Calendar

Use This And You’ll Crush Your Classes, Onsite and Online

This is the key to being a success this semester.

You can use paper or mobile or screen.

If you use this, you’ll know how much time you have. You’ll know  when you need to work and when you’ll have time to play.

Time management is the thing that sends most students into the ditch early in a semester – and it’s hard to catch up and do well on assignments.

Create a life calendar. Depend on it. Make it your time boss in FA14.

Watch your grades rise.

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John Scott is the Career Services Manager for the COM department. He’s also your instructor for COM 611: The Evolution of Media. @AcademyArtCOM

Take This Class In The Fall And Be a Boss (Literally)

There’s an awesome member of the faculty you need to meet, now.

Say hello to Murray Newlands. Murray Newlands                                                                              This guy is a winner.

He’s an expert in social media marketing, online marketing strategy, content marketing, blogging, video blogging, and branding. He owns his own company. He is an author. He’s one of our industry-expert instructors too!

Make friends with Murray and you’re making friends with an influencer – one who might be a very valuable friend and mentor as you launch your careers in media.

To understand corporate cultures, to make sense of why the boss wants what s/he wants, to collaborate successfully in your classrooms, it’s a big advantage when you know how to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes.

When you know what motivates winners, you will be one too. Murray is offering a class for grad students this fall: COM 699: Entrepreneurship In Media. You’ll learn the theory and practice of being the boss, of starting the kind of company you’ve always dreamed of.  You’ll learn to create business ideas and get them into the marketplace.

There were  an estimated 17.7 million independent workers in the United States in 2013, up 10% since 2011. By 2018, we’ll likely see 24 million or more. The nature of work is changing. A staff job might not be an assumed position for many of us.

Whether it’s pure freelance work or one that puts you in the CEO chair, you can take control of the ideas, the dreams – and you can be the one that makes it happen.

Get to your advisor and tell them you want to add COM 699-4 to your class mix. It’ll show you already know how to make good decisions. John Scott

John Scott is the  COM Career Services Manager. He also teaches COM 611: The Evolution of Media.

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It’s All About Making the List Smaller

“What should I do?”
“What will I do now?”
“What can I do?”

My students at the university  – you – ask these questions all the time. In my private work with clients, fully grown adults, some with even a decade of experience, still have no clue what they want to be when they grow up.

My answer is the same to the young, the older, and the oldest: it’s okay to not know, but we can work on one list now – the list of things we’re positive we don’t want to do.

It’s a process of narrowing down jobs and tasks that we’re sure we do not enjoy. That list is built fairly quickly. For students, I have them tell me about classes they struggled with, and why they didn’t enjoy it. We make a list of activities that they really liked (and did well at) and that enables us to start narrowing it down.

It’s satisfying to cross items off the list. Some students do an internship and don’t love it. Check. That’s one less thing to think about.

The reduction of decisions, I call it. It’s a way to focus, and get closer to the thing, the task, the job…we are good at and enjoy doing.

What can you cross off your list?

 

John ScottJohn Scott is the Career Services Manager for COM. He also teaches COM 611: The Evolution of Media.

 

Contact: @johnscottsf or jscott<at>academyart.edu

 

John Scott Reinvention

This Summer, I Think I’ll Invent Something

This was the text I sent to my partner yesterday afternoon to summarize our breakfast meeting:

We changed the trajectory of global macroeconomics this morning.

Yes we did.

We have come up with an idea that is so powerful it will affect how entire nations will oversee their economies. That’s a bit funny, since we’re actually starting a media production company!

How’d that happen?

Our fist meetings were about a completely different subject. we decided our original concept was a failure, so we kept meeting and we kept talking. Batting ideas back and forth, yesterday, over scrambled eggs and coffee, the big idea surfaced.

No one we know of has attempted to do what we want to do. I’m sorry, I’m not quite ready to announce what “it” is. I’ll do that when the time is right.

But our breakfast meeting was very much like your summer semester could be.
You may have one or two classes this semester. You’ll be creating media content. You’ll be asked to tell some stories. Why not begin by dreaming of something you’d like to do, or say, or sell, or make – and start brainstorming? That video you’ll be asked to make? Make it about your idea.

The first effort might be a failure. Good. That means you’re making progress.
Every time you have to write or research or shoot or edit, focus it on your idea. Imagine what it’s going to look like. Make changes mid-course.

At the end of seven weeks you just might have telegraphed your first, or next…career.

I’m going to invent something this summer. Maybe we should do it together.

 

John Scott photoJohn Scott is the Career Services Manager for your School of Multimedia Communications. He also is the instructor of COM 611: The Evolution of Media.

 

3-5 Years

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of “3-5 Years Experience Needed”

What’s a newly minted college graduate (or freshly reinvented older person) to do? If you were to scour the job boards today you’d discover that it apparently takes three to five years to be good at anything in this life; this realization would make you sad. Baloney. Companies say they want three to five years experience for several reasons:

  • They want to limit the amount of applicants
  • They don’t want to spend time training a newbie
  • They want someone who knows their stuff

Okay, fair reasons. But you can and should apply for these jobs, and you can do it ethically. Here’s why: 1) If you’re a student, you likely have experience. Your degree is not your education. Your education is the sum of all things you did at school (ahh- your experience)! 2) If you know how to crush this job, prove it. They’ll make you prove it in the interview. Do you have examples the back up your claim that you are an awesome video editor? Can you show evidence you have been a team leader? Yes, you do. Let’s imagine I meet you at a networking function. I tell you I’m developing a mobile app and I need a fabulous host for the video content. I have already posted an ad online that says I need an experienced pro to do this. You have little or no professional experience at hosting, but you have a lot of experience because you’ve done it in class. Your resume reel is breathtaking.  You tell me this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for, and YOU WANT THIS. I’m impressed – by your confidence. You show me your reel on your mobile and it is indeed epic. I tell you I’d like to discuss this with your further. So much for the “3-5 years” rule. Sometimes companies really do need a seasoned expert to fill a job. If they use the words “mandatory” or “absolutely required” the ethical thing to do is not apply. But we don’t see those words very often. You are the solution to a problem or challenge a company has. Don’t be afraid of a job post. You can get that job – because you’re that good. John Scott photo John Scott teaches COM 611 (The Evolution of Media) and he’s your Career Services Manager in the School of Multimedia Communications.

Teacher pushing a student off the learning cliff

The Teacher Who Dared To Push – A Story

“You’re not going to graduate high school.”

Her voice had weight. The words fell like lead weights on The Kid’s head.

I have watched you waste a year of my time; I have watched you waste it all away, and now you are going to pay the price; you are not going to graduate.”

The Kid hung his head, a sheepish, morose look on his face. He knew that this time she wasn’t threatening him. She meant business. He looked out a window, ashamed to look at her.

“You test in the top 1% of all kids in the state. I know you’re not stupid – in fact, you are one of the smartest kids I have ever had in my classroom. That’s what makes this so infuriating to me. You are challenged by nothing except your own dumb-ass behavior. You have no excuses, no disabilities. You have every advantage, and you don’t care. You don’t care about anything!”

It took until this moment for The Kid to realized that he messed up, and it was real, and it was happening.

He had zero words. He met her cold stare, feeling the weight of her words, his expression changing from morose to maudlin.  What was he going to tell his parents? How could he face his friends? What would he do on that sunny, sticky summer day in May when all of the “normal” kids were conferred diplomas?

“You f__ up, kid. You failed the most basic achievement the world asks a child to do. You’re not going to college, you’re not going to be successful,  and you are probably going to smoke and drink your life away. You failed, and I have never been more disappointed in anyone as I am in you.”

The Kid hated that the teacher was right. He had nothing; nothing to react to, nothing and no one to deflect blame on. Because he wasn’t stupid, he finally understood how right she was.

She sat down, facing him now across a small table.

The teacher sat down for the longest, stillest, quietest five minutes. The Kid was paralyzed. It seemed like 12 hours. The venom in her voice had rendered him a pitiful lump, defenseless.

She got up, walked to her desk, and grabbed a piece of paper and two pencils.

The teacher wrote for a few minutes, and pushed the paper across the table, like a negotiator proffering a settlement offer to a lawyer. She pushed it in front of him.

There were ten questions on the paper.

“This is your final. Take it.”

The kid raised his head slowly, grabbed the pencil and started writing.

Three minutes later, he finished. Silent, he pushed the paper back across the table, like a car buyer revealing “the number” to the dealer in the finance department.

He got nine out of ten right.

The teacher checked the test, wrote an A- on the top of the page, and threw it back at him.

“You just graduated high school. I never want to see you again. Get out of here.”

<fast forward 25 years>

 The Kid called the high school and asked for the teacher. The receptionist transferred the call.

“Hello?”

“Hey, it’s me. I wonder if you remember…”

She howled in laughter.

“You little red-haired SOB! Is that you?”

He loved her tone, her take-no-prisoners vocabulary. She was well read and well-educated, but her words were populist. He always loved it, even back then.

They retraced decades in 5 minutes, catching up rapidly.

“I want to tell you a story-you probably don’t remember – my last day of school.”

“I don’t. Tell me.”

He recounted the last time he saw her, that final day, when she administered that test.

“There isn’t a day that goes by when I do not remember what you did for me. I heard you are retiring at the end of this school year, and I wanted you to know, before you go… how grateful I am to you. You literally saved my life. And now, I too am a teacher.

Thank you, Deb.”

Her voice was weightless now.  They were as light as a feather, her words as light as a whisper, lingering in the air, delicate and tender.

” Oh, I love that story. You’re going to make me cry. I am so proud of you, John Scott!”

“Thanks for the push, Teacher.”

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John Scott is a teacher. You see him in COM 611 (The Evolution of Media) and he’s your Career Services manager in the School of Multimedia Communications.

 

Enjoy your summer.

 

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We Know What You Did And We’re Telling Everyone

Teachers talk, you know.

We dish and whisper about you all the time. We know who the slackers are and we have a very clear idea of who is really killing it. But you should know that when we talk about you, we aren’t acting like mean kids in middle school. We talk about you because we care about you.

If you attend a class at Cal,  you might be in an auditorium with 200 other people and a grad student might be giving the lecture. No hating on Cal here;  I’m just saying that when you are in Peter Shaplen’s or Valeria Coleman Morris’s or Michelle Kennedy’s or Diane Fukami’s or Toan Lam’s (or my) classroom, you are in a space with as many as 18 other students. Many times there are even fewer in there.

We get to know you at this school. We remember your name, we know what kind of homework you’re doing, we can identify your strengths and skills.

You are not a number to us, your teachers  – you are one of “ours”.

And we are proud of you.

You made it through a semester, assuming you pass all of your finals. You are going to get out of here for a while, maybe forever.  We don’t mind if you stop thinking about us. You are going on break and you are probably going to do everything that has nothing to do with Final Cut or Tricasters or Dreamweaver or 2-column video scripts or the theory of social media sharing behavior.

You are going to relax, maybe travel a bit. You’re going to hang with friends and family. Some of you are getting ready for work, at a job!

We remember, however, and we have no intention of forgetting you. That’s why, even though most of us don’t say it, most of us promise to be your teachers for life. You can contact us for advice, ask us to look at something your created, perhaps even give you a reference – if you crushed it when you were here.

We remember. And we sure had a good time. Thanks.

JS teaching

John Scott teaches COM 611: The Evolution of Media, and is your Career Services Manager in COM.

 

 

The voice of the COM department.

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