April 24, 2015

Finding the right balance

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In your own words, how would you describe the study of Interactive Arts + Technology?

Interactive Arts + Technology (IAT) is a program that gives you a chance to explore and analyze the fundamentals in design, new media and technology. The important part of which, is that IAT not only gives you the fundamentals of each, but how they all blend and work together. IAT is a program that uses technology in various ways to fill the passion of design and creativity.

What do you love most about the program?

What I love most about the program is how relevant each class is to one another (most of the time). You learn something in one class like Digital Image Design and you immediately apply it to the next. Then there are the classes where you unexpectedly learn things where you don’t intend to. This happens mostly due to how much you start caring about your work. The best projects I’ve done are the ones that I work on passionately and ignore the fact that it’s a school project. This is a program where you really get what you put in, knowledge wise.

You are pursuing a minor in the Beedie School of Business. How does your minor relate to your major, or why are they a good fit?

I believe combining the world of Business and the world of Design is a good fit because the two fields are so closely dependent on one another. IAT creates and Business actualizes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that students from each faculty don't create or make things a reality, but to understand the concepts of how the world of business is similar/different to the world of design I personally believe is an essential skill.

How do you find a balance between student life, personal life and work life?

I really wish there was a formula like work multiplied by school divided by sleep and then it magically outputs a number as to how much social/personal time you should spend a week. Personally I just keep going until I feel the need to rest, which is usually my one-day of the week where I have no assignments due or quizzes to study for. It also does depend on what I’m working on, there are times where I actually spend my “rest” day working on something school related because I want to spend every waking moment perfecting it. When I do find time I’ll go enjoy the Vancouver weather, head Downtown, wander around aimlessly, and hang out with friends.

Tell us about one of your favourite moments at SFU, and why is it so memorable to you?

First day of Orientation. It was my second time ever at the SFU Surrey Campus, and I remember seeing all these people. I was also new to Vancouver at this point so it was a bit nerve racking. I didn’t know a single person but my orientation leaders and other students within the group were so friendly that I very quickly got comfortable. It’s very memorable because this was not the experience I had when I first attended University back in Calgary.

What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to newly admitted students studying Interactive Arts and Technology?

Get Involved! Get Involved! Get Involved! I find there are usually two types of new students, those who are super passionate about University life and just want to get involved in everything (good on you). And those who join the go home as soon as class is done club. University is about trying new things. Especially within a program like IAT, you have to take risks, if you don’t take risks you won’t learn anything new. So get out there and meet someone new, talk to someone you don’t know. Likely you’ll be working with them at some point within your SFU career so you might as well get to know them now. There’s so many resources like SFSS clubs and your student union (shoutout to IATSU).

What are your career aspirations?

Currently I’ve branded myself as a Digital Product Designer. In other words, I want to be the go-to person between the designer and the customer. Problem solving drives me, interacting with people keeps me awake. I like looking at the big picture and overseeing solutions from a high level, meanwhile, keeping an understanding of how usage of a certain color will impact the user experience.

With that said I also love event planning and almost anything that requires creative problem solving skills. I especially like challenges and seeing the “fruits of our labour.” Are you hiring?

What is your favourite IAT class and why?

I’m going to answer this with two:

IAT 233 (Spatial Design). It challenges you in ways beyond imagination. Okay, it’s not that bad, but as a lower division class, you learn a lot from it and you gain skills that are applicable to nearly every other IAT class in the future.

IAT 267 for me was also very enjoyable as the final project was very open ended and you could pretty much do (and build) anything you want as long as it fulfilled certain requirements. I like classes where you physically and digitally make something.

What is one question you wish I’d asked, and how would you answer it?

I was asked this recently by someone else but the question was: What is one piece of advice you were given about university that you still resonate with today?

My answer: University only introduces you to a topic; it is up to you to learn more and master it. (I would say this applies to not just university but to a lot of things you come across in life).

Do you have a website, an online portfolio, or a LinkedIn profile, that you would like to share?

Linkedin: http://linkedin.com/in/bbeh88

Twitter: http://twitter.com/booruce

Portfolio: http://booruce.com/