I swam. I made it.

I am in my final week of lap swimming in this Storytelling and Digital Media pool and as I prepare to submit my series of blogs and our final assessment, I have looked back deeply into the water that I am about to step from and my return to study experience.

I can still taste the fear from when I took the plunge 12 weeks ago, it was palpable. The vulnerability I felt submitting my first task ‘about me’ and my first blog was paralysing. I hadn’t even heard the term ‘infographic’ before – how embarrassing! There have been so many moments like this where I have felt a tidal wave of emotions; fear then exhilaration, nerves then courage, embarrassment then relief, whelm and then more whelm 😉.

So, to say that it has been an incredible ride is an understatement!

Apart from learning a whole lot about myself through this experience, I have learned a mountain of skills that whatever my future holds, will have me swimming the laps of the marketing pool like I’ve got flippers on.

It’s difficult to summarise what learnings were the most profound for me through this unit, there were so many. I had moments that were eye-opening and heart-swelling. The Burberry storytelling example from week one really opened my eyes to the importance of brand narrative and then the power of emotion in Western Sydney University’s story about Deng Adut, child soldier to refugee lawyer took storytelling to a whole other level.

(Source: YouTube)

For me authentic, meaningful, relatable, shareable, and engaging are my go-to ingredients for crafting a successful story. And then of course knowing when and where to reach your audience through the variety of digital technologies and platforms. Planning with sequence and structure, measuring and monitoring, and staying true to your brand’s (consumer’s) values form the foundation for great outcomes to be achieved.

We learned about convergence culture and the importance of participatory culture where there is “some degree of social connection with one another” (Jenkins) – both terms I had not discovered until this unit. You can learn more about Jenkins’ viewpoint on participatory culture here:

Source: YouTube

There is a real art to successful storytelling. Through this 12-week period, we were equipped with learnings about the key elements, story structure, the power of visual and audio, and the science and technologies behind it all, to become powerful narrators of our own.

I have learned and discovered so much throughout this unit and not just course content, about me personally. I look into that icy water that was so intimidating to me on my first week and I see my reflection smiling back up at me – you did it, you made it!

Tell me about your return to study journey in the comments below. I’d love to hear all about it.

References:

Jenkins, Henry. 2006. “Jenkins on Participatory Culture.” New Learning Online n.d.  https://newlearningonline.com/literacies/chapter-7/jenkins-on-participatory-culture

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