Hallo! So today is the day of graduation for the University of the Highlands and Islands Moray College campus. Some will be collecting awards for excellence in their Further Education, some their HNC’s and HNDs and others are picking up their Degrees. Everyone should be proud of what they have achieved as heading to any college or university to continue learning, or restart learning in some cases, is a big achievement in itself. Moray college has a HUGE variety of students from all walks of life with a varying age range and an even more varied skill set, from those leaving school wishing to pursue a career in the world of digital arts to people that have decided at the age of 60 they fancy a career change and jump back into learning. Now while I think Moray college is an excellent learning institution with lecturers who are dedicated and love to teach students new skills, at least in the computing and digital media depart, this isn’t an advert for the college (although if they want to throw some pennies this way I’ll see what I can do…), and as I am still studying I don’t want this to come across as me buttering up the lecturers (again we can discuss money).
The real reason for this “article” is because I wanted to write a wee post to say congratulations to a few of the folk I studied with over the last few years, while I came into the course with some knowledge of the topics we were studying on the Interactive Media course others came in completely blind and have learned from scratch the following skills over three years
- Interactive media: planning
- User interface design
- Digital imaging: bitmap and vector
- Interactive media: graded unit 1
- Interactive media: authoring for a website and app
- Working with a project team
- Art and design desktop publishing and layout
- Web development essential content
- 2D animation
- Digital imaging: bitmap techniques
- Digital imaging: advanced vector techniques
- Advanced design techniques
- Responsive web design and client side scripting with MySQL
- Team project – Creating apps for Brodie Castle and Moray college
- Small business planning
- Video and audio production techniques
- Advanced 3D modelling and animation
- Introduction to web science
- Mobile application development
And there’s probably a few more I’ve missed out. Now they didn’t just attend classes and tick the boxes to pass a course, they actually went above and beyond for just about every project we were given and created work that they could be proud and happily put in to a portfolio. A lot of time and hard work went into creating branding for businesses as well as promotional materials like posters, flyers, entrance tickets and postcards. Responsive websites, driven by databases, with content management systems were built from scratch having been given a client brief. Documentaries and short films were planned, scripted, budgeted, filmed, edited and published from the ground up. We/they even tackled some topics like the story of the children of Terezin, a concentration camp during the second world war which was researched and then stories were told creating 3D animations using software that has helped create films like Transformers, X-Men and Avatar to name a few.
While some excelled in different areas to other for the most part no-one was left to struggle on their own, the skills that have been achieved are excellent, not just from a technical point of view but also from the customer/client relationship side too, people skills go hand in hand with Interactive Media projects and are an great skill to have in all walks of life.
Some of us are moving on to do the fourth year while others have decided to take a break to spend time with their new babies (congratulations again) or to look at doing another course to build on a particular set of skills (look at you eh!) or simply because they are happy with what they’ve achieved so far and want to spend some time in their sheds (not just standing there, but making stuff out of wood), whatever the reason everyone should be proud of what they have done throughout the last few years. The genuine skills that we have all learned have been put to work in the real world in one way or another whether it’s working for a games company as a 3D artist, creating websites for businesses, using graphic design skills to create logos and print materials or creating and editing video productions for local schools you’ve all got the skills to be successful designers, creators and makers of awesome stuff.
There’s been ups and downs, rendering for what felt like months in a hot tiny room, arguments, memes, mitigating circumstance, rock cakes and scones…. lots of scones but I think for the most part it was actually pretty good fun, apart from the exams, the presentations, the grading and all the hard work that got us all here, although that’s maybe the bit that made it all fun, the struggling to create something and finally hitting that goal? Meh.
Anyways, to everyone from Moray college who is graduating today, whether attending the ceremony at the town hall or not, a big well done, but I want to say a special congratulations to Nat, Gillian and Allan whom I have worked with both in college and outside in a professional manner (professional in the sense of doing real work not necessarily in the ‘maturity’ sense of the word!) if you hadn’t have carried on through the course it wouldn’t have been half as enjoyable as it was so thanks. Whatever you go on to do next I’m sure it will be brilliant and remember, I’m always here to work on either a day rate or commission based payment style.
So in the words of someone, not sue who it was:
“We’re dead, we’re dead… We made it, but we’re dead!”
Congratulations to the class of 2016, it's been emotional...