Alumni Spotlight — Alison McGuire
Alison McGuire, MADAS 2014, currently works as an Instructional Designer at George Washington University. She has a background in audio/visual support, graphic design, and educational technology. Some of her specialties include video production and encoding, web design (HTML and WordPress), and the Adobe Creative Suite Canvas.
In what ways did your Digital Arts and Sciences experience prepare you for your career?
While the foundational knowledge was helpful, what most prepared me for my career was DW’s culture of collaboration. As an instructional designer, I get to work with subject matter experts from all different backgrounds. I take their knowledge and package it into an interactive module or online course. Many of the Digital Worlds Institute projects involved collaborating with other colleges or departments within the College of the Arts, which prepared me well for my current position.
What do you like about your current career?
There are two things that I absolutely love about my career. First, I enjoy working with all the different subject matter experts. I have learned so much through the process of designing courses for them- from facts about manatees to how to apply a tourniquet, and everything in between.
The second aspect that I love is the flexibility. Right now, I am living in Seoul, South Korea, and teleworking for a university in the US. Being in a different time zone allows me to support our adjunct faculty, who have day jobs and cannot meet during normal business hours. The perk for me is getting to be a digital nomad.
What are some of your favorite memories from when you were in the program?
My favorite DAS memories include building a prototype health & fitness app for the Game Design & Production class. My group members: Juan Carlos Tafur-Mejia, Darius Brown, and Brett Pokorny, are some of the most talented people I know. They continue to inspire me daily.
I also really enjoyed working with Visiting Professor Muhammet Demirbilek, who served on my thesis committee. We continued working together for a year after I graduated, and he returned to his home institution, refining my thesis and ultimately getting it published in an academic journal. I am forever grateful for his mentorship.
What advice would you give to current students?
Take advantage of all the opportunities Gainesville has to offer. There is an amazing startup scene, great venues for art and music, and competitions to join. There are so many ways to get experience and build your portfolio outside of the classroom. You don’t need to live in a big, expensive city to find them!