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Miami Music Week 2013 Kicks Off

Join the party scene with Miami Music Week 2013, full of EDM events including the world wide known Ultra Music Festival. For more information read bellow.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Trending Entrepreneurship: Serenity Online

Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg; all successful businessmen and founders of worldwide recognized companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook. It doesn’t take a scientist to figure out they, at some point, swam in pools of cash. 

Though successful, these men have something very much in common. All are College dropouts. 

The communal curve has shifted; success no longer follows attaining a College degree and more students than not are realizing this. Careers are starting before the education is finished and some might say the job market is to blame. 

In a world like today when time is money, businesses are more likely to hire those with experience but for experience one must first work. 

To freshly graduated student this serves a problem and so students are building up their experience through hands on entrepreneurship before the diploma meets their hands.

“I am currently making an online video game, Serenity Online, and I'm starting a gaming company,” Katya Sarmiento, Miami Dade College student and Developer of Serenity Online, says.

Sarmiento, only nineteen years old, has taken a stance and started to build up her career from the ground up. Serenity Online is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) that does not require any download. 

“The main aspect of the game is for users to find their ‘inner peace,’ both in and out of the game,” Sarmiento says.

“I've always dreamed of making my own video game ever since I got into Game Programming,” Sarmiento continues “, so I decided to start it up now rather than later.”

The project, at first glance, may seem as an impulsive early life ambitious idea, but it’s been in the works for years.

“I recently started learning multiple coding languages,” Sarmiento explains. But the creator says she’s “planned out this game for about five years now.”

Being a fellow innovator, the founder of Serenity Online agrees that a degree is not much without plug-ins. 

“I don't think it's just the degree, it's what you do with it that matters,” she says “, get hands-on experience throughout your college studies. Internships, volunteer work, and projects are a great way to show that you not only understand the material, you're learning, and implementing it into your daily life too.”

“I’ve heard often from teachers and workers that a lot of top ‘fortune 500’ companies are looking for someone like that. I've been denied very often for lack of experience, but I've managed to find a job that hired me because of my work on Serenity Online,” Sarmiento adds. 

Serenity Online, slowly, is taking course and creator Katya Sarmiento can already envision its first steps, thanks to up to $2,000 of donations and two trusted investors who are helping to grow her game business. 

Some may believe the next step after graduation may be to find employment, but now creating your own is just as popular. Serenity Online is taking flight, and with entrepreneurship on trend, new and unique businesses are sure to be on the rise.
For more information visit  Serenity Online, follow the project on Facebook or Katya Sarmiento in Blogger.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Drop to the Beat of Miami Music Week

Only three years active, an infant compared to the many annual events held in the Miami area; yet it’s got the young party public in hype.

Miami Music Week (MMW) returns with ten days of heart thumping beats, flashy lights and a sweet taste of the Miami nightlife. With the gaining popularity of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Miami Music Week has become a worldly recognized event.

“Years ago many people didn't care about the music, it is very surprising to see how popular it has gotten over the years,” Norberto Esquivel, FIU student and EDM aficionado says. “I love the atmosphere and the overall party that electronic music brings along with it.”

Unlike many more festivals or grand events, MMW does not take place in a singular location but various clubs widely known by locals such as Arkadia, Electric Pickle, LIV Nightclub and Grand Central.

The week is a form to celebrate this newborn music on the rise and highlight the city. Being an attracting event to bring tourism to a peak and increase exposure to the full Miami party experience.

“There is definitely a large impact,” Diego Saldaña-Rojas, FIU student and staff member of Radiate FM, says. “All those people need a place to stay, somewhere to go eat and a way to move around all of which translates to a lot of money moved and that goes into the city. I think it’s probably the greatest and most positive impact.”

“Ultra Music Festival alone usually brings in about $79 million dollars because of people renting hotels, creating jobs, etc,” Carlos Vara FIU student says. “It helps stimulate a big part of Miami’s economy,” Esquivel adds.

The event will be taking place from March 15th to March 24th; concluding with the largest and most anticipated event for EDM followers, Ultra Music Festival.

“I DJ and produce both house and trance,” Vara says. “I have gone to Ultra Music Festival twice and both times were awesome. It was really inspiring from a DJ/producer's perspective. I think it’s a great addition to Miami Music Week. It has basically become the biggest event.”

Even though Ultra Music Festival seems to be a harmless and profiting event, previous and returning attendees have not all turned out with positive reviews.  The festival is well known to be rather expensive, tickets being no lower than three hundred dollars.

“Don’t make bottled water $5, that makes people hate you and think you are a soulless corporation,” Saldaña-Rojas says.  “It’s a real shame when I and others have resorted to sneaking in water and granola bars. It’s also a real shame that it is much more difficult to bring in water and food than it is to bring all types of drugs.”

The ongoing drug consumption within the festival seems to be a reoccurring problem, whether security against it has improved over the years is still a festival secret. On the bright side attendees won’t have to fret any more about the overpriced water.

“I’ve heard recently they are putting in watering stations and I think that is fantastic,” Saldaña-Rojas says.

With the Floridian heat and the human packed event for health safety purposes the new and well advertised free water stations provided by Ultra Music Festival this year has gotten several thumbs up.

Still EDM with its gaining popularity is also piling the criticism from widely music lovers.

“In today’s world anyone can illegally download software and start making beats,” says Saldaña-Rojas. “For some, that music making process has less value than someone that’s learned to play an instrument.”

But EDM followers rebuttal that there is much more to the music than simple beat generating software.

“Some of the people that don't believe its music also say that electronic dance music producers don't actually have musical talent, but that's pretty untrue. Most producers can play multiple instruments extremely well and actually make all the sounds themselves,” Vara says. “It seems that the concept of genres have created this huge tension between people who don't like the same music.”

While some believe the music divides the public others love it for their unifying effect.

“EDM is a way of life. It's not for everyone but the real fans are really close,” Esquivel says. “Although you may not know someone at a concert by the end of the night you will feel like you've made a new friend… it is a good feeling.”

“I think calling myself a fan would be an understatement. For me it's the ‘hand in the air’ feeling that the genre has. It really is something that you don't find in too many genres of music.” Vara says.

Hate it or love it, Miami Music Week and Ultra Music Festival are here to stay with hundreds of shows and events. For scheduled, new up-coming events and more information visit Miami Music Week 2013.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Miami International Film Festival, Ages Gracefully

With Oscar season approaching the cinematic fandom is at a roar and so Miami jumps on the wagon by providing their own homage to the film industry. Three decades later and the week-long multicultural event stands strong. The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) blows its thirty birthday candles full of major foreign, independent and multi award winning films.
Alejandro Azoy, Miami Dade College alumnus and cinema enthusiast says, “I’m very excited. I enjoy films tremendously and it’s a great opportunity to see films from all over the world.”
The event kicks off on March 1st, 2013 providing the general public with over 140 films and events to enjoy. Tickets are on sale on the MIFF website with general admission fees to each film at $13.
The event does provide discounts for seniors, students and members of the film industry. But film tickets sell fast, it’s a week away and Kenyan film Nairobi Half Life is already sold out.
A proud sponsor and administrator of the MIFF is Miami Dade College which coordinates events, volunteering, and job opportunities within the festival. M-DC students can also benefit by participating in the festival either by volunteering or getting complimentary tickets provided by the college.
Anna Lucia Rodriguez, Volunteer Coordinator for the MIFF says there have been “over 400 volunteer applications” received. Most commonly heard are a shortage of volunteers for such events, but the MIFF is a different story.
“We can’t give everyone the hours they wish to volunteer for,” says Rodriguez. “If they ask for 20 hours we’ll give them 10, we want to keep our volunteers happy and be able to give them the opportunity to participate.”
“It’s my first year coordinating,” says Rodriguez and she has her work cut out; having to prepare Volunteer orientations and assemble tasks for such a large public throughout 12 theaters and over 100 events.
Karisha Medina, Miami Dade College student and returning volunteer says that volunteering provides “many benefits; you can add up to your 100 service learning hours for your presidential award. You get free movie vouchers, sometimes get to enjoy the film and meet many wonderful people.”
Though the event is of a large scale bringing together thousands of members, within and outside of the community, some still are unaware of the happenings of this event.
But MIFF has been trying to inform the public of the festival by doing such things as putting bus stop posters and hanging banners, the most commonly seen, at Flagler St. by the Olympia Theater. M-DC -Wolfson Campus’ Service Learning Center has also been aiding the film festival in advertising.
 “I work with the ICED (Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy) department, which is the department that works with service learning,” says Medina. “We want students to become more involved with the community and cultural events…we did bookmarks, advertising the film festival, we also tell all the students coming in the office about it.”
As the years pass the festival grows in size and public; highlighting the worldwide film industry. The festival has previously seen major film industry personnel including Michael Caine, Antonio Banderas, Kate Hudson, Sylvester Stallone, Demi Moore, Ricardo Darin and many more. So there is some chance to run into some big stars that participate in this communal event as well.
A nice touch that the festival is adapting is shining a spotlight at small and or independent film venues, such as MDC’s Tower Theater or Wynwood’s O Cinema.
“I’m all for independent theaters hosting these events,” says Azoy. “They’re little gems, little hole in the walls. They get neglected and this exposes them.”
Whether you watch the films in a venue of thirty or a hundred people, the MIFF is an event to experience, for locals, tourists and people of all ages.
 “I believe the reason why MDC sponsors it’s because of the diversity within the college, having students from all over the place,” Azoy says.
“We have different cultures and people, it brings them together one way or another,” adds Medina “you can also learn many things, you become a bit more educated, even though they’re just movies you can learn about other cultures.”
The MIFF will be running for a week March 1st through the 10th and all further information including all movies and event schedules, previous year’s highlights and many more can be found at their website, by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Miami Dade College-Wolfson Campus Shapes the Community

The infamous McDonald’s temporarily shuts down, while its customers recover their bodies next door.
One thing is for sure, the fast paced construction of the new building 8 at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, isn’t the most impressive news spreading about this building. All the talk is settled on merely one floor, the sixth.
The new and improved Fitness and Wellness Center has opened its doors to students, faculty and the Miami Dade community members alike. The 10,000 square-foot facility located in the heart of the busy streets of downtown Miami (300 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Bldg 8. Flr 6) sees up to 450 people per day.
This gymnasium entirely decorated with state-of-the-art equipment provides numerous services to its members at a surprisingly low rate. Student fees are as low as $10 a month. “We offer fitness assessments,” says Carlos Mora, a Miami Dade College student majoring in Dietetics and Exercise Science. “We can define your base line fitness level and then after that we give you an exercise program.”
For those with a palate for technology and gadget synching, some of the equipment is actually Apple friendly. “You can connect the device, you can charge the device while working out, and you’re creating the energy to charge the device, which I think it’s pretty cool,” Daniel Estape, Fitness and Wellness Center Director, says.
Some of the equipment is also geared with a 7” television in which you can change to the channel you prefer or even link it to Netflix and finally find out what LOST was actually about. Or even pull up a class lecture and kill two birds with one stone. Referring to students using their exercise time also as study time Estape says “I haven’t seen it yet, but when I do see it their picture is going to be on Facebook.”
Along with the 21st century high tech equipment the facility also provides fitness classes like Indoor Cycling, Yoga and even the fast pacing, popularity gaining Zumba class.
“The classes are free and part of your membership,” Estape explains, there are no extra fees after your membership. All fitness classes’ schedules and further descriptions can be found on the Fitness and Wellness Center’s website.
Also, the facility is not only an opportunity to get fit, but a space that accepts volunteer, provides internship opportunities and even paying jobs for students once upon a time.
“There were job opportunities before, the positions were limited and they filled up,” says Luanna Ochoa Vice President of the health and wellness organizations. Ochoa volunteers at the Fitness Center, “I started this semester, but I was always here helping out” she says, “it’s fun, I like it.”
The gymnasium seems to be perfect, it even made debut as a filming location for the new television series Graceland, but Ochoa says “There’s always room for improvement,” the public has asked for further services, but they are hard to meet.  “People always come asking if we could have more food and drinks available, now we have water and Gatorade.” Ochoa says, “things have to be prepackaged and there’s always the hygiene factor to consider.”
            The Health and Wellness organization has been trying to convert the students and staff to a healthy lifestyle, “everything that we do is good, everything” says Mora, to the participators of the organization it was a great success to finally get fruit cups added to the cafeteria’s menu, “now there’s a healthy alternative” he says.
The new Fitness and Wellness Center is new hope for this once small organization, “thinking about it logically there has been high obesity rates and they’re trying to fix that,” Ochoa adds, “also the old gym had a low ratio it made more sense to have a larger square footage.”
The new gymnasium seems to be a new highlight factor for the Miami Dade College Institution. “If you look at downtown, Miami Dade is in the middle, the building, centers, it’s a place where a lot a people would want to come from the school and outside.” Ochoa says.
            All further information on the new Fitness and Wellness Center including hours of operations can be found at