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In the fast-evolving landscape of the graphic communication industry, staying ahead requires not just innovation but also cultivation of the next generation of talent. Crownhill Packaging recently formed a wonderful relationship with the Graphic Communications Management (GCM) program at the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), including the development of an internship opportunity.
As part of Crownhill and GCM’s most recent interactions, Olivia Pietersen, our E-Commerce Business and Marketing Manager, became mentor to a group of students. Focused on the Asset Management for Graphic Communications course, Olivia guided them through developing best practices for Digital Asset Management (DAM).
The challenge set before students is designed to guide them through the intricacies of print production workflows and understanding DAM’s pivotal role across various components and steps. Students are tasked with setting up a database, managing multimedia assets of diverse types, sizes, and restrictions, configuring user interfaces, and grappling with the complexities of human behavior and file management.
To ensure a hands-on experience, students are organized into groups and select an imaginary company within a specific industry. The challenge isn’t just in conceptualizing DAM; it’s about building the system from the ground up. From designing taxonomies and metadata schemas, to deciding on user access permissions, students navigate the entire process. The TMU DAM application serves as their digital canvas, allowing for real-world testing and adjustment.
After weeks of brainstorming, research, and hard work, each student group presented their DAM system and its solutions. Each group went beyond the theoretical aspects, bringing their conceptual company to life, outlining the DAM system’s goals, and providing an insightful tour of their DAM catalog.
The presentations were enriched with feedback summaries from the DAM testing phase, demonstrating how constructive criticism was used to enhance their solutions. Reflecting on their experiences with the TMU DAM application, and the subject overall, provided valuable insights into successes, challenges, and suggestions for improvement.
Engaging with mentors is a crucial part of a student’s success with the project. Olivia, drawing on her experience managing e-commerce and marketing teams, was able to offer plenty of insight into managing and developing DAM systems and procedures.
The mentorship process involved offering virtual meetings, guiding students through planning stages and providing direction when needed. Olivia found the role to be flexible, letting her adapt her advice and experience to the unique needs of the student group. Importantly, the mentor-mentee relationship involved no formal grading, instead emphasizing the fostering of a genuine learning experience.
“I want to express my gratitude again for your dedication and hard work in guiding our student groups through their DAM experiences,” says Reem El Asaleh, Founder & Director of the Lab of Excellence in DAM. “Since we began these activities, we have noticed a significant improvement in the overall performance of our students, which is a true testament to the impact of the connections we promote through our Lab of Excellence in DAM.”
Crownhill Packaging’s involvement with TMU and the GCM program isn’t just about a commitment to education; it’s a strategic investment in the future of the graphic communication and packaging industries.
Through mentors like Olivia Pietersen, students gain valuable insights into industry-specific challenges and solutions. At Crownhill, we’re grateful for the opportunity to actively invest in education and innovation. It undeniably paves the way for brighter and more knowledgeable futures for everyone.