Today’s guest blog is by Emma Ramsay, who has just graduated from DMID.
When asked to come up with my top tips I thought I should come up with something that would shock and awe! A real “EUREKA” moment.
In reality, my top tips are simple but, they are genuinely the activities and behaviours which made a quantifiable and tangible difference to my success. Without further ado I give you my top three tips for success in Digital Media and Interaction Design.
We are so lucky at Napier to have lecturers who make themselves so available to us. Utilising their knowledge and expertise for coursework is all well and good but beyond this, make your specific area of interest known and you’ll have your name in the hat for opportunities which arise both in and out with University.
Talk to your classmates too. There is a group of folks with the same interests sitting right beside you every day. Bounce ideas off of each other, collaborate, critique and celebrate with each other. Cultivating positive relationships with your peers is mutually beneficial, group work is a huge part of the experience at Napier, knowing who you’ll work well with is a huge leg up when it comes to teaming up. These relationships will last way past graduation and into employment. Remember your current classmates are your future colleagues.
Get yourself to networking events and start engaging with industry professionals. There is no better insight into the field than direct communication with those on the ground. Agencies and organisations open their doors and put on events regularly where new talent is encouraged to attend and participate. You never know where these chance encounters may lead. There are also opportunities for portfolio reviews at these events (MOVE SUMMIT, D&AD New Blood), be brave and get yourself out there.
In this constantly evolving industry it is advisable to stay up to date with current trends and emerging technologies. By reading magazines, blogs and journals you will keep yourself in the loop which will be pretty impressive when you corner that creative director for a chin wag.
Read the briefs and learning outcomes for your coursework on Moodle. Lecturers want you to do well, therefore everything expected of you is outlined in the assessment briefs. If there are any areas where you need a little more clarification you can always ask your lecturer or tutor at the end of class, email or pop in to their office.
Were I to emphasise any of these tips it would be this one. READ YOUR EMAILS. Through keeping an eye on my student emails I have managed to secure myself paid internships, tickets to events, paid work for the university, an industry mentor and global opportunities as well as being up to date with the goings on within the university. If there is something you need to know, it will be in an email. Remember to check the “other” folder, sometimes important and relevant stuff gets filtered in there.
Albeit not everyone has a particular interest in writing, it is worth noting that at some stage in most modules there will be a written component expected. Flex your writing muscles every now and again throughout your degree, this transferrable skill will be an asset. In particular, spend a bit of time familiarising yourself with academic writing and how to reference, this will come in handy for your literature review in fourth year.
If writing is not your strong suit, make an appointment with Kendall Richards the schools academic support advisor. Just send him an email ( firstname.lastname@example.org) outlining what you are struggling with and he will make you an appointment to give you a hand.
My university experience has been incredible but, I put myself out there in order to make that so. By immersing yourself in the community and culture of Napier you are setting yourself up for success. Being an active participant in the student consciousness will ensure you are comfortable and confident to focus on your studies.
I promise you, the more effort you put in to your time at Napier the more you will get out of it.
Wishing you all every success.
Emma Linda Ramsay
First Class Digital Media (Hons)
Class of 2018