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New Media Design
Avon NY

Life as a New Media Designer

Becky Drexler on Wednesday, 09 November 2016. Posted in Coursework, Majors & Minors, Student Life, The Arts, Women at RIT

What is New Media Design? I honestly had never heard of the major before I enrolled in engineering and was already well into my first semester here at RIT.

Originally, I was torn between graphic design and engineering and ultimately ended up choosing engineering after months and months of back and forth. When I got to RIT, I met several people in this major called "New Media Design." I was interested in it right away, and would constantly ask my friends in that major about their projects and classes. Less than a year later, I switched into the program.

New Media Design is the perfect major for me. This program goes through all the basics and principles of design and then dives into UI/UX - which is specifically designing for the user interfaces and working with layouts of digital platforms and mediums (web/mobile). We also take classes in animation, 3D design, and coding to gain exposure and skills in a variety of medias.

So, what is it like being in New Media Design?

For starters, New Media Design is a project-based major. This means that in class, and outside, we have longer projects that we work on - and these projects make up a majority of our grade. I rarely have tests/quizzes. Some projects are broken down into steps - each of which could be graded proportionally. Unlike engineering, there aren't as many set completetion dates - there is always something to change or add to a project. 

The more time you put into a project, the more it shows. Typically, I go to the lab each day of the week and spend a few hours working on various projects. I could work on my laptop, but I prefer the large screen monitors, and the computers in the lab run a lot faster than my own.

What is the workload like?

This varies from week to week, from semester to semester. Looking back at my first year in New Media Design, I can tell that I have come along way. What used to take me weeks, I can do so much faster now with much higher quality.

Junior year (which is where I am currently) is supposedly the toughest year for New Media Designers. So far, I agree. My two major New Media classes are Motion Graphics and GUI (Graphic User Interface design). Both of these classes expect a lot of outside work on projects to put in our best work. Time management is absolutely crucial in order to avoid falling behind. So far I have yet to pull an all-nighter! I can't say the same for some of my classmates, but again, it alls comes down to work time management and how you set up your schedule.

What's next?

My next step is to continue to build my portfolio. I want to go back and fix some of my old projects to add to my portfolio. Once I have updated that, then I can apply for internships/co-ops. The summer between junior and senior year is a great time for to get some real-world experience. I just completed an internship last summer, and am excited to try something in a slightly different direction. This will help me know what to focus on my senior year and hopefully help me create a plan for after graduation.