Careers and Fears

I downloaded Adobe Muse at 4:30pm today, and literally could not stop.

Designing my online portfolio has been on my to do list for quite some time (more than a year) and I haven’t really found the time to do it. I’m really not too crazy about templates and have zero knowledge of HTML/coding, but this was one thing that has to get done eventually, and sooner rather than later.

At the end of last semester, I found another UNC student’s online portfolio and was blown away because of how clean and professional it looked – and that she clearly had designed it on her own. I asked her for some tips and advice so I could get my portfolio moving, and she recommended Muse. I downloaded a trial version and literally have been unable to pull myself away for most of the day (definitely going to have to buy it in 30 days).

I just get so “in the zone” when designing. I just turned on some music and designed. Moved this here, and that there, and I think I liked it the way I had it before – for hours. And not only do I get in the zone (I’m talking, I can’t hear anyone and have no idea how long it has been), but I get excited. When I couldn’t get one thing to work exactly how I wanted it to, I would search the internet for answers. And then went it worked, I was beyond giddy with what was happening on the screen. Long story short, I taught myself more about websites and code today than I thought I would ever figure out.

And what sparked taking on this daunting task that I had put on hold for months on end? A paper for my ethics class (due tomorrow) with one of the most intimidating prompts – what is your ideal job in media?

I have yet to accept that I will be a senior in the fall, despite the fact that some of my peers have willingly grabbed the title, nor have I laid out a plan for where I will apply and what specifically I want to do with my degree a year from now. And as someone who has the hardest time writing about themselves, I knew this was not going to be my paper.

I have always known that journalism was the answer, but over the past year, it has gotten a little trickier. Before it was a magazine editor or writer for sure, but somewhere in JOMC 180, I fell in love with graphic design. In absolute love. I love being in that zone and seriously don’t mind when people ask for my help with designing.

So now, I am a little unsure. My writing still needs polishing and I don’t exactly have the best copy-editing abilities (haven’t passed the spelling and grammar test yet), but at the same time, this graphic design thing is still pretty new to me and I have a lot to learn. But I love it, so I think I’m going to have to learn.

And then there is the question of what kind of journalism I want to do. In high school, I obviously saw my future self writing for a women’s magazine. But, once again, I’m not so sure that’s me. So I’ve started to lean the one direction I used to swear up and down that I never would – sports. Ever since I declared myself a future journalist (at the age of 12), my mother and grandma pushed for me to do sports journalism and “be the next Erin Andrews”. I fought it and vouched that obviously wasn’t the route I would go. However, two sports journalism internships and several years later, I am realizing they might have been right. I can talk about college basketball for hours on end, but don’t ask me about football or baseball. But maybe this is the way I should be heading.

So this paper prompt lead me to look up career listings (yep, I went that far) and start thinking about where I would want to apply in a year. Some careers were intriguing (like doing graphic design for NBA teams), but there was one qualification listed on several postings I did not have – an online portfolio.

All because of this one little paper prompt. I hate to admit it, but “the real world” is quickly approaching and I feel like I need to start seriously tackling some of these questions. Either way, today was a great day full of design, and for the record, the “ideal job” I came up with was working for Tar Heel Monthly… at least for now.

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