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“Richland’s Multimedia program was the only one I could find that offered so many aspects of digital art and interactive programming. Not only did it have smaller classrooms where I could get the hands-on help from teachers, but I felt like I got more encouragement.
“I actually wanted to be a traditional artist and was taking traditional art when I first went to Richland. But then I wanted to take computer science courses, and Multimedia allowed me to choose both — to do art in digital form.
“The best part of my experience? I was encouraged to pursue what I wanted to do, and the instructors were very helpful. The teaching method there is very hands-on and helped me as a visual learner to take in information a lot easier.
“Richland’s program let me get the hands-on experience that I needed — the teachers basically walked us through everything we needed for a core foundation. They teach you so many programs and make sure you learn the technical skills. They also encourage you to pursue your personal interests and skills to back that up.
“Most of my courses transferred into my bachelor’s program, but there was hardly any hands-on experience at the four-year level. They tried to teach the technical part, but it was more "what page in the book should we look on," not actual experience doing it. Classes at the university level were also two- to three-times bigger than I’d had in community college, so we couldn’t really ask questions.
“If you really want to learn Web design and digital art, go to community college so you can get the hands-on experience you need. Some of my friends with only university educations lack the technical skills that I have to do my job well. Community college is a lot cheaper, too; if you don’t have parents or a trust fund, and you’re paying for college yourself, this is doable. They have financial aid if you need it, and you can get an associate degree in two years or even less. It’s a classroom on a budget, where you can get all of the skills you need to get a good job.
“The program absolutely helped me train for my career. It taught me the technical skills I needed and also the researching skills that I’m very thankful for today. The most important things I learned were resourcefulness and the hunger to learn, to do research and to keep learning. I would definitely recommend Richland’s Multimedia program. You’ll get the hands-on experience that you’ll need to get a wonderful job you want and the nurture you need from the teachers there.
“My bachelor’s degree was just a piece of paper. My real job skills came from my associate degree.”
Uyen Vo began courses at Richland College straight out of high school and earned an associate degree in Multimedia Developer, with Level I and II certificates in Visual Design. She transferred to the University of Texas at Dallas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in arts and technology.
She is currently an interactive designer at imc2, an Internet marketing company, where she is responsible for creating media campaigns and flash websites and doing 3-D modeling and animation, video editing and special effects. Her work on the Diet Coke Style Series media campaign was: awarded first runner-up on the Most Creative Nonprofit Campaign, with the website named one of the best nonprofit sites on http://www.adobe.com, named the most innovative media campaign with live stream video by InStyle magazine and displayed in New York City’s Times Square.