Saturday, 18 October 2014

5 Misconceptions About Studying Media

Having spoken to many people from studying different disciplines, as a media student, and I was appalled by how ignorant and at the same time how most people have a HUGE misconception about what goes on in a media course. I HAVE TAKEN IT UPON MYSELF TO CLARIFY CETAIN THINGS FOR YOU. So, if you're confused, continue reading. Please.

1. You can only work at Mediacorp upon graduation right?

I don't blame anyone at all for thinking that, because that is the only 'Media' related thing people are most widely exposed to. But media encompasses so much more other things, such as Advertising, Public Relations, Radio, Marketing, blah blah. So no, we are not reduced to working in Mediacorp only, there is a growing numbers of famous overseas agencies that are opening quarters here, some famous ones are Ogilvy and Mathers, Grey Group, WYG, JWT, TBWA.(I'm just being annoying fuck listing things most people don't know or care)

2. 'I heard that you guys have minimal exams, so it must be super easy' 

Again, no. There's no such a thing called an easy course. Yes, we have little to no exams at all, and I have kind of explained why I hate that here. But just because we don't doesn't make anything easier. On the contrary, it is harder for us.

In a media course, creativity is key to your survival, anything that is typical and predictable, prepare for a C. And the stress is weeks and months long. Projects keep on coming, and you never know what is good and what's not because everyone's final product is very different.

Look at it this way, Media is like writing an English essay. The chances of you getting full marks are essentially 1 : Never. We are given briefs which we have to conceptualise what we want to find out or how we are going to demonstrate and prove a point. And different modules requires very different things.

From designing, production, to creating your own marketing campaign which covers advertising and PR as well . And it gets very technical as well, having to plan and film our own short film, so when you hear the word 'projects' from media student, it is not just your secondary school sit in one circle and get it done in a day. It is a long ass process which tests different aspects of you.

3. 'Ugh please, we have it harder, both projects & exams'

Wow, you have both to do, so it suddenly becomes my fault that YOUR course has more stuff to do?From what I know, courses with projects and exams, projects take a minute part of your overall grade, and too often of a time, it is just researching and crediting your sources, prepare a powerpoint and present. Finish.

The word project here is ambiguous, I think for the most parts, I think people assume that a project would mean, googling the topic, get credible sources, put it in a fancy presentation deck, and voila, you're done. IT IS NOT THE CASE. There's different modules and they want different things.

I'll give you an example. Advertising. Yes, we do have to google stuff, but that's just to understand the audience a little better. Then we need to think, of what is it we want to do in this campaign, what is the key message, big idea, blah blah, exactly how we want to have an ad look like, and actually designing it. And then finding out where we want to put the ads on, finding out the prices and try to accommodate it in the budget given.

If you think that is easy, here's example #2. (But if you think the former is tough, then please move right along)

Media Research. You start of reading the existing information off google, yes. Then you need to come up with your own question series and GO OUT IN PUBLIC TO ASK PEOPLE, getting rejected 80% of the time. And after that, deal with some complicated statistical analysis software that you probably never even heard of, SPSS. Of which you need to spend HOURS trying to interpret it and come out with a finding, which took me up till the last minute to come up with. All of that and also trying to link it with psychology theories.

4. 'If that's the case, all you have to do is bootlick the lecturers for a good grade'


This was actually said by this guy I was talking too. Now, I don't know how far up you've buried your brains in your ass, but it's time come back and join the world. What kind of sense does that make?
 Bootlicking? If anything, you have no idea how hard it is to get a decent grade. Because if bootlicking really did work as you have said, wouldn't everyone get a 4.0?  Trust me, if anything they are strict and will scrutinise every smallest detail to make sure we get the grade we deserved.

And just to point out the already obvious, they are industry professionals, and mind you, they are not obligated to be nice to us or whatever, to them, we are just yet another batch of students! 

And if you step into the shoes of a lecturer, let's just say you are scoring someone's work, would you be mindful of the content and mark accordingly or just get 100 to everyone? And for the record, there's something called the SCHOOL SYSTEM, which makes it impossible.

Now a lecturer can like/prefer certain students over others, but that doesn't mean they're going to give a better score, cause honey, that's nepotism.

5. All you guys do is learn how to write and speak, I don't see how it's hard

Once again, ignorance. People assume that our good oratorical skills and writing abilities are something we learned. NO. The truth is, we enter the course with these pre-requisites already. Or at least, most of us do. If anything, the last thing we learn is how to talk and write. We're taught how to create effective campaigns, how to manage a studio and #werk those cameras. Media research and use of ridiculously complex softwares to understand data. And on top of that, psychology and marketing modules that forces us to have a keen eye for EVERYTHING.


And above all that, we need to keep our outfits and styles on point, looking not just good, but also

CAN YOU DO IT?! NO RIGHT. So there you have it, all the major misconceptions that (most)people have. And for the record, dressing nice/appropriately isn't vain, it is respecting yourself and whoever that you are going to interact with. And if you still think studying media is totally mundane and useless,

1 comment:

  1. Everything stated in this post is so accurate it hurts. I hope everyone reads it. (especially those dimwits who act like they know allll about mass comm and its students when really they don't know shit. omg it makes me wanna smack them with a boot)

    This post is gold and you are effing hilarious man HAHAAHAHAHA i swear i almost died at some points. Gifs are fab too (Y)