Blog post provided by Ann DeStefano ’12
Photos provided by Pavel Tamarin ’12
Senior year of college can be stressful enough with finishing up your degree requirements. However for my Senior Design group this has been the best part of senior year as we our working over the course of two semesters with Viacom Networks, owner of MTV.
Comprised of myself and classmates Joelle Rusin, Eric Yando, Anthony Roden, Haley Bayer, Sarah Byrne and Pavel Tamarin, the group is tackling the issue of interactive television engagement. Our client, Joe Lalley a Vice President at Viacom Networks, is looking to integrate nearly 15 different Viacom networks including that of MTV, Comedy Central and Spike into one app for tablets and smartphones to engage users with live television events.
All seniors within the B&T program, are to complete a 2-semester long Business Consulting in Design curriculum where student groups pair up with an external client to address strategic business problems. The newly revamped curriculum offers more personalized attention and time with the professor as well as opportunities for feedback. Fellow group member and senior Joelle Rusin ’12 found these changes to be of great benefit.
“We are able to learn from each others’ projects and take a deeper dive into our own projects and concerns during our one-on-one meetings.”
So far the group has spent the semester researching what competitor networks like ESPN, ABC and NBC do to engage audiences mainly through applications and social media like Twitter. Some prototypes of possible applications have been created with features like roll overs, polls, interactive hosts and more. One idea the group had was to be able to watch the MTV VMA’s on your iPad using the application with a virtual host. This host would guide your way through the show. Also the user will have the ability to roll over celebrity outfits and see what designers they are wearing. Another feature could be switching your camera angles to see where different celebrities are sitting in the audience so, as a viewer, you could watch an awards show from multiple camera views.
Joelle notes, that this particular senior design project was a great opportunity, as the media industry is different than the internships many of us have previously held.
“The opportunity to work in a different industry has perks as well. I never would have considered the possibilites of working outside the world of financial services without this first-hand experience. I think the opportunities within the new Senior Design structure are vast and students can really benefit from it.”
The business implications of our project could be very vast as well. This possible multi-brand application could increase viewership and potentially advertising revenues for MTV.
“Helping to increase MTV’s live viewership is extremely rewarding, especially when we see a large company like MTV executing our ideas,” Joelle adds.
Another interesting perk is that since we are working with Viacom, owner of Comedy Central, the group was able to go to a taping of “The Daily Show” with our client.
Not a bad way to spend senior year at Stevens!