Engineering a Career in Digital Arts
Ying Shi Zhang’s dream job is to be a video editor. As a digital arts student, Zhang is enhancing her skills as a video editor specialist for New York Tech’s Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC).
She is one of two digital arts students creating professional marketing materials that NASA can use in efforts to commercialize prototypes a team of College of Engineering and Computing Sciences students is building for the agency. (Read more about New York Tech’s partnership with NASA.)
According to Zhang, being a part of this team is her biggest accomplishment yet and believes the skills she is learning through this project and her classes at New York Tech will help her in her future career.
“School projects help me understand Adobe Suite, such as Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and After Effects,” says Zhang. “New York Tech is, without a doubt, preparing me for the future. This includes the hard skills that I develop in my classes and soft skills when working on projects. I realized how useful these skills are when working with Dr. Michael Nizich [director of the ETIC].”
For the NASA project, Zhang will be documenting the creation of the prototypes from start to finish. She will also edit the videos that will later be used for marketing the devices, which include a robotic therapy vest for patients with neurological impairments and a high-tech device, known as a C-gauge, to measure cord tension, such as in parachutes and bridge cables. “As part of such a small major at New York Tech, I never thought I would be part of something so big,” she says.
Zhang’s path to digital arts and New York Tech began when she was a student at Brooklyn Technical High School, where she majored in industrial design. The high school is focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and in her senior year, she realized STEM wasn’t really for her. “Which is ironic because I’m currently attending New York Institute of Technology and am a video editor specialist for New York Tech’s ETIC,” she says. Zhang loved the design process and loved art but was more familiar with traditional art rather than digital. “Seeing New York Tech offer digital arts sparked my interest in venturing into something new...I never realized how much art and engineering tie together until I started working with Dr. Nizich.”
Outside of the classroom, Zhang is volunteering with Haven Café in New York City. The nonprofit organization offers barista training for youths aged 14 to 18 as well as translation and immigration consulting services for new immigrants. “I was originally there for service hours for one of my required classes. However, I really liked the people I was working with, so I decided to stay as a volunteer,” says Zhang, who also volunteered to be part of a study with New York Tech’s Center for Esports Medicine.
As a New York Tech student, Zhang is taking advantage of every opportunity presented to her and offers this advice to incoming students: “Try everything you want. I did not know how becoming a video editor specialist would affect what I wanted to do in life,” she says. “I was always uncertain and stuck between choosing something related to my major and my hobbies. The growth I have experienced at New York Tech has enabled me to find my passion in something I never knew.”