Arts alumni are an accomplished crew. They have great advice for students and fellow graduates, and know that arts degrees teach skills that are sought-after in the professional environment.
Marc McPherson is the Creative Director at Fresh Cut HD Creative Communications & eLearning. Marc graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, which included a semester abroad at the Universidad de Alicante in Spain. At the beginning of his career, Marc gained a vast amount of international TV and film production experience from working in Canada, the UK and United States as a Filmmaker prior to his current role as Creative Director at Fresh Cut HD Creative Communications & eLearning. Now he combines his background in filmmaking with his communications & cultural studies to create video based communications, marketing and eLearning for a number of companies and organizations locally and abroad.
One of my favourite memories was when the professor for my History of Western Civilization class dressed in a toga and taught the full 90 minutes without breaking character. Talk about making a lecture engaging.
I spent a majority of my free time at the NUTV members lounge in Mac Hall with my buddies and fellow cinephiles. When needing a break from the books I also enjoyed hanging out at the soccer fields to play some evening pick up games.
If you could give one piece of advice to an undergraduate completing the same degree that you did, what would it be?
Realize the potential influence your minors, options and extra curricular activities can have on your opportunities and job prospects. Every course you take is like an area of specialization in itself and sometimes just a single class or option can open up new doors you don’t even realize exist. There are so many directions a graduate can apply their degree in and an option or minor is a great way to take your skills into a niche area within or beyond the traditional path associated to your chosen major.
Starting out it was all my extra-curricular activities at New University Television (NUTV) that helped me land an internship in Scotland working in both a creative and technical role for a TV series. Afterwards, my career evolved to my current role where I combine my background in filmmaking with my communications & cultural studies education to now create video communications, marketing and eLearning for companies and organizations locally and abroad.
I always joked in university that if it paid better I would be a professional student as I love to learn and discover new things. The best thing with my job is it has few limitations and tonnes of variety. Whether it’s a documentary, company safety orientation, tourism video or cultural awareness training project, I get to be both creative and entrepreneurial while working alongside people in a variety of industries, companies and disciplines. With every project I work on I feel like I am always learning something new.
It has given me a foundation in communication theories and fundamentals I’ve been able to adapt to a number of applications whether it’s for eLearning, business, communications or filmmaking. My communications degree specifically gave me the research skills, communications knowledge, intercultural awareness and critical thinking skills that has helped me grow and evolve my career.
Following your passions and interests tends to open more doors in those areas. I choose to study abroad and take my options in a number of areas including Cultural Studies, Latin American Studies, History and Archaeology for pure interests sake. I didn’t think it would help get work in my field, but in the end those classes helped me get my first job in television and numerous other projects in my current role requiring some knowledge and understanding in these fields. Even my current job is a result of meeting my boss at New University Television where I volunteered countless hours during the course of my degree.