In visual arts, a thumbnail sketch is a way to lay out multiple ideas quickly- outlining specific elements. This is a good way for artists to decide what their overall composition will look and feel like, before they being working. I’ve thought about this brainstorming process for the research paper and applied project much like an artist would their thumbnails, because by the end of this semester I will have completed a very personal work of art: my program.
When I began to develop ideas for the research paper and applied project I was finding that my topics included disciplines that I didn’t consider myself interested in, like technology. What’s interesting about an interdisciplinary method to learning is that disciplines or ideas you didn’t think could relate to your program blend in so well. Nearly each idea for the research paper included disciplines in marketing, communications, sociology, psychology, technology, and education. The constructed research topics are as follows:
Developing a Business Culture: Marketing Strategies
Marketing for Higher Education
How to Market in a Digital Era
Innovating for Social Marketing
Social Marketing for Social Change
The two ideas that I’m most invested in are Developing a Business Culture: Marketing Strategies, and Marketing for Higher Education. Passion and appreciation of the craft are what push me to work hard and put honest effort into a project. Both ideas would allow me to research companies and institutions that I admire and feel strongly about.
I found that cultivating ideas for the applied project to be more difficult for me, because the sky was no longer the limit. As a student without many financial resources, these ideas had to be within reason and were achievable. Each idea came with their own set of challenges, some being transportation while others were a lack of desire. Below are each of my potential applied projects followed with their unique challenges.
Analyzing High Education: Marketing Strategies
Although this project would be accessible to me as I’m already a student on a college campus surrounded by a network of professionals, I’m trying to shift away from the idea of for-profit schools and their desire to make money off students.
Partnership in Plymouth
I could partner with a business in downtown Plymouth to work with them on their specific marketing strategies, but none of the businesses excited me enough to develop an independent project.
Building a Personal Brand: My e-port
This idea would be a great way for me to learn how to better market myself as a professional but I would rather work with other individuals or an outside business for this project.
Develop a Marketing Plan for a Startup
This could potentially be a project that I would love to do if I knew of a great start up around this area. I do know of startups happening around New England, but when I communicated with them their marketing and communication plans were already being executed.
Lastly, my favorite: Marketing for a Creative Service: The Littleton Studio School
This semester I have the opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary approached cluster project that partners with the Littleton Studio School in Littleton, New Hampshire. The Littleton Studio School is an artist’s studio where artists and craftsmen can come
to work individually or take classes with other community members. This is a dynamic public space that can offer its community so much but needs marketing support and revitalization. During this semester-long project, my team and I will be making frequent trips together to visit with the owners, craftsmen and community to make marketing plans to improve business. The biggest challenge I feel that I’ll take on with this project is understanding that the positive changes that my team and I implement will not happen quickly, and this can be a discouraging feeling.
Very few times have artists found themselves with a stroke of genius creating a masterpiece. Much of their time is spent planning, innovating, and laboring over their craft. Interdisciplinary Studies has taught its students this method of developing new ideas and practicing them before its final execution. Each IDS student has a different style and a different way of approaching challenges in ways that are exclusive to them. The research paper and applied project are both ways students can create unique ways of researching and implementing projects to gain a deeper insight of their craft. Like artists, no two IDS students are the same.