Emerging Media Convention explores Post-Graduation Opportunities

By Shannon Houston

Emerging Media and Digital Arts students will have the chance to attend the first-annual Emerging Media Convention next week to explore future career opportunities. The convention will take place from Monday, April 7 to Saturday, April 12 on the SOU campus with an after party on Saturday at Northwest Pizza and Pasta Co.

The EMC is designed to help EMDA students discover what their options are after graduation and will include competitions, panel discussions and the organization of an Artist Alley at the Ashland Innovators Conference. There will also be workshops led by various business professionals.

“The EMC is really created to help students who have a strong interest, desire, and or self-motivation in their fields to learn and network with others,” said Amanda Denbeck, EMDA major, Bachelor of Fine Arts major and McNair scholar.

Part of the EMC will also include seeing some of the guests attending the AIC on Friday, April 11. Guests include Jelly Helms from Jelly Studios in Portland, OR, and Jennifer Harlow, an SOU alumni and current DreamWorks animator.

“Students get to collaborate not only with each other, but with these amazing innovators and digital media gurus,” said Chazlyn Lovely, co-coordinator for this year’s EMC. Lovely is an EMDA major along with studying Film, Television and Convergent Media.

Though thoughts of a convention similar to the EMC had been tossed around before, this event became a reality after Denbeck attended last year’s career fair and noticed the lack of opportunities presented to students in her field.

“I noticed that there were few people offering creative field employment opportunities, which was alarming just because the number of occupations represented for other majors, such as business, far out-numbered those for creatives,” said Denbeck. After meeting with EMDA Director Robert Arellano, Denbeck took on the creation of this convention as her senior capstone.

Lovely jumped in as soon as she heard about the convention.

“I’d always wanted to have some kind of event that gathered EMDA students and faculty together to talk about life after SOU,” said Lovely.

Denbeck hopes that this will be the start of future EMCs to help bring students and professionals together through learning, networking and collaboration.

“I am hoping that future EMDACons will grow immensely—with more workshops, more businesses at a wider reach, and more participants,” said Denbeck. “Plus, next year the convention will be called EMC2!”

This year’s convention will particularly benefit the first round of graduates from the EMDA major, helping to prepare them to jump into the workforce in June.

“The EMC is a great opportunity for students to gain some insight and knowledge from different workshop leaders as well as some networking possibilities from our participation at the Ashland Innovators Conference,” said Denbeck.

For more information on the convention, including a schedule of events, please visit emdacon.com.

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