IDS Student Alli Brock Murray Holding a photograph she took of a typewriter in Bannack, MT, that was hung in the halls of the Spori Builidng.

Alli's Story: Turning a distant dream into a career centered degree.

April 28, 2017
Writer: Alex Brown

Long lines. Long hours. Lots of people. This is what Disney World is all about. No matter how hot the Florida sun was, Alli Brock couldn't get enough of the mouse ears.

Every day Alli was surrounded by families growing closer together by having the time of their lives. Alli loved her job and wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Alli noticed something about these family vacations that presented a career opportunity. Families were spending too much time trying to capture pictures and videos to preserve their memories and not enough time enjoying happiness.

Alli's dream was simple: become a photographer that families could hire to travel with them on their vacations. This way families could focus on spending time with each other instead of having to worry about capturing the memories.

As Alli started her college career, she struggled in finding a single major that would help her learn learn how to set up her own photography business and how to communicate and market her dream.

Every major she considered contained great classes in one area, but none of them gave her the right mix of classes that she needed to be successful.

She went to meet with the academic advising center to discuss a path for graduation, where she learned about Interdisciplinary Studies.

Interdisciplinary Studies is a degree that allows students to customize their degree. Students build a degree by choosing a combination of concentrations, minors, and or clusters.

Concentrations are pre-defined groupings of core courses that provide students with focused, in-depth knowledge of disciplines of their choice and interest.

The advisor explained more of this option and she knew it was a perfect fit. "If I were to change my major completely, it would have put me back a year and half," Alli said.

Alli's Interdisciplinary Studies degree consists of the Photography Concentration from the Art Department, with a cluster in Visual media from the Communication Department, and a cluster in Art Fundamentals from the Art Department.

By combining art and communication classes, Alli gets two different perspectives on photography, including the principles and skill application she would need to set up her new business.

"I like that I get an insight of that, but also have the art photo classes where I get to learn the history of film, and all that," Alli said. "If you know what you want to do as a career, I feel like you definitely need to look into all of their skills and what they do as their job and at least take some classes in those fields," Alli said.

"If you know what you want to do as a career, I feel like you definitely need to look into all of their skills and what they do as their job and at least take some classes in those fields," Alli said.