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Job search begins!

August 8th, 2011 by | | 3 Comments »

As my year abroad in London is about to come close to an end, I am beginning the process of hunting for a job.

Over a year ago, when I was graduating from SCAD with a BA in Visual Communications with a concentration in photography, I wasn’t ready to enter the real world as I needed more time to be a young adult, explore the world surrounding me and figure out what I want to do with my life.  I don’t want to just earn a living.  I want to be part of a place where I am challenged to create a difference, make the world a better place, involved in developing and brainstorming ideas, doing teamwork and working with other people.

I didn’t go to London just to earn a masters in anthropology.  I went there to ‘reinvent’ myself, broaden my knowledge of the world, gain a greater appreciation of the world surrounding me, and most importantly, meet new people who are now my closest friends and will be my travel companions in the future.  In my courses, I studied how people interact with mass media, technology, photography, products, and companies.  The courses and activities in which I was involved this past year gave me lots of food for thought – Do I want to pursue a PhD to be more involved in research?  Do I want to continue photography or reconsider filmmaking?  Do I want to work with people with hearing loss?  Do I want to be a journalist?

One of the courses I took this year was documentary filmmaking, and taking this course gave me the opportunity to re-explore filmmaking.  I should back up just a little and explain my history in filmmaking and photography for those who do not know the story.  I was very involved in filmmaking in high school and had plans to study filmmaking in college.  Three weeks prior to starting my first year at SCAD, I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, which, in turn, led to my family and I learning that my deafness was not caused by Waardenburg Syndrome, as we had originally thought.  Later on, a genetics test confirmed that I have Usher Syndrome.  I continued to go to SCAD and be an artist while still having usable vision and thinking of this motto – “Today is the present.  That’s why it’s called a gift.”  Because the school offers a rich variety of majors, I decided to explore various areas of art.  I took courses in computer design, drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, and photography.  My camera became a tool to see a whole new world.   I set foot to travel around the world to appreciate everything I see while I have usable vision.  In the past five years, I have traveled to 12 different countries where I have seen incredible wonders of our planet, immersed myself in different cultures, spoken foreign languages, and have met many new people.

While I love photography, in particular photojournalism, I felt being a photographer did not meet my criteria of being in action to help other people.  Photography is a process of photographing photos and displaying them in publications and galleries.  I could be Lewis Hines or Eugene Smith and photograph images to make a statement requesting the government or organizations change laws or regulations; however, there is one thing missing.  That is working and being involved directly with people who really need support.  I want to be in touch with people and help them on the spot, not photograph them and provide them no support other than helping them send a message to the appropriate people.  For instance, if I were in Eugene Smith’s shoes and encountered the mom taking care of her child suffering from disabilities due to mercury poisoning, while photographing the iconic image, “Mercury Poisoning,” I would want to help the mom by providing her tools to make her life easier in raising her child and help the child live a more fulfilling life, which could be guiding them to rehabilitation and clinic centers.

Now I am going to go back to the discussion on filmmaking.  I truly enjoyed filmmaking, but I found filmmaking to be very similar to photography.  The only difference is that filmmaking involves moving images whereas photography involves still images.

While I’ve been truly involved in the arts throughout my life, I’ve also realized my passion in the subject of hearing loss.  In this past year, I’ve also been privileged to work with Cochlear Americas as a marketing intern.  I have been involved in helping both candidates and recipients receive the support they need through social media and other communication sources.  Of course I can’t fail to mention that I truly enjoy maintaining my website, Cochlear Implant Online, connecting with candidates and recipients, giving presentations, and advocating for people with hearing loss.  Providing parents resources in helping them do therapy with their children, giving recipients information on the benefits of bilateral implantation, connecting an American cochlear implant recipient with a recipient living in the Czech Republic, helping a recipient find a solution in wearing a hard hat with the cochlear implant, and teaching a recipient some techniques on utilizing the phone are all examples of activities that fulfilled my desires to create a difference for other people.

I came to the conclusion that I would very much like to have a career in utilizing the knowledge in hearing loss that I have developed while growing up as a cochlear implant recipient, maintaining this website, and advocating for people with hearing loss.  What this means is that I am searching for a full-time job in the field of hearing loss.  Do you know of anyone looking to hire a highly motivated person to work with people with hearing loss?  Please contact me by clicking here. Click here to view my resumé.

 

3 Comments

August 17, 2011 at 11:21 am

Sending best wishes for you in what you may find. I hope you find the right work for you. Especially something you love so much.

Serena

August 17, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Hi Rachel,

Have you thought about working with deaf people in the arts? I suggest this because of the courses you have done and your obvious interest in helping others.

I find it immensely rewarding – I do both BSL (British Sign Language) and lipspeaking talks to increase access to museums and galleries across the UK for people with hearing impairment across the spectrum from Deaf to hard-of-hearing. I love communicating art to an audience and making it accessible is great.

Good luck in your new career, whatever you choose to do and wherever life takes you.

Serena

Debra

January 9, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Listen and Talk in Seattle is hiring a Communications Director