Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Fogged Lense: Media arts alumni gives advice to students unsure of their future

By: Nicole Vickers '16 and Mahala Nelson '16

When a student chooses a major, it is generally because they have a specific job in mind. The degree is just means to an end. But for a lot of creative majors such as studio art, creative writing or media arts, sometimes the path isn’t always so clear. 

For Daven Sprattling-Mathies ’07, he wasn’t sure what he was going to do with his media arts degree, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying every moment of his college life. 

“I still get teary-eyed thinking about my time at Pacific,” said Sprattling-Mathies. “I remember the big picture, the undocumented value in the experiences I had and the people I met. Not all of those experiences were good, either, but they were all important to who I am now.” 

For many who walk into college with an idea of what they want to become, that can change during the course of their four years of undergraduate. Students may find that what interests them may not be what they originally thought. 

This applies to all students who feel as if they aren’t sure where their education is going to take them. No matter what major a student chooses, there are always options and different doors being opened. As long as they feel that they are going in a positive direction then who knows what kind of opportunities might present themselves. 

“You get out of your education what you put into it, and that goes beyond the classroom,” said Sprattling-Mathies. “I think that's incredibly important for any student to realize, but especially for Media Arts majors who don't have a clear path to follow. You have to motivate yourself to keep going even when it feels like you're stumbling around in the dark.” 

Sprattling-Mathies started as a media major and realized that it was in the technical side that he belonged.

“I think media arts represent the union of the arts and the sciences,” said Sprattling-Mathies. “I also love to write, but I felt I had lot more to learn from video production because of all the tech involved.” 

Once out of college, Sprattling-Mathies found a job working in a bank, but soon realized that it was stifling and so decided to start up a photography business with a fellow Pacific graduate, Corey Bennett ’09. Currently Sprattling-Mathies works in a marketing department and has been able to make seemingly small decisions that have large impacts in his work. He has a personal investment in his company and enjoys his work there. 

 While it isn’t always advisable to quit a career, it is advisable to make sure that whatever job you are working in, that it allows you to have whatever creative freedom you want. If you are stuck in a stifling career, it never hurts to try and do something about it. Whether that is being open to a pay drop or to a new and completely different career path than originally planned, Sprattling-Mathies advises to never forget your passions, be open and know that everyone walks their own path at their own pace.

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