Ilona Jalics: Women in Technology @ OSU

If you have ever stepped inside one of the Digital Unions(link is external), then you would know that one of the most unique features of the spaces are the student workers. They are a valuable resource and are able to help students, faculty and staff attempting to use technology in the space.

We spoke with Ilona Jalics, a student employee for the DUs, about her passion for technology as part of our #OSUWomenInTech series.

Can you describe what you do in your job at the Digital Union? 

My job is to monitor labs and help our guests with any technical issues or questions that they have. It can range from helping people print in our Mac labs to doing a full mic setup for someone recording a song.

What prompted you to join the DU team? 

One of my best friends, Victoria, who is our lead scheduler, recommended that I apply since I do a lot of video work. This job was going to allow me to learn new technology and help others, which felt like the perfect fit for me. Working with friends is also a nice bonus! 

What advice can you give young women who would like to work on a tech project? 

If you're just starting out, don't force yourself to do something you're not interested in. I grew up with parents who are computer programmers, but I had little interest in programming or hardware. I did, however, have a strong passion for movies and TV shows and wanted make my videos look like them. I took a video class through Media, Marketing, and Communications Scholars(link is external) (where I teach the class now) my freshman year; and after making my first video, my interest in cameras and especially editing software was sparked. Video is fantastic because it requires both visual and audio elements so there is so much to learn and experiment with. In the past 3 years, I've learned three different professional editing programs and quickly graduated from using basic camcorders to prosumer cameras and advanced audio/lighting equipment. Learning something I was interested in exposed me to different tools to improve my work and build confidence in my ability to figure things out. Also, find people who know how to use tech you don't know and become friends with them!

How do you stay up-to-date with the new trends in technology? 

I don't follow particular sites religiously, but my Scholars coordinator loves buying new gadgets for the Scholars group to play with so he usually tells me if he's seen or read about something that he's interested in purchasing. My dad also likes sending articles my way. 

Is there any technology that you are particularly excited about right now? Why?

360-degree cameras and VR (virtual reality) technology- I had the privilege to visit an independent ad firm, Resource Ammirati(link is external), last month, where an alumni of my Scholars group works. He showed us how he used 360-degree cameras for a Tidy Cats video where you got to see the cats play from all sorts of angles depending on how you tilted your phone! Much like Snapchat gives us a "real" view of exclusive events, I think 360-degree cameras and VR will be utilized more to provide people with a truly immersive experience, whether it's for a marketing campaign, a movie, or consumer-generated content. 

What has been your favorite moment/experience from the DU? 

My favorite location to work at is Denney (where the audio and video studios are located) because there is more deliberate engagement with the facilities. People often come in to work on passion projects, and it's incredible to see and hear what they come up with. A particularly interesting experience was helping a professor from the pharmacy college record keyboard and vocals for an original song he wrote for his daughter's wedding. 

How do you use the DU personally? 

I use it for all sorts of things. I've used multiple Apple and Adobe programs on our computers for video projects, booked our conference rooms for group projects (which have been amazing to show people what I'm doing on a large screen), done some amateur voice recordings in our audio studio (I'm thinking of recording a song for an upcoming video project.), and 3D printed some models. I also always take my video students on trips to our Enarson location during the semester to introduce them to the facilities as well as teach them video editing. I'm pretty much an unofficial ambassador because I'm always telling or introducing people to our facilities. The general OSU student body doesn't seem to be very aware of our incredible (and free!) resources. 

This feature blog post is part of our #OSUWomenInTech campaign. Hear more stories from female leaders involved in technology at Ohio State by following us on Twitter @TechHubOSU(link is external) and stopping in store to see our digital signage features. Are you interested in getting involved with technology? Don’t forget to check out our Student Developer Kit(link is external) and student project development grant opportunities.