Dr. Gerri Sinclair, CEO of the Centre for Digital Media and Executive Director of the Masters of Digital Media Program, is pleased to welcome the next generation of students to the Masters of Digital Media Program.
This year’s cohort – the third one since the program started in 2007 - is joining the digital media graduate program from an impressive variety of academic and multicultural backgrounds. Cohort three (affectionately known as C3) hail from across Canada and more than a third are from around the world. For the next 20 months, classmates will learn from their peers with undergraduate and master’s degrees in fine arts, computer science, as well as interior architecture and primatology. The one cohesive element bringing the students together is their desire to further develop their pioneering roles in an ever changing and evolving digital media world.
Traditionally underrepresented, women are making huge strides in this industry. The MDM is no exception as female students account for a third of this year’s class. A microcosm of the cohort as a whole, they too come from the four corners of the world and from a variety of disciplines. It remains to be seen whether this shift in demographics will result in a different dynamic at the school.
One aspect of the MDM experience will definitely change this year. There will be more interaction between the cohorts though mentorship/buddy programs, workshops, and classes. During Orientation Week, representatives from the second cohort presented a summary of their four-month industry internships. Students from both cohorts heard about the ins and outs of working as a producer for gaming giant, EA; as a research associate for the US Department of Energy, Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence; as a digital media specialist at leading Spanish telco, Telefonica; and as a lead designer working with Pulitzer-Prize winner and author of Maus, Art Spiegelman).
MDM interns rubbed shoulders with top executives, found themselves giving “elevator pitches” in elevators, negotiated project scope, created competitive social media engagement frameworks, donned the many hats of a game designer (animator, concept artist, modeler, etc.), generated countless ideas and worked in collaborative teams.
The incoming cohort also got a chance to connect with recent graduates. MDM grads, the first cohort to graduate this April, have gone on to work for established as well as up and coming digital media companies. Others have carved out their own path with companies they’ve started.
McKane Lee and Bill Zhao founded game studio Square Cube releasing their first iPhone title iLandCars this summer. Their physics-based, five star stunt racing game is currently ranked 43rd on the app store.
Meanwhile, Yangos Hadiyannis, Ashley Welsh and Vincent (Sheng Yu) Yang spun out their final industry project into D-Sign Touchless Interactive Systems a technology company specializing in device-free and contact-free interfaces for information, advertising and entertainment. D-Sign is piloting the world’s first touchless, wayfinding system at Vancouver’s International Airport.
The MDM Program is looking forward to the challenges and successes of the upcoming year. The third MDM class is due to graduate in April 2011.