Deanna Sim

Master of Digital Experience Innovation

Deanna SimWith her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Global Studies, the Master of Digital Experience Innovation was a change in direction for Deanna Sim. “I wanted to do something different and thought this was a bit of a curveball.” During her time at Wilfrid Laurier University, Deanna incorporated digital media into her work with the student union, creating promotional videos and a digital presence for the organization. She also began to examine digital landscapes, merging her education with her interest in technology.

The youngest student in the current cohort, Deanna explains that the program is designed to play to people’s strengths. “There is quite a large age range and a variety of backgrounds. There are photographers, videographers, marketing experts, entertainment professional, and entrepreneurs. The program really draws on your experience and allows you to shape the degree to best suit your needs.” The MDEI program begins with a 2-week boot camp before the start of term so that students can become acquainted with each other, the Stratford campus, and the software programs that will be integral throughout the year.

The program culminates in a final project, where students work in groups with an industry partner on some sort of digital initiative. Many of the classes throughout the fall and winter terms also feature group projects. For Deanna, that meant a chance to examine the use of games in everyday life. “Gamification has guided what I have been doing. Companies create incentive games to motivate people in the workforce. But I am more interested in the role gamification can play in our day-to-day activities.” Her favourite project? A multi-platform app that gamifies driving in the safest way possible.

“It’s a really fast-paced program where you are given a lot of opportunity,” says Deanna. “The professors often encourage us to pursue an idea beyond the classroom. There are real-world applications to what we are doing.” She describes the program as providing a unique look at the start-up environment and how concepts work in the real world. Deanna hopes to return to her global studies background while working in a role that utilizes her newly developed skills in digital media and gamification.

January 2014 Megan Scarborough

University of Waterloo

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