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What Can You Do with an SMU Meadows Creative Computing Degree?

Companies are quick to hire Meadows alumni skilled in coding, data analytics, visualization and more

Nike, TracyLocke and Citibank are among several companies that have hired Meadows creative computing students soon after graduation. Some students are hired even before they don their caps and gowns.

Companies are looking for people who understand the digital realm, keep pace with fast-evolving technology and apply digital muscle to the company’s operations and services. Meadows creative computing students are nimble with coding and several computer languages, combining technical expertise–on par with computer science majors–with creative and innovative problem solving. Many earn more than one degree from SMU.

Below, see where recent SMU Meadows creative computing alumni are working, and read their advice to current students.

Zach Biehl (B.F.A. Dance, B.A. Creative Computing ’17), choreographer, Granadans, New York City; previous: dancer, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, New York City

“My education in creative computation has allowed me to envision works that I create from the top down, as well as open my eyes to the many technical elements that can be added to a piece in order to help it be fully realized. I find that my ability to collaborate with other artists has been greatly aided by having first-hand experience on many different technologies used to create meaningful works of art.

“I recently helped another artist with a project that uses ultrasonic sensors through Arduino and Max 7 to affect an audio file in relation through where a dancer was in the performance space. It's still in the research phase, but being familiar with the software—having worked with it extensively during my time at Meadows—allowed me to connect with a future collaborator as well as work on a great project!”

Advice to current students: “Really try to be your best self for the times that you're collaborating with others, because you want to establish meaningful, mutually respectful dialogue that will lead to even greater projects in the future. Who you know and how they know you is beyond important in any circle, especially professionally.”

Richard Braxton (B.A. Creative Computing, B.A. Geology ’14), senior front-end developer, Nike, Portland, Ore.; previous: T-Mobile; Nike; Daimler Motors; U.S. Geological Survey

“Creative computing helped me learn to think outside of the box. Being pushed to find my own unique solutions to problems allowed me to really grow my creative independence and problem-solving skills.”

Advice to current students: “Pursue your interests. Computing is a part of almost every career field and can land you in fun places. Be a good person. Kind, skilled people are hard to find, and people will always help you achieve your goals if you are one.”

[Photo: Braxton in Patagonia]

Paige Craig (B.A. Creative Computing, B.F.A. Dance Performance; minor, Musical Theatre ’17), UI/UX design consultant, HALE Sports, NYC

“The Center of Creative Computation helped prepare me for my career by instilling a confidence in me that creativity is something to be valued and appreciated. It allowed me to go forward with a level of security knowing I was taught to use my creativity as a path for my success! The stars aligned in finding my job: My two degrees have come together, allowing me to work with NYC New York City Ballet and Paul Taylor Dance Company dancers, while also building an interface for HALE Sports. It has been a dream!”

Advice to current students: “Let your passion guide you! And stay open minded. Don’t pigeonhole yourself. You can surprise yourself with capabilities you never knew you had!”

Jacquelyn Elias (B.A. Creative Computing, B.A. Journalism, B.A. Computer Science cum laude ’18), Data intern, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution

Twitter, LinkedIn, portfolio.

“Creative computing allowed me to explore a variety of different fields that required computing to eventually find the intersections of coding and journalism that I wanted to pursue. My curriculum with creative computing was flexible enough to where I could take classes on data, GIS mapping or 3D animation to try new software and skills that I could then find applications to in my reporting.”

Advice to current students: “Take as many classes as you can across disciplines; take that Statistics or Film or Computer Science course. At the end of the day, employers are looking for teachability, and having base competencies in various fields will give you a good jumping-off ground from which to explore more.”

Roberto Hernandez (B.A. Creative Computing ’16), assistant vice president in continuity of business and crisis management, Citibank, Dallas; founder, Teknaco website and app creation, digital expansion services

“Creative computing helped me get a diverse foundation in today’s technology. I learned to code, make robots and games, animate and make music, but most importantly I learned to think outside the box.”

Advice to current students: “Never stop learning and never stop working toward your goals and dreams.”

[Photo: Hernandez in the Rocky Mountains.]

Mihir Srivastava (B.A. Creative Computing ’17), graduate student, Masters in Interactive Technology ’19, SMU Guildhall

“Classes like 3D animation, coupled with a variety of creative coding projects, provided me with a solid foundation for pursuing game development.”

Advice to current students: “Your projects are only as good as you want them to be. At a certain point, it's not just about completing the assignment, but rather having something that represents you as a creative individual and to showcase on your portfolio.” [Photo: Design for a Guildhall class assignment for a game called Unreal Tournament. “Blue Base Room” is part of a map design for a 4v4 multiplayer capture the flag game mode.]

Harley Swick (B.A. Creative Computing ’16), software developer, TrueBit, Dallas; previous: EaM.ai; PricewaterhouseCoopers

“Creative computing gave me the confidence to explore unconventional routes in the tech industry.”

Advice to current students: “A solid grasp on the fundamentals is very important in your career, so practice, practice, practice. Along with that, teach others the same skills because it will make you better.”

Emely Villeda-Principe (B.A. Creative Computing, B.A. Computer Science, minor in Art ’17), associate software engineer (technology development program), AT&T, Dallas; previous: associate application developer, AT&T, Dallas

“Majoring in creative computing gave me more insight on how to bring a design mindset into technology. It is so important to be able to think beyond how to make a project and take into account the audience and their experience, which is why my creative computing education has been a great help in moving me towards user experience design.”

Advice to current students: “Regardless of what you plan to do with your degree, you need to gain experience through internships or projects. Be bold in demonstrating your technical and creative skills; these abilities are invaluable!”

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