2 Aug 2014

All posts from 2 Aug 2014

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CommLeader Spotlight| Jenny Burns, Cohort 13

Jenny Burns, Cohort 13

I will graduate this June, 2015 and I am happily enjoying my final course in the program this spring, Gerry Philipsen’s Ethnogoraphy of Communication.

Area of interest (within the MCDM/MCCN program or in general):

The Master of Communication in Communities & Networks degree program builds upon my personal and professional interests by teaching trending and foundational concepts for effective communication in the networked age. Public education, expanding social networks and connecting over shared interests have always been passions of mine. By emphasizing the value of story, insightful analytics and through networking strategies, the CommLead program supports my interests in emerging digital landscapes, online content development and engaging audiences through social networks.

What exactly do you do professionally or what are your professional goals?

My professional goals are to strengthen communities and share information via tactful and engaging content.

How are you directly applying knowledge from the MCDM or MCCN program in your daily life?

I reference skills and concepts learned from the MCCN program constantly during all aspects of my life. Anything from social networks, to word-of-mouth recommendations to the strength of a community or power of an idea.

As a full-time or part-time student, how have classes worked into your schedule?

I worked part-time with flexible employers and took a full-time course load during the program and it worked out very well. Also, I took summer quarter off and it was a nice time to take a break and re-charge.

Which classes have had the most impact on you personally and professionally?

Every class I’ve taken throughout this program has had significant impacts on me personally and professionally. I reference concepts from Brian Marr’s marketing class often in professional contexts and really valued community building supported by Anita’s Communication Leadership class early on in the program.

What’s your favorite Comm Lead experience?

My favorite CommLead experience was covering SXSW Interactive in Spring of 2014 with Flip the Media. Our team covered emerging digital concepts such as data visualization, social media marketing, the internet of things, and the growing sharing culture trends among numerous other fantastical topics represented at SXSW.

Career-wise, what is your ultimate digital media goal?

My ultimate digital media career goal is to work as a Digital Content Strategist or Content Manager for an organization which supports environmental preservation, sustainability or which supports local communities and quality of life.

What digital trends are you most intrigued by right now?

Currently, I’m really interested in how brands are leveraging user-generated content (UGC) online to support promotional efforts and build brand support.

What’s the strangest food you’ve eaten and under what circumstances?

The strangest food I ate was dim sum jellyfish in San Francisco last summer. It was chewy, clear and not my favorite food. I plan to stick to dumplings, lotus-wrapped sticky rice and fried sesame seed balls in the future….mmm dim sum…

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CommLeader Spotlight| Jenny Burns, Cohort 13
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CommLeader Spotlight|Kristen Walker, Cohort 12

Kristen Walker, Cohort 12

I am a proud member of Cohort 12

Area of interest (within the MCDM/MCCN program or in general):

Graphic design and storytelling

What exactly do you do professionally or what are your professional goals?

Marketing and Communications Specialist at World Vision.

How are you directly applying knowledge from the MCDM or MCCN program in your daily life?

My experience with the MCDM has been invaluable, both in opening professional opportunities in Marketing and communications, as well as giving me the knowledge and skills to grow as a digital media storyteller.

Which classes have had the most impact on you personally and professionally?

Anita’s leadership class was transformational, giving me a whole new perspective on what it means to be an authentic leader and to know your own story.

What’s your favorite Comm Lead experience?

Learning to develop an engaging story through video in Alex and Sarah’s class was a great experience. I loved seeing the classes’ creativity come to life on the big screen.

Career-wise, what is your ultimate digital media goal?

I’m still working on framing my long term professional goals, but being able to use and further develop the media and communications skills I gained through the MCDM is definitely an important component.

What digital trends are you most intrigued by right now?

It’s been interesting to read Andrea Zeller and John Gauntt’s series on Flip the Media about Contextual storytelling… I’m intrigued to see where that goes.

What made you want to become an alumni fellow?

My experience in the Comm Lead program was really positive, and it sounded very exciting to have the chance to build new skills, share my experience, and develop valuable connections with other Comm Lead students through the alumni fellows program. In addition, getting to work with and learn from the other alumni fellows and the Comm Lead Faculty has been an incredible opportunity.

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CommLeader Spotlight|Kristen Walker, Cohort 12
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CommLeader Spotlight|Kendall Barnett, Cohort 12

Kendall Barnett, Cohort 12

Area of interest (within the MCDM program or in general): Branding and Marketing

What exactly do you do professionally or what are your professional goals?

My professional goals are to do what I love. I want to work for a non-profit company (or companies) within the greater Seattle area. I have a heart for non-profits and would want to help them with digital strategy and digital branding.

Which classes have had the most impact on you personally and professionally?

COM 587: Business Fundamentals in Digital Communications has impacted me in a way that I never expected. Rick McPherson, the instructor, is amazing. Through Rick, a well-respected individual in the world of business planning and design, you will learn an immense amount about the factors to consider when going into business for yourself. As much as I struggled through this class, I learned a lot and will take the knowledge of creating my own business plan with me into my future endeavors.

COM 588: Marketing and Branding in Digital Communication has been my favorite course thus far in the Com Lead program. The instructor is a professional named Brian Marr who has so much to share with students about the advertising and marketing industry. He provided some awesome guest speakers that allowed us to see the content as more than just pages in a textbook. We got to hear about how people actually work with marketing and branding through successful companies within the Seattle area. This class helped me to narrow my professional focus. Brian helped me to see that Branding is where my future lies.

What digital trends are you most intrigued by right now?

I find the concept of the “smart wallet” to be fascinating. Knowing that we are moving in a direction in which we can pay for everything with a swipe of our smart phone is totally life changing. This revolution minimizes the need to carry cash and a wallet jam-packed full of rewards cards, debit cards, credit cards, etc. So much of how we live our lives is through our phone. The idea that we could consolidate our money into something as basic as our phone is pretty cool.

Career-wise, what is your ultimate digital media goal?

I want to work within the digital sphere by being a branding strategist for online content. Everything is online. We get the feel for what a company or idea is about through their website, facebook, twitter, tumblr, etc. Making sure that a business or movement is branding themselves well within this sphere is important. I want to help to brand and strategize the best way to engage and communicate with a business’s desired target market.

As a full-time or part-time student, how have classes worked into your schedule?

I am usually a full time student. It is of course challenging to balance work, school, and personal time- but it can be done. The key to balancing them all is to be honest with your work management team, your professors, and your friends and family about what is going on in your life. If work has been crazy, professors understand that because they themselves do what they teach and know that balancing it all can be challenging.

And for the sake of a silly question:

Favorite place to study on campus and why? I like to study in the library. We are so lucky to have such a beautiful campus and the library has a very peaceful architectural element that allows me to focus. OR if it is a beautiful day and campus isn’t too busy, I like to plop myself down right in front of the Communication building with my notes in hand and enjoy the sunshine.

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CommLeader Spotlight|Kendall Barnett, Cohort 12
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CommLeader Spotlight|Inge Scheve, Cohort 11

Inge Scheve, Cohort 11

Area of interest (within the MCDM/MCCN program or in general):

Online content creation, journalism, multimedia storytelling

What exactly do you do professionally or what are your professional goals?

I am an online journalist, currently working with a Norwegian magazine publisher Fri Flyt (English: Free Flow) writing about mountain biking, road biking, skiing, triathlons and adventure racing – covering everything from events, equipment, training and nutrition, as well as the personalities that create the communities, from the pros to the weekend warriors both online and in print. Through creative coverage, passion and enthusiasm, I hope to contribute to changing the way people think about endurance sports, to participate in the community and share the content among themselves. Upon graduation, I started my own news website covering endurance sports in Norway (www.SkiAktiv.no). The web site launched in November 2011 and was just sold this summer, when I moved on to pursue online journalism in a new venue, new ventures and new context.

How are you directly applying knowledge from the MCDM or MCCN program in your daily life?

The coursework, both the theoretical framework in the core courses as well as the electives and hands-on skills classes, have given me the tools and the spine to be a key contributor in the professional arena as well as securing a position in the online news/content business.

As a full-time or part-time student, how have classes worked into your schedule?

I was a full-time student, so having most of the classes at night allowed me to pursue internships during the day in a really smooth way.

Which classes have had the most impact on you personally and professionally?

It’s really hard to pick just a few. But I think the Flip the Media class, where we worked as a regular online newsroom and regularly published and evaluated the content was a great confidence builder. After that class, I knew I had the tools and the knowledge to leverage a good media strategy as well as produce compelling content. The metrics and analytics class has been very useful in showing the ROI of various social media and media strategies, and it never fails to impress the C-suite when you can back up your strategy with numbers and research. I also enjoyed the mobile technologies class, exploring the vast opportunities in that emerging market as well as looking at the history and heritage of mobile technologies.

What’s your favorite Comm Lead experience?

I really enjoyed all the fabulous people I met in the program, from fellow student and faculty to guest speakers and industry leaders brought in through the various events and programs within the Comm Lead. Those experiences have helped me build a diverse and solid network and introduced med to fields, businesses and connections that I’ve enjoyed both professionally and personally.

Career-wise, what is your ultimate digital media goal?

Through digital journalism, creative coverage, passion and enthusiasm, I hope to contribute to change the way people think about media, to encourage greater participation in the online community and share the content among themselves, and to bridge the gap between online and offline communication.

What digital trends are you most intrigued by right now?

Net neutrality, ad the consequences the loss of net neutrality would bring – a reality where those with deep pockets can shut out other voices.

From a content producer standpoint, the concept of native advertising/native content and the blurring of lines between commercial/paid content and independently produced editorial news is both fascinating and disturbing.

On the technology side of things, I’ve been interested in mobile for years, a development that keeps fascinating me. a whole different That more people are enjoying online content on handheld devices, and that in the emerging markets, a lot of consumers will bypass the desktop/fullon laptop experience entirely and go straight from analog/offline to mobile. This opens up a lot of opportunities for media outlets but also brings in new aspects and considerations regarding formatting and user-friendly loading time.

What’s the strangest food you’ve eaten and under what circumstances?

I pretty much eat anything that won’t eat me… But I really wouldn’t mind trying insects. To feed a growing population globally, we’ll have to get used to eating more of that in the future. And what really is the difference between crickets and shrimp anyway? Other than that one lives on land and the other in water?

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CommLeader Spotlight|Inge Scheve, Cohort 11
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CommLeader Spotlight|Amy Ball, Cohort 11

Amy Ball, Cohort 11

Graduation date or expected graduation date: Spring 2013

Area of interest: Marketing campaigns in the digital media space

What exactly do you do professionally or what are your professional goals?

I am a Marketing Campaign Specialist (MCS) for Mass Media at REI. As a MCS, I partner in the design and implementation of a diverse set of multi-channel marketing programs by driving traffic, conversion and sales, and member acquisition and retention. I manage relationships with internal stakeholders, vendors, clients, strategic partners and agencies from concept through delivery of marketing programs (television, radio, newspaper, print and digital advertising). I partner cross-divisionally to ensure marketing programs are aligned and integrated with the seasonal campaigns and annual marketing plan. I also coordinate events and promotions in multiple markets to reach our target audiences.

How are you directly applying knowledge from the MCDM program in your daily life?

In the Narratives and Networks class I was able to create my own content channel (blog) and develop a network engagement strategy. In doing so, I am able to understand the key communication and social changes facilitated by digital media through networks, along with their opportunities and risks. I continually ask myself what networks are my target audiences interacting with, what is the level of interaction my target audience is having within these networks, what conversations already exist, what type of interaction do users have within each network and what are other blogs similar to mine doing.

Which classes have had the most impact on you personally and professionally?

The classes that have had the most impact on me professionally were the Research Strategy & Business Practice course and the Mobile Media Development and Integration course. In the research class I was able to match the best research method to answer the question at hand by designing valid instruments of data collection and test the significance of the results. Shortly after the class, I was able to volunteer for a corporate blog project that evaluated the current state of the blog and then engaged the audience in a survey to inform the future strategy of the blog.

In the mobile class I developed a mobile strategy, which included a mobile app, mobile optimized website and digital ad campaign, for a local insurance company. In order to develop this strategy, the team and I evaluated when and how mobile should be used to create engaging and interactive experiences, as well as explore how mobile impacts an organization’s communication, marketing and business tactics.

What digital trends are you most intrigued by right now?

The digital trend that I am most intrigued by right now is the protection of an individual’s privacy. For example, where will facial recognition technology take us, when will the individual monetize access to their personal information and will retina identification be widely accepted in daily life?

Career-wise, what is your ultimate digital media goal?

I would like to manage a team that is responsible for a brand’s social marketing presence (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest), as well as engagement and social elements on their website (community, blog, user reviews, etc.).

As a full-time or part-time student, how have classes worked into your schedule?

As a part-time student and full-time employee I have taken one course per quarter and been successful in meeting deadlines and expectations of each project. I did take two courses my first quarter and was quickly overwhelmed with all that needed to be completed.

And for the sake of a silly question: Favorite place to study on campus and why?

Campus is never open when I am studying.

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CommLeader Spotlight|Amy Ball, Cohort 11