It was more than 15 years ago that a five-day multimedia workshop changed the course of Karen Helweg’s career.
The Danish native had moved to L.A. from New York to work in Hollywood four years earlier, but her TV producer career didn’t work out as planned.
“The television thing wasn’t that fun,” Helweg said. “It wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be. There’s a lot of stop and go; there’s a lot of waiting on the set.”
The workshop taught her multimedia skills that eventually led to her current job as vice president of interactive strategy at WebMetro.com in San Dimas.
She had decided to take the multimedia course in 1993 when the TV production company she worked for went under. The course introduced her to the blossoming world of interactive programming, and she learned how to use Macromedia Director, a software program that creates interactive content.
“A five-day class could give you immediate employment,” she said.
At WebMetro, her duties include developing online campaigns for the firm’s clients that include placement of advertising on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.
Advances in technology allow her to do more with online media than she had in her past jobs.
“The sophistication and the richness of the online experience is much more interesting,” she said.
Before joining WebMetro, she worked at various media agencies and companies. Her experience includes programming CD-ROMs, among them the “Rolling Stones Vodoo Lounge” video game. Clients she worked with included the queen of Denmark, Margarethe II, for whom she built a family history and informational Web site.
Her knack for technology was apparently passed on to her 10-year-old daughter, Claudia, who constantly impresses her mother with her ability with computers.
“She engages in chatting, e-mails; she builds her own blogs,” she said. “It’s like another set of crayons for her.”
Helweg lives in Westwood with her husband, Carlos, and daughter. In her spare time, she likes to cook and travel, and is currently planning a trip to Thailand.