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CommLeader Spotlight|Edward Chang, Cohort 12

10662060_854458844594401_7991201488493897829_oGraduation date or expected graduation date: June 2014

Area of interest (within the MCDM/MCCN program or in general):

Coming from a web programming background, all the subjects I’ve taken here were new to me. Overall I’d say I’m more interested in the vast variety of communication between humans and digital world.

What exactly do you do professionally or what are your professional goals?

My background was a full stack web developer, who also served as the direct contact for clients. I would like to gain more industrial experience in the digital world before pursuing my professional goal in a doctorate degree. In the future, I want to pass down my experience and knowledge from the field through teaching, or lead teams in corporations.

How are you directly applying knowledge from the MCDM or MCCN program in your daily life?

I started to observe and scrutinize the digital media platforms I came across and thinking about their good and bad parts: does it tells a story? Does it catch the user’s eye? Does it convey its objective? How does it fulfill our human needs? This is especially the case when using mobile devices, where I appreciate the efforts put into making good design and content.

As a full-time or part-time student, how have classes worked into your schedule?

I began as a full-time student during the first year and became a part-time student in the second year. The workload in the second year was actually heavier than the first year because I chose courses that brought a greater challenge to expand my capacity.

Advice to students who come from different cultural backgrounds, particularly those that come from a society that emphasizes obedience: the first year could be intimidating at first, but it’s a great time to get familiarized with how the classroom system works. Speak up, talk to people, and try to express your opinion no matter right or wrong. They won’t bite you.

Which classes have had the most impact on you personally and professionally?

Multimedia Storytelling and Organizational Storytelling: The power of storytelling! If it wasn’t for these courses, I probably would have never realized that the great stories we see and hear are meticulously tailored by implementing rigorous methods and patterns. A good story first draws the audience’s attention, takes them on a journey, and leaves a piece of mind for the audience to ruminate on. In real life, we build a scenario when we propose an idea to a client, we tell real stories in professional case studies, and we glorify our stories in job interviews. People are hungry for stories, and the power of stories has been the vehicle to help us understand and remember things for generations. Therefore I’d like to try to integrate the storytelling technique when I’m explaining abstruse or obscure concepts to a layperson or a young mind in the future.

What’s your favorite Comm Lead experience?

First Friday, a monthly event organized by the Comm Lead program, usually held in a Seattle digital media related agency. It’s a great time to meet and exchange information within the Comm Lead community and the staff of that agency. It’s also an opportunity to let you explore the working environment and get a peek at what they are working on and what’s new in digital media.

Career-wise, what is your ultimate digital media goal?

My ultimate career goal would be to lead a world-changing, digital media platform’s full life cycle, from start to deployment, and oversee its evolution. Ambitious, but not impossible.

What digital trends are you most intrigued by right now?

The Internet is already enriched with various communities that are built around existing common interests, just like in real life. We used to think these networks merely connect the channel between each individual and like-minded people. While this is true, some analysis has shown that social media platforms are serving as an extension of personal identity online, and that within the community people strive to become a “peacock” in order to stand out from the collective. The “Me” factor has become a prominent component in the digital world. In fact, Facebook and Instagram are successful platforms that act as a runway to showcase people’s feathers. Could this “Me” become the trend and key formula to build the next successful brand?

What’s the strangest food you’ve eaten and under what circumstances?

Fried bee larvae, when I was little, touring with my parents on Taiwan’s Li-Shan (Pear Mountain).

It’s crunchy, tasty, and infused with aromatic flavor from sprinkled fried basil. While it looks like a body part from the Michelin Man, popping those orzo-shape things into your mouth was an experience I never had before and the taste and texture is so addictive. Until somebody tells you it’s actually bee larvae and makes you realize that you were eating something resembling aliens after you’ve seen too many Will Smith movies. Then you start feeling a bit queasy and wondering, is that a mouth or an eye piece on one of its ends?

Ilona IdlisCommLeader Spotlight|Edward Chang, Cohort 12
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