In the first instalment of Alumni Spotlight, Lily Inskip-Shesnicky interviews 2021 Masters in Film Studies graduate, Myles Sauer, about how he chose Carleton, his time in the program and his plans for the future.
Lily: What was your experience with film at Carleton?
Myles: My experience with film at Carleton was arguably two of the best years of my adult life. Living in a new city and quickly making friends with my cohort—people who I could obsess with over movies in a way I’d always wanted—was so fulfilling.
That’s not to say it wasn’t without its challenges… having to finish my major research paper at the start of lockdown in 2020 was not the jubilant conclusion I envisioned for my degree, and it goes without saying that grad school in general is a lot of hard work. But overall, it’s an experience I look back on with great fondness.
Lily: What was your goal originally going into university?
Myles: I might be unique in that I went into my MA at Carleton without any clear idea of what I wanted to do afterwards. I was a few years out of my undergrad and at a crossroads career-wise, and figured, “why not move to another city and go back to school for something I’m deeply passionate about?” It was very much a flight of fancy that I was in the fortunate position of being able to pursue without necessarily worrying about the utility of it.
Lily: What are you doing now?
Myles: I currently work for a small web design & marketing company in Victoria, BC, where I work primarily in a content-based role creating and shaping digital experiences for mainly municipal clients. I also plan on volunteering with one of our local repertory theatres and become more involved in the film community here.
Lily: How did film at Carleton help you prepare for what you’re doing now?
Myles: While my current work isn’t one-to-one with what I studied at Carleton, being able to parse and interpret information and clearly communicate in writing are essential skills that were honed during my time in university. So much of my work is concerned with communicating to a specific audience, so what better field to study than film, which is so often about our experience as audience members?
Lily: What would you tell someone who wants to go into film theory but is unsure about it?
Myles: It’s fun! Being able to think critically and on a deeper level about something that’s so often considered just entertainment is such an enriching experience, and you’re bound to meet with other like-minded people who are just as excited about film as you are. The opportunities will come if you’re looking for them, but the process of study is its own reward.