Presented to the Selection Committee for the Postgraduate Program in Digital Storytelling 2018-2019
Royal Conservatory & KASK | School of Arts | University College Ghent
Dear Selection Committee,
This Is Me
My name is Rebecca. I am almost 40 and I am in the middle of a mid-life identity crisis recess. While I have reached a point in my life where my self-identity is changing, it is not a “crisis”, because I am enjoying every minute of it.
I am an American living in Gent from January 2016 to July 2019 while my husband is on an expatriate work assignment here. I am spending these 3 ½ years out of the workforce.
I am a mom. I am a wife. I am a volunteer. I am an explorer and a documenter. I am currently seeking experiences that will enhance my professional skills while doing things that make me happy.
My Professional Experience
In my formal education, I initially studied to be a psychologist, but the job market led me to a career in marketing and fundraising for higher education institutions. In that work, I gained significant experience in writing, print and digital communications, direct marketing, and social media. Additionally, I went back to graduate school for further training in higher education administration.
Here’s my LinkedIn Profile.
In 2015, I was looking for new challenges in my career. When this offer to move internationally came along, I viewed it as an opportunity to lay the groundwork for changes in my career path.
In addition to volunteering and taking on projects of personal interest, I have spent the past two ½ years looking for ways to increase my skills and experience in writing and photography.
I created this blog, RB Abroad, to document my time living abroad.
I have been a contributing writer and photographer for The Square.Gent, an online resource in English for expats in Gent. (My contributions can be found at this link).
I’ve realized in doing these projects that I really enjoy storytelling, particularly through the combination of written word and photography. I am learning and improving as I go. I know I could do even better work with more professional training and guidance.
Here are some select examples of my work:
- A profile, Q&A format.
- A profile, story format.
- On using Instagram to tell a story from the refugee camps in Saint-Denis, France.
- On Processing Photos.
- A story about a horse.
- A story about dog poop.
- A travel diary, Paris.
- A travel diary, Italian road trip.
- A travel diary, Ireland, land of my ancestors.
You can also, of course, peruse this blog in its entirety, my other contributions to The Square.Gent, and my social media sites (links below) for many more examples.
Why I Want to Follow Your Program
While reading an incredible piece of photojournalism, Continental Drift, I noticed one of the storytellers was a graduate of a KASK photography degree program. That prompted me to look into KASK, and that is how I found you.
When I move back to the U.S. in July 2019, I will seek to renter the workforce. I hope to work in Communications and/or Photojournalism, telling stories using digital media. I have spent the past two 1/2 years trying to build a resume of experience that will qualify me for that. Completing your program will, no doubt, strengthen my experience and qualifications immensely.
I admit I have some apprehension about applying to your program. I fear I am older and less “hip” than your average student.
My favorite social media platforms for personal use are Twitter and Instagram, and by necessity, Facebook.
I don’t have technical experience in everything you teach. I don’t Snapchat. I am annoyed by Instragram Influencers (even some that are my personal friends) and the YouTubers that my eight-year-old son loves. But I recognize the purpose and the power they all have in our digital society.
I understand the storytelling powers that digital media hold. I want to learn more about them. I want to learn how I can use them in my own work in ways that I do respect, to tell the stories I want to tell.
If I’ve learned anything from moving my entire life to a new country where I don’t speak the language, and traveling to 11 counties in the last two years, it’s that doing scary things make us stronger, wiser, more interesting, and helps us grow.
Therefore, I apply to your program because I see the value I can receive from it, and hopefully add to it. I hope that you agree!
Thank you for considering me for enrollment in your program. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss it more in person.
With warm regards,