A fast-paced industry that plays a pivotal role in shaping society, having a career in the media is both a challenging yet rewarding one. Just ask Vanessa Soong and Aiden Mar – currently enrolled in the International Foundation Diploma in Mass Communications at Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS), their education has given them valuable insights for what’s in store.
For Vanessa, it took dipping her toes in another route to find out her true passion. “I was initially studying tourism at a local polytechnic. However, it wasn’t the right fit for me,” Vanessa revealed. Having had an avid interest in media and the way it is used to influence and spread information, she rationalised, “The media is very much integrated in everyone’s lives, and to be realistic, there are a lot of opportunities within the industry – it will continue to grow.”
Vanessa’s search for a tertiary institution offering mass communications led her to MDIS. “Apart from the course syllabus being very structured, MDIS is one of the private institutions which offers television and radio studio facilities to further supplement their media programmes.” Swayed by that advantage, she enrolled into the course.
“My friend, who studied mass communications in polytechnic, was looking through my course book and she mentioned that there were certain aspects which she had not learned in poly,” Vanessa shares. “Even though the course is only eight months, it is very condensed and loaded with information.” Aidan concurs.
The 19-year-old is an aspiring sports journalist whose lacklustre academic results gave him limited choices when it came to the polytechnic route. “MDIS is quite a reputable private institution, so I decided to enrol in the course.” Initially, he had assumed that the course load wouldn’t be as intense as compared to polytechnic. “There were a lot of assignments, tutorials and group projects,” Aiden shares. Throughout the course, he realised that there was more to the job than writing articles, “There’s a lot of work and time consumed, and you have to make many sacrifices in order to be the top player in the industry.”
This observation came after hearing their lecturers relate personal stories from years of being in the media. One lecturer stood out to them. “Our lecturer from the TV & Radio Production module shared about his journalistic experience while covering the Vietnam War.” Vanessa shared with a tinge of pride, “He is really quite cool. He was sharing with us about how he attended protests. He was also at one of the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s speeches and he kept the microphone from the event at home.” Aiden adds, “We are able to imagine what really happens on ground, rather than just living through the textbooks.”
Coincidentally, both Aidan and Vanessa’s favourite module is TV & Radio Production, where they had a chance to get hands-on through an assignment which required students to produce a talk show. Interestingly, each chose a different role.
Comfortable in front of the camera, Aidan secured the role of popular musician, Kanye West, where he was interviewed in a talk show format. In contrast, Vanessa, who enjoys watching Korean variety shows, rose to the challenge of being a producer. “You have to be very alert as there are many things going on at once. You have to take note of which cameras are rolling, make sure your equipment is working properly – especially when you’re going live.” The experience helped her realise what her desired next step was: to work in media production. Already making plans for the future, Vanessa reveals that she would work towards scoring a relevant internship in the field.
So what words of advice would Vanessa and Aidan share with those who are thinking of joining the media industry? “Be prepared for what it takes. The world of media can be quite cut throat and it won’t be as easy or straightforward. There are many career options in the media, and you have to be prepared to experience all of them.” Aidan concludes, “If you would like to secure your education in a practical and time efficient manner, come to MDIS! It’s really an enriching experience.”
This post was brought to you by MDIS.
Intrigued by Aidan and Vanessa’s experiences? Find out more about MDIS’ Mass Communications programmes here!