Jeff MacDonald, Experience Design Lead at Epic Signal at Mekanism, brings us high-level ways to think about our careers as we navigate through them. Hear about how he found Experience Design (formerly Creative Technology) at Brandcenter, how creative technology has evolved, how to roll with the ups and downs of working in advertising, processing your emotions after being let go, and the importance of actively redefining your career along the way.
Discovering advertising on a campus tour, how he found Experience Design (formerly Creative Technology) at Brandcenter, how creative technology has evolved, and the balance between learning how to code and learning how to creatively think.
Resources for those interested in getting into Experience Design.
How Epic Signal functions within Mekanism.
How to roll with the ups and downs of a career in advertising, making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and then being laid off, and processing your emotions after being let go.
Actively redefining your career as you go.
“Going in from that 30 Under 30, and then ultimately trying to figure out if this was the right industry for me, and looking for a job, and actually having to transplant myself from Virginia to Chicago for that new job—it gave me a lot of perspective about what that means for me as a person working in this industry. It always is changing and you’re constantly just having to roll with whatever’s happening at that time in the business world.”
“I’m actually on my third job description here at this agency. And there will be a fourth and a fifth. Because one of the things they love to do here is test and learn different things at the agency. […] For me, it’s just constantly looking to the future of what I can be doing to make myself more relevant to the agency.”
“Never follow the money. Instead, follow the people and the work. For me, that has always led to the other successes in my life.”
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Jeff joined Epic Signal in 2015 as the first Experience Designer. There he works alongside strategists and creatives and works to bring as many innovative socials firsts to clients like MillerCoors and Ben & Jerry’s. Jeff uses prototyping for the web and and hardware to create experiences that bring people together for shared moments of wonder. Outside of client work, he has created art experiences that have connected museum goers together via LED lights and touch. His ideas have ranged from the practical, like a water usage attachment for your faucet, to websites that help you get out of awkward dinner conversations with family.
Jeff received his Masters at VCU Brandcenter in creative technology and shortly after became an adjunct professor there. He loves teaching others how to take technology and move it from the complicated to a tool they can use and understand. Jeff has volunteered in the community to teach 3D printing classes and bootcamps to help people understand topics such as API’s.