I arrived on the MIIS campus last June with big ideas and aspirations to make them a reality. One idea was to create an education podcast. After spending 4 years as an educational recruiter, I found a lot of my informational interviews fascinating and wanted to find a way to share them with others. My vision was to create an interview-based podcast that touches upon not only educational formats, but also the adventure of learning, and how to turn one’s experiences into a successful future.
I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the DLC in my first couple weeks at MIIS and I have spent countless hours there since. I like to joke that I got my job as a graduate assistant because I’d be hanging out there anyways, but in a lot of ways it’s the truth. The DLC enables my work in so many ways that I find it hard to leave.
I am writing this blog post to share how the DLC helped me accomplish the launch of my podcast, so that if you have your own personal project, you are aware of the resources that exist to make it a reality.
- Technical Resources – Whether it was recording audio, shooting a video or creating my website, the DLC has had all the tools I’ve needed to create and complete everything at a professional level. Software is expensive, so is recording equipment and so is website hosting. At the DLC you can access all of these resources for FREE. That’s a price all grad students can agree on.
- Knowledge – A wise man (or woman) once said, “The first step toward knowledge is admission of ignorance”. The DLC is a great place to walk into and say “I have no idea what I’m doing”. Both full-time staff and GA’s have a wealth of knowledge, and if they don’t know how to help you understand something or accomplish a goal, they will do their best to connect you with someone that can.
- Feedback – When I thought I was finished with my podcast, I passed it along to some of the DLC staff for feedback. While I came to the realization that what I had was not a final product, it pushed me to refine my episodes and I could not be happier that I took the extra time to do so. The DLC staff has been instrumental in how I’ve shaped my formatting and editing. They’ve seen a variety of projects come through their space and can offer great insight. An extra set of eyes can make all the difference when it comes to putting together a cohesive piece of work.
- Connections – By spending time in the DLC working on my own project I have encountered other people and their ideas as well. MIIS is a place that attracts unique individuals with unique aspirations, and it is important that we do not isolate ourselves within our disciplines. By learning about your peers’ interests, it can greatly inform your own work. The DLC is a place that transcends programs of study and pushes us outside of our specializations.
- The DLC’s Mission – The DLC’s mission “to inspire a culture of fearless exploration and problem-solving at Middlebury” has invigorated my work on more than one occasion. Whenever we undertake projects, they go through stops and starts and ups and downs. Undertaking a personal project requires you to be fearless and constantly solve the problems that you encounter. The DLC staff understands this concept, and the space is designed to overcome obstacles you will inevitably face.
While this was an independent project, it would not exist without the help of my peers and coworkers that I have encountered while at the DLC. If you are working on a project of your own, I would encourage you to head down to McGowan and see how the DLC could help your own vision become a reality.