I’m choosing to include this picture from Opening Convocation because it’s generally how I feel — looking back while begrudgingly moving forward, in a polyester robe. In 129 I won’t be able to complain anymore (unless I go to graduate school), so I’m kind of relishing the moment before submitting this and actually moving onto my final semester. There were some technical hiccups (read: recordings, Audacity) but I’m so happy with the interviews I was able to conduct and the enthusiasm and cooperation of my subjects. Even though they’re all only one or two years out of the gate, I feel as if I learned a lot in the process, and am a little less scared for my own first foray into the industry. And I hope that whoever comes across this finds it helpful, too.
Bon voyage, FNMS. Or perhaps I shouldn’t say that until I’m done with Production 1.
Julie is quite possibly one of the most ambitious people I know. If you know her, this is easy to agree with. She knows what she wants and gets it, and had some thoughts of her own about women in the workplace (and especially in women’s media) before I even asked. Listen to Julie and I talk about success in the workplace and how important working on teams can be.
Like Allie, Sara also entered a field that she didn’t anticipate: the world of sports. However, she’s taken on her (very new) job as an Ad Sales Coordinator at FOX Sports with panache, especially after a string of very different jobs in production. Sara and I are from nearby towns, and we shared a laugh about her job at the beloved local News 12 Connecticut. Sara’s path thus far show just how flexible an FNMS degree can be in the creative sphere.
Allie is a writer, first of all. She emphasizes that it’s the creative skill she uses most day-to-day, even though she didn’t enter journalism like she’d immediately planned. Allie currently works at Toast in Boston as a Content Marketing Specialist, after a brief stint in marketing for sales. We talk about embracing the unexpected and how to employ the skills you’ve honed in a new field.
My conversation with Tyler was interesting because she is the only one of my sample that did not end up (well, for now) on the East Coast. Regardless of the fact that she is a self-professed “New York” person. If you knew Tyler while she was at Wheaton, you’d know that she’s ambitious (went abroad, double major, graduated a semester early) and is funny as hell. If you don’t believe me, follow her on Twitter. So it’s almost unsurprising that her first real gig is as an NBC Page. It’s less Kenneth Parcell than you’d think.
The idea for interviewing bright Wheaton alumnae who have pursued careers in the creative industries hatched in October. However, due to a bouquet of unforeseen issues and also, the rest of my life, the brunt of the work has been done over the past few weeks from my childhood bedroom. Yes, it’s winter break, and I’m still working on this project. Although, I admit, it’s been nice to work on it during daytime hours while eating a home-cooked breakfast (thanks, Mom).
The upkeep of the website has been fine. I pay Bluehost a very low rate for this site and domain, and their customer service is remarkable. Thank you to the brave representative who talked me through accidentally deleting the entire site at 1 AM on a Monday, earlier this month. And going through my personal portfolio and having a Grown Up Website feels like an accomplishment, too.
I thought I would be free of my chains, and that the last part of the project — the interviews — would be easy. It has not been. I had four interviews this week, and three fell on the first day. I tested Google Hangouts, Skype, my recording software, and everything seemed okay. Until I called my first interviewee. Her audio didn’t work, then MY audio didn’t work, then neither of us could see each other, then the computer yelled at me, and then we gave up and rescheduled for that evening, allowing for troubleshooting time.
After hyperventilating a little, I fixed the problem, updating software, Googling for help, and eventually calling in the troops (my dad, the tech wiz). And everything was okay by my first interview that evening. All three were great, and everything got recorded.
Then, I had some trouble converting the mp4 files to mp3 files, which was eventually solved. But then, I listened to them, and there is a lot of echo. Not just a little reverb. Like, a two second delay of repeated speech. I puzzled about this and then realized that neither my subjects nor I were wearing headphones during the duration of our calls. Major d’oh moment, but in order to avoid crying I’m putting myself in the camp that is optimistic about making mistakes, because it means I can learn from them/avoid them in the future. The bigger issue is that because I have rudimentary technology (my entry-level laptop; Audacity, the free, open-source audio software), I can’t do much to fix it on my own. The tracks are mono and I don’t currently have a skillset or a paid program to fix it immediately.
My sister, who has some audio chops, has promised to look into it. Have you noticed a theme of my family helping me out? But, if that doesn’t pan out, the audio clips may be published differently than I’d originally anticipated. What I’m thinking about now is All Things Considered-esque clips. I talk for a little, editorializing some of the content, then I get what sound bites I can from the interview or beg my subjects to re-record. Then, instead of doing a written editorial, I publish the transcript of the interview.
We’ll see how this goes. God willing it is finished by January 4.
I have two overarching goals for my capstone. You can be the judge of their accomplishment.
The first is to build a homepage for myself (and my personal brand, in less savory terms). This involved buying my very first domain, negotiating with Bluehost and WordPress support, and doing some rudimentary web design. I think it’s beneficial for someone like me, with a pretty strong web/social media presence, to have a landing pad for anyone who comes across me or my work. You’ll notice that much of my creative writing, my resume, and my social profiles are all linked here.
The second is to conduct a series of interviews with female Wheaton alumnae who have entered work in the creative industries (which was the focus of our senior seminar). As of December 9, 2015 (the day of my in class presentation), this is still in progress. Sooner than later there will be five to six audio interviews with women who have entered different fields in this broad array of careers. I hope to gain insight, as someone who will very shortly (read: in five months) be attempting to enter said industry. I also hope it will serve as a resource for Wheaton women and students from other colleges. I feel as if this is an appropriate final effort considering my women’s and gender studies major and my interest in the study of women in the workplace.