The following entry was written by Mariesa Negosanti, Class of 2015.
It wasn’t until the end of first semester sophomore year that I realized reporting the news just wasn’t for me. As a Journalism major, that was beginning to pose a problem. I had dabbled in the Marketing department and taken an interest in the Publishing courses that Emerson offers. So after talking to some friends and academic advisors about my recent realization, I chose to pursue an IDIP (Individually Designed Interdisciplinary Program). I did my research and realized an IDIP was for me: combining courses from the Marketing, Publishing and Communications departments, I began the process of creating my own major called Media Management for Publications.
At first, the process seemed overwhelming. Step one is meeting with the director of the Honors program to get the application and discuss the logistics. After that, I met with the chair from each department that my IDIP drew classes from. I found a faculty advisor from each department as well. While this was definitely a time-consuming course of action requiring individual meetings with each person along the way, it was absolutely beneficial in creating the course plan. Each advisor had great ideas that helped me shape the major I was looking for, and the department heads gave me insight into designing the curriculum to best arrive at my desired outcome. Once the course plan was set and ready to go, it was time to write the essay portion.
The essay portion of the IDIP application required me to make a case for why my IDIP program should exist at Emerson. The board who reviews all my materials and votes to approve my IDIP program is looking for information about the educational value behind my course plan, my goals and reasons for choosing it, and how the curriculum I’ve chosen will help me be successful. As I wrote the essay, I gained even more motivation and zeroed in on exactly what I want to do in my career. As you can probably tell, the process itself helps students decide if the IDIP option is really right for them.
The last step was collecting signatures and letters of recommendations from the advisors and department heads I had been working with. Not long after I turned in the complete package, I got good news: my application passed the board review! With only one more approval to go (the Vice President for Academic Affairs is the last person to sign off), I’m well on my way to my independently designed curriculum. While getting to this point has been a long and involved road, it is so rewarding to take complete responsibility and direction of my academic career.