CommLeader Spotlight|Cynthia Andrews, Cohort 13

10850228_898612113512407_870513725325968372_nGraduation date or expected graduation date: Summer 2015 baby!

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

My current interests are in data analysis, data visualization, programming, design – and multimedia storytelling. I am especially interested in the intersection of storytelling and data.

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

I have a background in community/social media management but the data spirits have got me now and I’m working my way into that [the data] space.

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

One of the most valuable skills I have gained during my time in this program is the ability to iterate with ease. Being able to learn from and quickly move past failure allows me to more quickly succeed. The iterative process is something I use every day and by framing it as a positive learning experience, I am able to find new, potentially unknown solutions.

If at first you don’t succeed, try over and over again until you do… and don’t worry, you will!

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

Scheduling has always been easy. Since most classes are offered in the evening, making it to class on time has never been a problem. I’ve both worked while attending school part-time and spent time away from the professional world as a full-time student and I’ve found that no matter the balance, what it’s really all about is time management.

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

I would have to say that Anita’s Leadership class had the most profound effect on me. By giving her students creative freedom, she allowed individuals to tailor the class to their professional paths/personal interests.  It was in her class that I figured out what I want to be when I grow up.

What’s your favorite Comm Lead experience?

First Fridays have always been a favorite for me. In addition to providing awesome networking opportunities with a variety of different local companies/orgs, First Fridays also give students the chance to connect outside of class. Also, there are usually snacks… and wine.

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

I want to challenge the idea that data is boring and show people that it can in fact, be beautiful.

What digital trends are you most intrigued by right now?

I am loving that there has been a spike in data-based/data-integrated digital storytelling. Seeing people leverage data to tell/strengthen their stories puts a big stupid smile on my face.

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

Crickets. I was at a restaurant that had ‘em so I ordered ‘em, it was sort of similar to eating sunflower seed shells.


Ilona IdlisCommLeader Spotlight|Cynthia Andrews, Cohort 13
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