Former students reflect on the past 10 years of digital media
By: Alexis Aguirre
The Decade in Digital panel brought back former graduate students to speak on the growth of the digital marketplace over the last 10 years.
The panel was a part of Mass Comm Week and included Dee Kapila, head of products at Funsize, Jordan Viator Slabaugh, senior vice president of Edelman, and Jon Zmikly, a senior lecturer at Texas State.
The speakers gave the audience advice on what made them successful throughout their careers after graduation and how their perceptions of media have changed in a decade.
Current graduate student Paul Moreno said his favorite part of the panel were the personal stories the speakers brought with them.
“It’s nice to see there are opportunities to advance and it just kind of showed me what the future looks like,” Moreno said.
The panelists talked about what they thought were important including software skills like HTML and CSS.
“You literally cannot learn enough,” Kapila said. “Tech is in everything. Whatever work you’re in you are going to need these skills.”
The speakers discussed how fast-changing the digital industry is, including a story of the time in Cindy Royal’s class where they found out that Facebook had gone public.
“Nobody at this table knew what was going on then,” Slabaugh said. “Everything is changing. Even big conglomerates are trying to figure this out in real time with billion dollar budgets but even they don’t know what is going on.”
In addition to those hard skills, Slabaugh said that a good foundation in old school journalism and marketing is always important.
“They really gave some good tips and advice on things I didn’t consider before,” graduate student Nicole Smith said. “I always thought you started out at entry level in a job and just went up but it’s nice to know it can go either way.”