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    Graduate Spotlight

    Joshua Dixon (2022 B.A., Media Arts)

Never Stop Learning and You Never Stop Reaching

Josh Dixon came to USC in his 30s and quickly found the direction for his career thanks to help from his media arts professors . During an internship with Professor Northrop Davis, he helped prepare a pitch to publish a graphic novel Davis is creating with USC alumni artists and writers.

Tell me about yourself. Where do you call home? What brought you to USC?  

I’m 37 years old, I’m the first in my family to attend USC, and I’m the first of my five siblings to attend college. Columbia is home. I’ve lived here for five years with my now husband, and it’s been wonderful. The media arts program is what brought me to USC after I obtained my associate degree from Midlands Tech.

How did you decide to become a media arts major?  

Media Arts was the plan from the very beginning. I was interested in video game design originally, but then I took the introductory course for screenwriting and fell in love with it, which shifted my focus. I still love video games and enjoy them, but switching to something I’m more passionate about is the best decision I’ve made.

How would you describe your internship with Professor Davis? What has the experience been like? What have you been able to accomplish and learn?

The internship was an amazing and very fulfilling part of my time here at USC. I helped to further develop and edit projects that were in motion, and I feel very honored to have been even a small part of the process of bringing them to life for future viewers and readers.

The experience was also enlightening and reaffirming for my career. From the beginning, Professor Davis has been upfront and honest about how the industry works and what the work is like. He’s always been supportive and helpful. I’ve been able to learn more about the processes involved in not just writing a script, but getting it noticed, having it looked over and critiqued by others, how to develop pitch decks and so much more.

The biggest accomplishments for me seem to be the small things I’ve picked up: the countless tiny things l’ve learned from Professor Davis through the work that no one could teach in a lecture. Being part of the industry means you never really stop learning and you never stop reaching out or growing as a writer, actor, director, or whatever your end goal is.

How have you been influenced or grown from being part of the diverse culture of people, ideas and disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences?

One of the things I’ve noticed most is that when I’m talking to other students in my classes or with my instructors, I’ve been exposed to more ideas and concepts about the various topics my classes have covered. Hearing the viewpoints and ideas of others has been a wonderful thing for me, and it’s helped me look at different subjects or ideas with new eyes – and to see them in new ways.

How would you describe your personal growth as a result of these experiences and support?  

Because of my time in the College of Arts and Sciences, I’m more likely to stop and look at a situation or idea from multiple angles. I can’t say I won’t ever make a snap judgment or jump to a conclusion again, but now I try to stop and ask myself what it might look, or sound like, from someone else’s perspective before I form an opinion.

What plans do you have after graduation?

After graduation I’ll continue on at my current job; however, I will be doing my best to reach out and make connections within the entertainment industry so that I can get my name out and hopefully get taken on somewhere. I’ve also been looking into possible internships at other places that would help me get a foot in the door for some of the bigger entertainment companies.

How do you feel your academic experience in Media Arts prepared you for your eventual career?

I feel like my experiences have prepared me well. My time at USC has helped me learn the basics and go beyond them so that I feel like I can step out into the field and take on whatever comes my way. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.