Matt Schiavone

Oakton alum and Digital Content Creation Certificate student

Content creation for social justice

Matt Schiavone feels storytelling is at the core of social justice work. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University and working for several years at a youth nonprofit in Chicago, he realized he could apply his passion for storytelling to make a difference in the world. 

“I think there’s a big overlap between art and social justice. Art is inherently a form of expression, which can be social justice. As a privileged person, storytelling is what helped me understand oppression. Through empathy, I was able to put myself in their shoes and begin to understand. Authentic stories are powerful and a tool of connection.”

Upskilling to enter a new industry

But first, he needed the skills. He’s at Oakton to get the technical training he needs through the digital content and audio creation certificates

“We’re in an age where everyone is creating. It doesn’t matter what experience you have, you can create stuff and post it on YouTube and Instagram and TikTok. The more you know how to create and use the tools to create what you want—I think that’s invaluable now. I think there will be new jobs created that will fit perfectly with the skills I’m learning. There are lots of YouTube tutorials out there, but I wanted to learn everything in the correct order and understand every tool and how they relate, and learn from professionals. Until you go to school and someone presents new information to you, you don’t know what you don’t know.”

Getting career advice from expert faculty

Learning from people who bring both technical knowledge and real-world experience to the classroom is about so much more than just learning the tools.

“The faculty are really supportive in whatever you want to do career-wise, but they’re also really good at introducing new things to you, showing you possibilities and options and opening your mind up to new things. They have the knowledge, for example, of working freelance. They bring that experience into the classroom. If you’re trying to figure out what you’re trying to learn, talk to someone in the department. The faculty have good information that will help point you in the right direction.”