as I could.  Once I got on to more advanced level classes in the major, I found them to be very interesting, but along the way I found out I did not want to be a Psychologist, and I learned for sure that I did not want to go to Medical School.

In an effort to further enrich my college educational experience and happiness, I chose during my sophomore year to add a minor in Fashion Merchandising, with hopes to learn more about another interest of mine, fashion.  Having the opportunity to take creative courses while slogging my way through a rigorous science-filled schedule was helpful for stress relief and it helped pave the way for my first internship, in the field of fashion.  In a position that was open to the whole university, I competed for and was chosen to be the Social Media College Representative for the online fashion company Rent the Runway.  This was a relatively small company at the time, started by two Harvard Business School students, but the company has grown significantly since.  In my internship, I managed the University of Georgia Rent the Runway Social Media platforms, where I posted creative content relevant to the marketing of the company and also used social media to create brand awareness around the University of Georgia campus.

During my 2 years as the Social Media Representative, where my main goal was to try to get as many people engaged and aware of Rent the Runway using social media, I discovered I had a passion and aptitude for the work, and found this to be a creative outlet.  All of this led to the next step, building on the interest and desire I found I had in Digital Marketing through Social Media.  I found out about a program in the Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communication that offered me the chance to learn more about social media techniques.  I was thrilled to be accepted into the New Media Interdisciplinary Certificate Program, which provided theoretical and practical knowledge of developing digital media systems.  In 17-hours of course work, I learned historical, political, social, and economic dimensions of new media technologies.  I definitely took a lot of classes at UGA, both in my Psychology major and Fashion Merchandising minor, but by far, I most enjoyed and was stimulated by my New Media courses.  I learned to code in JavaScript and HTML.  I used WordPress to create my own website from scratch.  I learned how to use Adobe Creative Suite- including Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Illustrator.  The final class every student in the program must pass is the Capstone class, where students complete projects that are managed by the University of Georgia New Media Service Bureau.  In my Capstone class, I worked as part of a group of four students to design a New Media system for a real client, which was a child care service.  We worked an entire semester with the client to create a live web-based app.  At the end of the semester, our group competed with 14 others in the class for the chance to present our research and app at Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia.  My group was fortunately selected to be one of four groups asked to show our work at Turner Broadcasting Systems, and this turned out to be in front of a live audience of over 300 people, including the president of the company.   In the act of immersing myself in this project and using the knowledge base I had gained in the program, I found myself wanting more and knew I would be eventually pursuing a career in media.

After graduation from UGA in May 2015, in need of a job, I moved to New York City to work in fashion.  I began working as a Social Media and E-commerce Assistant for a luxury women’s fashion brand called Natori.  Although I enjoyed my work at Natori and had learned a lot, I still had not lost my desire to study media and emerging technologies.  My interest in digital and televised media has only grown more since I have been working and living in NYC, a huge hub for the media, news, and emerging technologies of all kinds.  In my time since I’ve left school, the act of going to work each day has helped clarify my aspirations and professional goals.

Earning a Master’s degree in Media Management is the best path for me to continue learning the professional skills to one day fulfill my career goal of working in the media industry or for a technology corporation.  I feel like I will gain the skills and knowledge I need to succeed in today’s ever-changing technology and communications industries with the relevant course offerings at The New School in Media Management MS program.  The combination of courses in management, business practices, and critical analysis of media industries is the ideal curriculum for my career goals.  In particular, I am interested in exploring the area of political media and communications.  I want to delve into the practices of political media and explore ways it influences political campaigns, social movements, and popular culture.  I also look forward to building upon my skills in social media marketing that I have learned previously in my New Media certificate program and through Natori, as well as learning more about effective business and management strategies used by both the communications and technology industries.

As a first semester graduate student in the MS in Media Management program, I am enrolled in 2 courses and have just accepted a position for a part-time job at an E-commerce/Digital Media company called Brick & Portal. I am thrilled to have the chance to get my masters degree in Media Management at The New School and work at a company where I will be learning and using relevant skills for my graduate degree.

Jenn Lee

Web Designer, Digital Media Specialist

Graduate Student👩‍💻 | Digital Media Specialist | Georgia Bulldog Alum 🐾

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