IDS final exam essay:

As an Interdisciplinary Studies major it is important to take control of your educational experience. Having a major that you built yourself allows you to explore, and learn about what is important to your future goals both in terms of education and for a career path. Throughout this semester of beginning my academic journey into IDS I have learned new ways to take academic accountability. Some being actual, physical tools and other being new ways of thinking and the growth of personal strengths. 

Designing a PLN (a personal learning network) along with an Eport has given me a physical way of expanding upon my learning. I anticipate that within the field I would like to go into, having a strong social media presence will be beneficial for me. So, I will be attempting to stay with my PLN throughout college and hopefully after. This will allow me to do multiple things. First, by the time I graduate, if I have kept up with my Twitter, which is what I had chosen for my PLN, I will be able to see my growth in one place. Now of course not all of my personal work will have been posted, but I expect to see a dramatic difference in the quality of my graphic design work from this first semester taking a graphic design course to my senior year work. This will allow me to see my growth, and allow potential clients to as well. A lot of graphic design work, especially when you’re new and still building a resume, is bound to come from direct work for a single party or person. Having a potential client, in search of someone to compete a job for them, discover me on Twitter will greatly benefit a future career. In addition, I will be able to keep up to date on current trends in marketing and graphic design. Having a social media account dedicated solely to career and education will eliminate posts that are irrelevant, and allow for all time spent on that account to be productive. 

My Eport has given me something similar. This will be home to personal writings, and graphic design work. I am currently unsure how I will be using this tool in the future, though. I have posted work; however, some of the writing I have posted is unrelated to graphic design and marketing. So, I am debating on whether this Eport will become a personal journal of sorts, or something I attempt to make professional. Personally, I believe having a spot to post my written thoughts will be beneficial for me in the long run. It will motivate me to explore writing about anything I find interesting, and serve as a way to reflect on my growth. Looking back at something I wrote Sophomore year as a Senior will be quite interesting to me, the same way looking at old drawings from middle school is always fun for me. Seeing your growth is sometimes hard to do in life, when you’re viewing everything in the current moment, but I feel that having a way to see how I have improved will keep me motivated to keep working.

I have taken away new ways of thinking from becoming an IDS major. Firstly, I had to ask for overrides into courses in which I did not meet the prerequisites for, which at first worried me. But, I found that as soon as I tried, professors were more than willing to accommodate my new major. It was worrisome to me in regards to switching my major. I was afraid to make a change, but having done so, and enjoying it so much, has shown me that sometimes you just need to make the leap. I have learned how to communicate my goals, and take the proper action to achieve them.

After this course, I will continue to keep track of my academics. Whether that means meeting with my advisor often, or keeping track of my degree works to see which classes I should be signing up for next. I will continue to work on an online presence, along with getting the most out of all of my classes. Another idea that I have taken from this course surprised me: I now have a strong want to enjoy, and take the most out of, all the general education courses I will be taking at Plymouth. Often, gen ed courses are seen as something you just have to do. But much like IDS, where I am combining the topics I want to explore in my career, general education courses will be a tool for me to become more well-rounded, and educated. This is not to say I did not try in my past gen eds, I always strived for good grades; however, I found myself learning material just to pass a test. In the future, I have learned that I will benefit more from genuinely absorbing the content of every course, and treating knowledge as a privilege and a tool, whether I am taking a major course or a history elective. 

From this course I hope to take much of what I learned into the rest of my college experience, and life. The connections I was lucky to make within the course to other students, and the amazing faculty has been outstanding. Feeling as though you have a strong support system for your education is important, and I feel I have received, and will continue to receive this. I will be leaving this course with a newfound appreciation for the school I attend, and for the opportunities I am receiving to create a path that truly fits me. 

Media Addiciton

My group recently lead the class and gave the first half of our presentation on the cons of social media and excessive phone usage. So, I have chosen to do my weekly eport post as a reflection of my personal media usage.

Our generation is truly unique. Mostly, my peers and I grew up in an environment without much technology. We experienced knocking on friends doors to see them, playing outside, and seeing technology usage such as watching television as a privilege. With the way technology has become increasingly prominent within our society, many my age now find themselves unintentionally addicted to their cellphones, computers and other devices.

Cell phones and other devices change your brain. When you take a drug, the structure of your brain is altered. You feel good, and want to do it again. The same applies to cell phones. When we see a notification appear on our cellphones, our brains are hit with dopamine, the “feel good” chemical. It compels us to compulsively check our phones whenever we get a text, a social media notification or even an email. Our brains want to feel good when they’re so used to it, so it becomes difficult to avoid the triggers for a reward in our brain, such as a cell phone.

Personally, I find I experience phantom vibrations on occasion. I will think my phone just vibrated, and check it just so see that nothing actually happened. Self control also becomes impacted in a sense. Often, I will find myself in class, or at work, and feel the vibration of my phone, and it becomes difficult to resist immediately checking what set the vibration was, and when I try to avoid checking it, I get an almost nagging feeling tell me to do so.

It’s difficult to quit an addition. When cell phones change our brains and make us feel good in the same way becoming dependent on a drug does, it can be difficult to alter our behaviors; however, there are steps that can be taken such as a detox. People going through hardships with drugs must detox first, suffer the withdrawal symptoms, and make an active attempt to change their actions. The same can be done with cell-phones. However, unlike drugs, cell-phones and social media are deeply intertwined with everything we do. Socialization, work, and school al revolve heavily around communicating through digital media.

Graduate Programs for IDS Majors

After class being lead by group one this morning, the video presented on a masters degree in Interdisciplinary studies stuck out to me. I decided to look a little further into other programs offered. Personally, I assumed there weren’t many options for a masters in IDS as I was under the impression that masters degrees had to be specified much more than an undergraduate degree.

When I began looking at IDS over the summer, I came across a program out of a university in California. The masters program there isn’t specifically IDS; however, they state that they look for IDS majors studying media arts. The fact that they wanted IDS majors was reassuring to me, and something I have kept in mind. It’s useful to know that the major I have is something certain programs will look for openly.

Learning that York University has an IDS masters program was helpful. Knowing there is an option to continue my education in a way that is geared towards the work I want to do in the future helps me to know I can succeed in my future as long as I am self-motivated and work hard.

A quick Google search reveals many online options for IDS masters programs, advice on how to apply and schools that offer this discipline in person. Many students early in their undergraduate degree aren’t necessarily thinking if they want to pursue a graduate degree. As an interdisciplinary studies major, I feel it is important to be thinking of your options. Many career’s now will require the minimum of an undergraduate degree, but prefer work experience and a masters degree. Knowing your options will only help you to specify your IDS bachelors degree, and know where you want to end up at the end of your four years whether that entails finding a job or applying for different masters programs.

Group #1 Eport post

The phrase “higher education”, means something different to each generation. For our parents and grandparents, having a bachelors degree would typically mean the ability to work at job with comfortable pay, and retire once you hit old age. For some, that meaning still remains. However, in today’s culture obtaining a bachelors degree is held the the same equivalency as a high school diploma was in past years.

Students today will typically not find a job in their field immediately upon graduation, and will often start at low salaries that make it difficult to get ahead when first starting off. Paying student loans, adjusting to life post-graduation and becoming settled are difficult tasks to accomplish all at once. So, the concept that college is a place that you attend in order to obtain a piece of paper that will gain you a job can be harmful. People will have a false idea of exactly how many doors are open to them after completing their undergrad, or may just chose to study a subject that they feel will get them a job without actual interest in the field.

Colleges try. General education programs are intertwined within a typical four year program, allowing students to explore interests as long as they fit into their schedule, and satisfy specific graduation requirements. However, as the article pointed out, these “curriculums” tend to place courses together that the university feels satisfies giving you degree; however, may not better you as a person or for the ever-changing world. Programs that are hard set allow students to take the exact same courses, and graduate with the exact same degree, all fighting for spots in the same job market upon graduation.

Programs such as Interdisciplinary studies allow a student to learn, while also putting together a program that fits their career goals. Rather than stick to a strict set of courses they must take, a conscious thought goes into building a major that makes sense for the education and professional goals of a student.

Personally, I believe as time goes on that interdisciplinary studies will continue to grow at universities. The world is far different than it was even ten years ago. Technology rapidly advances to the point where people are growing up proficient in tech that was just invented within their life time. Interdisciplinary studies allows a student to get a range of education while still specifying a focus. This not only allows people to be consciously thinking of their future, but also allows for them to show that they have a want to learn and be adaptable to what changes will hit the work force throughout their lives.

Comfort Zones

People are stuck in their ways a lot of the times. People are shy tend to have great ideas, but are afraid to speak up. Whether they’re afraid to say something out of fear of being shot down, or just out of being nervous. The best of ideas cannot be heard if never spoke, in addition, the manner of speaking counts. If you do not approach a topic with confidence and strength in your manner of presentation, the key points can be lost or looked over.

Linked in, a prominent networking website, outlines major reasons why a person should be stepping outside of their comfort zone in all aspects of life. An overview of this article’s key points:

Growth: Personal, career, and academic growth can all take place when a person decides to step out side of their comfort zone and do something that scares them. Personally, I never saw myself in leadership positions. Then, freshmen year of college, I joined a sorority. By the end of my first semester, I had decided to put fears, and shyness, aside and was elected to the executive bored the same semester I was initiated. I became Secretary, and now as a sophomore, am running for president. Never did I think I would want to be the face of an organization, or the key speaker at all events; however, by giving myself the chance to grow and put myself out there, I discovered that I enjoy leadership. I enjoy speaking, and writing for my organization. This also goes along with a Linked in point saying you will be able “to learn about yourself.”

Dealing with challenges: Leaders learn problem solving and conflict resolution. When you decide to establish yourself as someone worthy of leading, of stepping out of your known ways, you will take away key points of how to become someone who can deal with conflict in patient, respectful ways.

There are countless reasons to step outside of your comfort zone. You will discover that you are a different person in some aspects that you never considered yourself to be. It is worth the risk of failing. There can never be accomplishment without the risk of failure.

I encourage anyone reading this post to check out the LinkedIn article, and to do something this week that scares you.

Design For Good

The AIGA website offers insight on the ability for graphic designers of any level to become involved in projects for a cause. These team-orientated projects allow designers to both grow their skill, working knowledge, and ability to gain visibility for their work. Not only are designers presented with a way to grow within heir field, they also are give the chance to work on projects that have meaning to them.

The website highlights a multitude of projects, and the way design thinking can impact a wide rang of social issues. There are options for political work, domestic violence awareness, Race and Gender inequality, and many more.

The designers that take part in these social-issue types of work will gain the ability to learn branding, collaboration and also end their projects with the feeling of satisfaction that they helped a cause that they truly believe in to get publicity.

I chose this as my article for the week due to the personal interest I take in it. As someone wanting to go into graphic design, I want to make money, of course, like anyone pursuing a college degree. However, if given the choice, I would much prefer to work for causes that I believe in, and see my art help nonprofits or other types of organizations in which I share the values of.

Eport #4: College and Temptation

Recently, I was scrolling through my personal Instagram account and came across a post from Barstool Plymouth, a page most students at Plymouth State University are familiar with. The post I am referring to basically depicted a man throwing fuel into a raging fire. The fuel was labeled as “attending Plymouth State University” and the fire was labeled as “my underlying substance abuse issues.”

Numerous students resonated with this post, replying in the comments and reposing the “meme” to their Instagram stories. Plymouth State University is not alone in it’s reputation of drug and alcohol use, but the reality is that reputations are sometimes in place for a reason. Colleges house thousands of young adults in their late teens and early twenties, many of who have never lived away from home, and allow them to get their first taste of freedom in a dorm with hundreds of other kids their age who idealize college as the time to binge drink and snort Adderall in place of sleep.

Now, this not true for many students. Many students drink a regular amount, or not at all, and focus on their studies, clubs and activities. But addiction does become the reality for many students on college campuses. It’s difficult to see, but some will come in without the intent to have a problem, because who ever intends to have a problem? And then discover that they really, really like a certain drug, or the feeling of being drunk, and over time and exposure, develop an issue. Some people are just more susceptible than others, and don’t know it until they’re in too deep.

So, this brings me to the point of my post. Plymouth State University does not cause drug addiction and reckless behaviors, sometimes that is just the reality of a college campus, or just life in general. However, it does need to be acknowledged that students are finding themselves reliant on substances more than they would like. And so, I believe PSU should have more programs, and support, in place to help both students who are already struggling with substance abuse, and those who are not yet to become educated on the reality of addiction, and how easy it can happen to them without even realizing it.

Eport Post #3: Brainology

A fixed mindset is detrimental to the ability of a person to learn, and preform, to the best of their ability. When a child is praised, being told that they’re “So smart” rather than praised for all of their hard work, a barrier is created between them and future success.

Think about it– it makes sense. If you preformed a task, say an easy one, well and someone remarked that it was due to how smart you were, the next time you attempted that task, and failed, you would feel as if you weren’t actually smart. However, if praised as a hard worker, the next time you preform a task and don’t succeed, you don’t automatically assume you lack intelligence, but perhaps need to work harder in the future.

This same rule applies to challenging yourself. Children praised as intelligent are less likely to step outside of their comfort zone, as they have this reputation as a smart kid, and feel like if they try something harder than what they’re used to, they will be seen as less intelligent than people assumed they were previously. However, a “hard worker” won’t see failure as an issue, they have no reputation of genius to uphold, just the knowledge that hard work achieves success.

When considering how small comments can shape a child’s academic and professional growth, it may be a little hard to see the correlation between types of praise and future success, but small things add up, and self-esteem is built early. So, children must be receiving the reinforcement that they can achieve what they need through hard work, not a false, fixed intelligence. There is always room to growth in parts of life, and intelligence is one of them.

IDS Essay:

Digital Design and Advertisement

The proposed title for my interdisciplinary studies major is: Digital Design and Advertisement.  This program is intended to mix courses from the Graphic Design department and the Marketing department. Essentially, this program will take the core of Graphic Design and pick and choose from the different marketing options in order to put together a major that is geared towards digital marketing. The graphic design courses chosen will give me the needed education in creating graphics, art and the knowledge of the software the majority of graphic design business’ use in their day-to-day life. The marketing courses will be geared towards communication, and digital marketing along with the basics of global marketing and branding, which will all be useful in the fields of graphic design and advertisement. 

My ultimate goal, educationally and professionally, is to work as a graphic designer. This major will better suit my goals than a major or minor in either graphic design or marketing, as the ability to be flexible with courses is not present in a strict major or minor. I have chosen marketing courses specifically to aid me with digital marketing and communication, which will aid me in presenting my designs and concepts to companies and clients, along with allowing me to have the knowledge needed to understand the modern consumer. As a graphic designer, there is much more to know than just how to create great visuals. You must have the knowledge of how a company works, and what a buyer wants, and how to best provide them access to what they want. Just learning graphic design can teach how to create the types of advertisements, logos and informational agendas on the technical level, however to truly be successful I feel it is important to know how to succeed within a business, how to target your audience, and how to successfully transform your designs from Illustrator to the global stage. There is no current program specifically geared towards my needs. If I were to double major in graphic design and marketing, I would no doubt receive a great education, however, after speaking with my advisor, it was clear I would have to be in school for at least and extra year, and both financially and life-goal wise, that is not something I want to aim for. Again, if I were to do a graphic design major and minor, I would be unable to blend the exact courses I want to. For example, Organizational Communications and Digital Marketing are not directly within the marketing minor, and are two courses I feel strongly about taking in order to increase my marketability in the workforce. By doing IDS, I am able to take the exact marketing courses to support my graphic design courses, and prepare me to work for an advertising company in which I will be able to make decisions based both on consumer needs and what is aesthetically pleasing in the design process. My end-all career goal of being a creative director will require excellent communication skills, knowledge of the world of marketing, as well as impeccable design skills. All of which will be gained as an Interdisciplinary Studies major at Plymouth State University. 

Introduction To Graphic Design Software: This course will aid me in the very fundamentals of graphic design. Within this course we learn the in’s and outs of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. These three programs are the top choices for most graphic designers. This course will be the foundation of my interdisciplinary education here at Plymouth State. This will allow me to become proficient in theses programs, which I will use for the rest of my graphic design courses. 

Graphic Design 1, 2 3 and 4: As the first official graphic design course,Graphic Design 1will introduce me to the process of creating designs, as well as the basics of Typography and other fundamentals of Graphic Design. It will utilize Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. This course will be the first real working experience with these design softwares, and will begin to establish projects that will be in my final portfolio my senior year, in which I hope to incorporate into my senior seminar in some way, whether that will be creating a professional portfolio, or developing some type of website displaying the work I have done at Plymouth State University. Graphic design 2 will build upon what has been learned in graphic design 1. More rigorous projects will be done displaying design skills, along with refining the ability to use software learned in the introduction systems course. This course, like all of the graphic design courses I intend to take, is necessary to build the skill set I will need to work in advertisement. Graphic Design 3will refine the skills taught in graphic design 1 and 2. Within this, the digital portfolio will be worked on as well as beginning to look at the ways of production. This course will allow me to use graphic design skills to begin the process of creating brochures, advertisements and other physical print media. Graphic Design 4,the final formal graphic design course without being admitted to the BFA program. This course will allow me to create a fake corporate identity, including a logo and all else that falls within designing for a company. This will tie wonderfully in with my marketing courses, as I will not only be using the skills learned in graphic design 1, 2 and 3, but will also be integrating skills and resources learned within my marketing courses to create designs for a company that not only look good, but are what the consumer wants to see. 

Digital Multimedia Design: This course focuses on one of the largest points of design, and advertisement: the internet. Basics of HTML and flash will be learned, along with employing the design fundamentals learned previously. This course will allow me to learn how to create an aesthetically pleasing website, for a company or even just to grow my own personal brand. 

Advanced Photoshop and Illustrator Techniques: This course will go further into two of the most used software platforms in graphic design: Photoshop and Illustrator. This will aid my ability to create logos and other designs for companies. 

Advanced Web And Multimedia Design: Similar to digital multimedia design, this course will further explore the creation of an aesthetic website. All companies need good looking marketing, and designers that not only know how to create a design, but understand what goes into reaching a consumer. This course will further both my marketing and graphic design skills. 

Production for Graphic Design (QRCO): This is my QRCO course. This course goes through the steps of the design process, utilizing printing technology and terminology. This class will prepare me to produce physical designs in a tidy, timely manner. When working in advertising, knowing how to promptly finish a project as clear and neat as possible will be essential. Learning the current technology and practices for graphic design production will allow me to graduate and work for a design or advertising agency. 

Organizational Communications: The key to any good business is creating a strong working relationship. This course will allow me to learn the ins and outs of business communication. As a graphic designer, there most certainly will be times where I am not working steadily in an office, but instead freelancing with bigger companies on one-off jobs. Understanding how to properly communicate with clients, including presenting my ideas, will allow me to show exactly how clear I am able to communicate my ideas to other people. Communicating through writing and verbally go hand in hand with the ability to communicate through graphics.

Digital Marketing:  This course will teach me the ins and outs of digital marketing. Every company in the modern world needs a good website, not just a digital jumbled mess of information. Using my graphic design knowledge, as well as the knowledge of what a consumer wants will allow me to create successful future websites, weather for my own personal promotion, or upon being hired by a client. 

Consumer Behavior: If you want to sell a product, you must understand the buyer. This course will allow me to learn the way to best suit a product for a consumer, but understanding the trends of wants and needs through the eyes of a business. In order to design a product, website, logo or advertisement that will speak to a consumer, it is necessary to know what the consumer wants. 

Principles of Marketing: This course will act as a prerequisite for the vast majority of the marketing classes I will take. It also will teach me the fundamentals of marketing on a broad scale, allowing me to progress with my more specialized digital marketing. 

Branding and Marketing Communication: This course explores the best way to reach a modern consumer. Everyday, people are exposed to thousands of ads. So, only the most notable of advertisements will actually draw the attention of the consumer. In order for me to be a successful graphic designer, I will not only need to know how to create visuals, but how to do so in a manner that consumers will be drawn to. This course will teach me how to do so. 

Global Marketing: This course will explore the way of breaking into the global market. Digital Advertising is not something that is restrained to your local market. As a designer, I will be creating designs that hopefully will reach a global audience. Understanding the way other markets across the world work will allow me to better create designs geared towards markets across the world.  

Advanced Web and Multimedia Design: This course further elaborates on what was learned in web and multimedia design. As someone wanting to work in advertisement, this will allow me to know how to design web pages, which will work to my advantage in graphic design fields, or even if I was working for a marketing agency. 

Social Psychology: This is the only psychology course I will be putting into my contract. Social psychology goes in depth on the reasons why people behave the way they do. As someone wanting to create, and target ads to people, understanding why someone acts the way they do will aid me in creating the best, and most successful, ads that I can.

Within the open sessions in the IDS office, I was able to meet with two experts. One from the marketing department, and one from the graphic design department. George Pittlnico, the expert from the marketing department, explained that I would need to add principles of marketing to my contract, as it is a prerequisite for most of the courses I want to take. He also informed me to take marketing research out of my contact, as it will not help me with what I want to do educationally and job-wise. From the graphic design department, I was able to speak with Jong-Yoon Kim. He was able to give me in dept information on graphic design courses. He explained when I should be signing up for certain courses over the next few semesters. I originally had history of graphic design worked into my contract, and Jong-Yoon Kim informed me that I could take history of graphic design as a general education course, which allowed me to free up credits to add in the psychology course I wanted. I added the psychology course recently, and was unable to get expert advice on that, however I plan to work with my advisor and make sure I’m on track. I also checked, and social psychology did not list any prerequisites, and so I should be able to just go ahead and take it. For the future, I will work closely with my advisor, and the professors within the disciplines I am merging together in order to be sure I am on track to graduate on time, and see if any contract changes every need to be made. 

My program is a mixture of graphic design and marketing, with one relevant psychology course. This program is going to be called: “digital design and advertisement” and will allow me to work in many fields. With this degree, I will gain the skills that allow me to work as an independent graphic designer, working directly for clients. It will allow to work for advertising agencies, as I will understand the way marketing works, along with being able to actually creating the designs, and when I am creating those designs, I will know what a consumer wants to see that will make them gravitate towards my work over someone else’s. The marketing classes I am taking with strongly aid my ability as a designer, as I will spend a lot of time pitching to clients, and businesses, on why they should choose my design over a different designers. This program is interdisciplinary, not multidisciplinary. Every single course I have chosen is specifically geared towards my ultimate career and educational goals of being the best designer I can possibly be, while allowing me to break into the marketing world. Within my senior seminar, I plan to bring all of my courses together by designing a company, creating all of the branding myself, such a logo, website, and potentially a fake product. From there I will use my knowledge of marketing to decide which audiences my company will most profit from targeting, and will tailor my designs and offerings to which groups of people are most likely to be drawn to them. Graphic design, in itself, is a type of marketing, not just art. Having the ability to work on the same level of those who majored or minored in marketing will give me an edge in the job fields that I am passionate about.