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CommLeader Spotlight|Maren Higbee, Cohort 11

11351280_1001302563243361_4743481784489223375_nGraduation date or expected graduation date: June 2015

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

Business, Marketing and Branding Focus MCDM

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

Working in the fast changing world of video, I wanted to update my Film School degree because let’s face it, sitting on the bench and cutting actual film is not a necessary skill anymore… go figure.  I knew I needed to learn more about the distribution and marketing end of my profession to really stand out from the crowd.  I realized that understanding the full cycle enables me to better serve my clients by going beyond just creating a strong brand message and really focusing in on the best distribution and measurement methods to continually improve.

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

While in the program I also finished my first novel, Lana Fray and the Grand Plan.  With my own pet project complete I have been able to use many of the new skills I learned about branding, marketing and distribution to market my book in the oversaturated marketplace.

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

I worked full time as a freelance Video Producer throughout the program. It usually worked out well, but there were some professional travel opportunities that made me take a leave of absence, which was easy to do and worked out well. Luckily, it’s not a race to the finish so even though it took me close to four years, it was worth it.

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

There were many great classes, but the two that stand out the most for me is Rick McPhersons’ Business Fundamentals in Digital Communication and Marketing and Branding in Digital Communication taught by Brian Marr. Both classes really taught me how to dive deep into different areas of my work from understanding cash flow to what to consider while creating a brand strategy.  Both McPherson and Marr are professionals with great experience and a clear method on how to structure a class in a way that builds throughout the quarter.  Both were incredible experiences.

What’s your favorite Comm Lead experience?

If you wish to become part of an amazing, supportive and creative group look no further than MCDM. The network in the program is one of the best experiences I have ever had. I have learned so much from Anita and the teams’ guidance to the professors’ help in not only coursework but other questions about professional opportunities. Also, I can’t forget to mention the other students with a broad array of experience who are always willing to help and to go out and have fun!

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

My ultimate digital media goal is to be a best-selling author with many digital assets supporting my author brand!

What digital trends are you most intrigued by right now?

Transmedia Storytelling is such a complex but incredible marketing opportunity. I’m curious to see how this continues to develop and reach new lengths.

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

Let’s start with the fact that I do not enjoy seafood (I know bad Seattleite!) I was on a business trip in Japan and my host had me eat little fish that were deep fried whole presented on a plate in various states of mid-swim twists. He was so excited for me to try his favorite thing, I had to crunch through the bones and innards. It was terrible tasting, but made my host so happy I couldn’t help but smile while I tried to mentally kill my gag reflex with my beloved Saki.

Ilona IdlisCommLeader Spotlight|Maren Higbee, Cohort 11
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