Life as a Co-Op Student at CDMN node nGen
The following guest post was submitted by Kyle Kidd, currently wrapping up his work term as a co-op student at CDMN node nGen.
The world of digital media is much more extensive and inclusive than I could have ever imagined. As a Co-Op student in the Public Administration program at Brock University, the notion that my knowledge and skills could be of use in the digital media sector had never even crossed my mind – the digital media sector as a whole, in fact, scarcely registered. However, as I enter my final month as a Co-Op student with the Niagara Interactive Media Generator, also known as nGen, I have gained an entirely new appreciation for the effectiveness of digital media and a new understanding as to how prevalent and inclusive it is as a business sector.
As I began my employment with nGen, I had certain preconceptions about the digital media sector and how useful it could be to a wide range of different businesses. I believed that the digital media sector included game and application developers, post-production services, film production and website design, and that these services interacted in a tight, interconnected circle of individuals working exclusively in the media, film, and video game industries.
While I began my work term at nGen with some trepidation that my background in public administration would not translate effectively into digital media employment, the range of business sectors that seek out the skills and expertise of digital media companies have allowed me to contribute meaningfully to the work done by nGen. Digital media has become such an important part of our everyday lives that it is a near-necessity for both established companies and startups hoping to gain a foothold in the marketplace. The ability of places like nGen to have staff on hand with knowledge in business development, government relations, and commercialization are truly invaluable to the development and growth of the digital media sector in the region. During my tenure with nGen, I have had the privilege of observing and aiding the staff at nGen as they assisted an education start-up company that was developing software aimed at improving the quality of education, as a business analyst advised an electronic signage start-up on the next steps the company should take in their growth, and as companies presented their pitch to our Executive-in-Residence and member of the Angel Network to get feedback and advice. Regardless of the challenges companies face, they have the knowledge and confidence that nGen has the abilities needed to meet these problems head-on.
Being able to witness various companies using digital media in conjunction with education, health care, or advanced manufacturing has truly given me an appreciation for how important a strong digital media sector is in the promotion and support of a strong local economy. By extension, this has demonstrated how important the existence of entities such as nGen are – bringing together innovation, academia, government and business effectively is a vital component of economic growth and stability.