Adam Anderson (BS, Media Arts and Sciences, 2021), despite having just completed his time at SOIC in December, has already entered the IT workforce as the Ecommerce Coordinator at Noblesville-based phone accessories company Scooch. But even prior to earning his degree, Adam was already having a positive impact on local Indiana-businesses, having helped Fishers-based company 1st Maker Space revamp their curricula in a web-based format for his Capstone project. This was just one of the exciting projects Adam took part in during his time at the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, and he took the time to speak to us about his time here and what he is working on now.
When Adam discovered the Media Arts and Sciences (MAS) program as a student at IUPUI, it was clear that he found the field he wanted to pursue. “I found out about Media Arts and Science from a friend in my Creative Writing class during my first year at IUPUI.” Adam remembers. “I was a conflicted Psychology major at the time, still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my career. I’ve had a love for technology and art my entire life, so when I heard about MAS, I asked myself, ‘Why am I not doing that instead?’ I switched majors as soon as I could. I instantly knew that Media Arts and Science was suitable for me.” It proved to be an excellent fit, and Adam shifted his focus to the offerings of the MAS program. “I can’t overstate how much I enjoyed my time at SOIC. I loved my professors and appreciated their genuine care for their students’ growth. There are many great ones, but I’ll never forget Thomas Lewis and Rodney Smith’s classes. I specialized in Video Production and Sound Design within MAS, and some of my favorite experiences were in the video and sound-related classes. My favorites were Directorial Analysis, Lighting and Field, Advanced Sound Design, and Multimedia Project Development. I’ll never forget the first time I rigged up a cinema camera on a crane or the first time I directed a short film. I loved exploring other classes in web development and graphic design as well.”
This well-rounded education in Media Arts directly lead to his involvement with 1st Maker Space, which began while Adam was earning his degree. “Kim Brand, their founder, taught my Media and Tech Entrepreneurship class in 2019, and that’s how I got involved with 1st Maker Space. I did some light freelance work for the company back then, and now we work together regularly.” Adam recalls. “1st Maker Space has designed, built, and sustained over 100 makerspaces across the state. They design the classrooms, make the furniture from scratch, install the equipment, resupply the consumables, provide professional development, and provide a curriculum for teachers to teach their students. Originally, 1MS distributed the curriculum manually in a PDF or spiral-bound textbook format. As a result, it was hard for them to update their curricula because it required them to manually send out new versions to the schools that purchased them. I adapted the contents of their curricula into a series of interactive web pages that are accessible through a member-based subscription service. Every lesson includes pictures, instructional videos, downloadable assets, and easy-to-use navigation for each of the 90 lesson plans. Teachers can find what they need quickly and teach their students more effectively with the new format.” As a freelancer, Adam’s association with 1st Maker Space continues to this day: he designed their website, and produced some of the videos and photos on the site.
Adam was highly in demand in the local IT workforce, and he lined up an exciting job the summer prior to his final semester here. “In August, I accepted an Ecommerce Coordinator position at a Noblesville-based phone case company called Scooch. I manage our Amazon store, website, email marketing, social media, and advertising. I also designed our new website (ScoochCase.com). Now that I’ve found a stable job that I like, I’ve slowed down on freelance work, and I’m focused on furthering my experience in ecommerce and digital marketing. I still create video content to supplement my work. I couldn’t be more thankful that SOIC prepared me for this job and what’s still to come.” Adam says. He believes adaptability will be a key skill to have in the IT workforce in the future.
“What excites me most about Media Arts and Human-Centered Computing is that these fields are evolving rapidly. Current Media Arts students are preparing themselves for jobs that may not exist today. Teaching students to be adaptable and versatile is essential to our future. I loved working with 1st Maker Space because makerspaces also teach students to be curious learners, engineers, coders, and forward-thinkers from a young age. I’m excited to see how technology and new media help small businesses grow, and students flourish. My education has taught me that, to an extent, it’s good for our future to be open-ended. We shouldn’t restrict ourselves to a single end goal or a career path full of expectations. Five years ago, I never knew I’d like ecommerce, building websites, or working with small businesses; I just knew that I liked technology. So I kept an open mind, and the rest followed. I’m going to keep the same mentality with whatever comes my way.”