Classroom to career connections

Students majoring in digital technology and culture (DTC) at WSU Pullman spent three days on a professional field trip to connect classroom learning to real-world careers and learn first-hand about the work of creative professionals.

The five students began their experiential learning at the Vancouver campus, where the Pullman students were able to connect with DTC peers working on an archival project for their senior seminar.

Professors June Sanders & Jacob Riddle accompanied the group and arranged tours with three local design, game, and animation firms in Portland, Oregon: Fisk Projects, Dotdotdash, and Outlet PDX. 

Copy machines covered in stickers,

Austin Wetzel, one of the DTC Pullman students, said he was most excited and impressed by Fisk, particularly its design studio. and how the compassionate teamwork to create marketing, he found it to be truly inspiring and innovative. The founder and CEO of Fisk, Bijan Berahimi, took time to speak with the WSU students and shared how he started his practice of content creation using things he learned during his undergraduate studies.

The next business visited was Outlet PDX, a thriving hub for risograph printing and a local creative space. There, the group encountered a wide range of voices, inspiration, and work as artists and members of the community actively collaborated in the print-making studio. The students also got the opportunity to meet with the sole paid employee of the studio operation.

A staircase with many small prints and posters covering the wall.

Lastly, the group visited Dotdotdash. This firm creates digital and physical interactive installments for many famous and financially successful companies. Their work as designers is leveraged alongside physical and digital creation specialists to obtain final products that are featured in expos and conferences. The fluctuation of project type and scale was astounding for everyone to see.

Participants included Wetzel, Eman Ahmed, Lain Bundalian, Mariah Johnson, and Aida Must. The experience was an opportunity to grow personally and professionally, create connections with their DTC peers, and enjoy group dinners, —as well as taking multiple trips to get boba tea.

Adapted from the Digital Technology and Culture enewsletter, written By Jessica Fernandez.