Becoming a Leader
From running my own company, to leading a team of 20+ faculty members, I have had the opportunity, pleasure, and a vast array of other less flattering terms that come with being in the business of media. While it’s had its ups and downs, this experience allows me to provide insight to my students, guidance to my peers, and leadership to my team.
In 2005, I made the decision to step out on my own and create Graphic Inertia – a media development firm aimed at delivering high-value development and design work for companies that couldn’t afford in-house staff. I took on my former employer as my first big client under retainer and branched out over the following years. Through a partnership with Czarnowski Exhibit Services I was able to build an impressive client portfolio including names such as Mitsubishi, American Express, BD Pharmaceuticals, Workday, and more. The best part of this experience was being able to explore a wide arrange of technologies and applications, constantly pushing my development skills to the next level while simultaneously exposing me to the world of corporate development and the process that drives it all. I was gifted the experience of working with some of the biggest brands in the industry, getting to know their strategies and visions, and being able to help them reach their customers to connect the two.
As I was working on these projects, I took advantage of the opportunity to grow my project planning skills, often overseeing projects from concept to completion from the development side, while also growing my communications and time management skills – often working in tight deadlines in a rapid paced environment. These skills have proven invaluable, as I am able to apply them to nearly every aspect of my life, both professionally and on a personal level.
While my passion for teaching found me back in the classroom in 2007, my business continued alongside my lectures, allowing me to bring cutting-edge and real-world experience to my students. I was able to take lessons learned on the job, in real-time, to my students, giving them added value and context to the material. I believe the ability to do just that led me to my position as a Department Chair, overseeing over 20 faculty members for Full Sail University’s Mobile Development Bachelor of Science program. I am blessed to be able to lead a team of talented developers and passionate instructors in building and administering an intense modern curriculum that prepares them for the rapidly changing world of mobile development.
Deep down, I believe a good leader leads from within, gaining insight and strength from their team. Involving the team in key decisions builds investment in the results, and drives the team to perform. My experiences with leading teams and managing projects, large and small, has only strengthened my abilities as both a developer and educator, reinforcing the skills needed to deliver, while adding the context of the process behind the scenes.