Author: Sarah Engel
“I never really knew exactly what I wanted to be,” says alum Clara Seymour (LMC’21, ALIS’21). In high school, Clara applied to seven colleges, selecting a different major on each application. She entered Georgia Tech as GEML (Global Economics and Modern Languages), but soon realized it wasn’t what she wanted to do. She explored other majors, spoke with students and faculty, and ultimately found LMC. “I learned that LMC was different—I could pick two specialties/concentrations, I could have agency over my studies and my industry interests, and I could really mold my degree into exactly what I wanted to study.”
Growing up, Clara was never content doing just one thing. She used to think this was bad, that it meant she didn’t know what she was ‘good’ at, or what she was ‘supposed to do.’ “Now I know this just meant that I appreciated the overlap in industries and trades.” In high school, Clara was a photographer’s apprentice, tutored AP Calculus, and interned for the Jersey City Council. “I really have always been someone who wants to learn how to do the things I don't understand.” At Georgia Tech, she enjoyed taking classes not necessarily related to her major, but that sounded interesting. An electrical engineering elective course, for example. “The class was humbling, to say the least, but I walked away with a newfound appreciation of the study of circuits as well as a professor who would be a significant mentor of mine for the rest of college and to this day.” Today, she’s appreciative of these experiences and skills, which she says have given her an arsenal of weapons to use in her current field: visual arts.
Clara has recently begun her graduate studies at SCAD, in the Motion Media program. Her schedule is busier than ever, with classes, part-time jobs nannying and tutoring, and social engagements. Outside her studies in graphic design and motion animation, Clara enjoys playing intramural soccer and supporting Atlanta United FC. She also works as a freelance artist, offering services in photography, website design, sticker-making, glass beading, knitting, and more. Additionally, she is an avid cook and hosts dinner parties for her friends. Clara is also a self-proclaimed “book nerd,” as is typical of an LMC graduate.
Clara acknowledges that many people find a career path in the ‘arts’ to be risky. “The bright side of motion media and digital design is that, though the skillset is a niche one, your employer base is limitless.” She cites opportunities in consulting, politics, film, music, and more. To students interested in pursuing motion media and visual design, she advises: “don't assume that just because you haven't taken classes or studied animation or motion media that you cannot get an education in it. Other than a couple of classes as an undergrad, I taught myself the software and basic skills I needed to build a portfolio worthy of a program like SCAD. There are countless resources online for you to learn from and even more open-sourced material for you to play around with.” Clara also suggests pursuing an MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) program as opposed to a master's or Ph.D. She recalls a conversation with Jillann Hertel, the Director of the CoLab and LMC's Creative Director, who pointed out that “an MFA opens the same doors that a Ph.D. does in academia and the industry while also going more in-depth into its studies than a Master's program.”
Clara’s journey has been far from traditional, but she is grateful that Georgia Tech allowed her to explore her interests. “I have had the incredible opportunity to try a multitude of specialties and industries, but the path I am on today I didn't see coming. Ultimately, it was Tech and the Liberal Arts College that showed me that there are interdisciplinary fields and studies.”
This story was written by LMC major and CoLab Communications/Editorial Intern, Sarah Engel.
For further inquiries, please contact Senior Academic Professional Jillann Hertel.