Graduate Profiles

Sally Poulsen


"I miss the coffee machine. Is that weird?"“The thing I hope most people know about Guru is though it may SOUND too good to be true (all that knowledge in 6 months?!), it’s totally the real deal.” - Sally

Sally was a television producer at CityTV before she joined Guru in January 2010. After working for a number of years in television, she discovered a passion for web design and decided that Guru was the place where she wanted to take her career in a new direction. I think one of my favourite moments with Sally was when she came to talk with me after working through a particularly stressful part of the program. She said she had an epiphany about the stress of the program and that she was actually pretty fortunate to be able to get up every day and do interesting creative things. It was a turning point in the program for her.

Graduating from Guru found Sally pursuing her independence from day-to-day work and stepping into flexible short term projects. She wanted to continue her growth particularly in the web development area. She took a part-time gig with the Edmonton Public Library working on their site, along with doing some promotional videos for them (see one below starring Marty Chan!) She is now focused on running her own business doing websites and social media consulting for her growing roster of satisfied clients with sallypoulsen.com. ” I get to do the fun stuff, like design and build websites, do branding and print materials, and shoot and edit corporate videos – AND I get to educate and empower people who may have been less than savvy about these here INTERNETS.  Basically, I’m a very lucky lady who gets to have a lot of fun at my job.”

Since graduating, she thinks her most noteworthy project was probably acting as a producer/director/writer/editor alongside her partner @JournalistJeff for their original ShawTV show, the edmontonian presents. She had already been a working post-production editor before she came to Guru, but the design education and the instruction in Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash allowed them to create something that had remarkable production value for the budget.

In Sally’s own words, “the thing I hope most people know about Guru is though it may SOUND too good to be true (all that knowledge in 6 months?!), it’s totally the real deal. I had debated attending the program for almost three years before finally taking the leap, and it remains one of the best professional decisions I’ve ever made.  It packs a tremendous amount of broad technical knowledge into a short time, and left me with a wide variety of skills that have since given me the chance to work on all kinds of cool projects. I do have to say, though, that what has really stuck with me has been the ability to learn on the fly and manage multiple projects at once without crumbling under the stress. Completing the workload in the DMP program was very, very comparable to my experiences running a small business. The school is as supportive to alumni as they are to current students, and, in my experience, gives you all the tools to be successful in your industry.”

Sally plans to keep running her business and taking on any interesting contracts that arise. She is also doing her first NaNoWriMo, as research for a short film I’m writing with my best friend.  My guess is the film will be about a girl who fails to complete a novel in 30 days. 

“Guru’s Digital Media Production Diploma is a fantastic program, and I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend.  Anyone who has any questions about the school or why I chose to attend is welcome to drop me a line at [email protected] or tweet at me: @sallypoulsen. Also, I miss the coffee machine. Is that weird?”

The coffee machine misses you too, Sally. 

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