What I Bring to the Table
Through my professional work experience, an internship and many opportunities on campus, I have developed skills that will allow me to contribute at a high level to SXTXState.
After completing my undergraduate in speech communications at Iowa State University, I worked both in non-profit and at a university. I gained experience in social media and website management, newsletter design, writing press releases and more.
Since beginning my master’s program last semester, I have continued to build my expertise and have developed skills that make me an ideal candidate for this project: knowledge of several social media platforms, graphic design and basic programming.
When I started my graduate studies last semester, I got an internship at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin to practice the skills I was learning in class. I received invaluable mentorship from their communications manager in using social media platforms in a professional capacity. I worked to build my personal proficiency in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Hootsuite, Instagram, YouTube and Google +. A tech startup recently hired me as a social media and public relations consultant because I had these skills. My unique experiences and strong social media skillset will enable me to collaboratively design and deliver an innovative social media campaign for SXTXState.
In my first job, I found that I enjoyed expressing my creativity through graphic design. I taught myself Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, which I have used to design newsletters and logos for various employers. As part of the SXTXState project, I would like to use my design skills to collaboratively redesign its branding to represent the project’s goals and personality.
Programming and Blogging
This summer I designed and coded a personal website to host my portfolio and link to Comm Toolbox, a communications blog that I co-author. Through this experience, I developed tangible skills that I will use to help maintain the SXTXState website or blog. Equally as important, I now have a technical vocabulary and understanding which gives me legitimacy when communicating with other tech-minded people.
Innovate, Learn, Grow
I will contribute unique ideas to SXTXState. I am especially interested in spearheading efforts to create a cohesive SXTXState brand, develop content focused around innovation and start-up related panels, and utilize visual social media platforms that enhance the coverage of SXSWi.
One of the major goals I see for the project is to promote Texas State as a forward thinking and growing institution. To help represent our university and reflect the growth and success of the SXTXState project, I would like to collaboratively re-brand the project to include our school colors and a cutting edge, tech-focused look. The logo at the head of this application is one idea for the re-branding, which pulls in a similar look from the SXSW logo.
The innovation and start-up scene is something that I love, and I envision focusing my coverage in that area. I see a very relevant opportunity in this specific area because the greater Austin area is teeming with start-ups, and there is potential for SXTXState to help foster a greater innovation mindset at Texas State at a time when the university is focusing more on research and technology. The perfect culmination of this focus area would be to cover the interactive accelerator at the end of SXSWi, incorporating interviews from last year’s winners as a lead up to this exciting event. I will create a “start-up corner” section to the project’s website to place content from any related panels or activities at SXSW.
I will utilize more visual resources to add to the traditional coverage of SXSW. Creating an Instagram account would be one way to regularly push fun, descriptive photos from SXSW to the world. Expanding the use of YouTube or Vimeo to include footage of ‘SXTXState behind the scenes’ could be an opportunity to promote Texas State as well as engender interest in the project from future students. To help create and edit these videos, I will use the skills from Video Storytelling, which I will be taking in the spring. As the attention spans of consumers get shorter and more visually oriented, an increased emphasis on visual elements could help reach a wider audience. In addition, incorporating brief interviews from other panel attendees could be an interesting way to showcase various perspectives of and reactions to presentations.
Reaching My Career Goals
My career goal is to attain a Director of Communications position. It is imperative that I have a broad knowledge of communication, especially digital media. Having talked to SXTXState alumni about their experiences, I am confident that my participation in the SXTXState project will propel me forward in my career, providing me opportunities to use and grow my skills, to be creative, and to connect with influential people.
Thank you for your consideration of my application. If accepted, I will prioritize this opportunity as a capstone to my graduate studies, and I will devote my time and talents to creating quality content around SXSWi.
New Media Concentration: Yes
Been to SXSW Before: No
Been in Program Since: 2012
Relevant TXST Courses: Online Media Design
Other Courses: I will be taking Advanced Online Media and Video Storytelling in the spring semester. I may be taking Issues in New Media in summer 2013 if it is offered at the time.
Other: Online Resume: www.emilyons.com/img/EmilyResume_Short.pdf;
Pinterest too! pinterest.com/theemilylyons