Bringing the future home The first 16 IMS students already hold a master’s degree. What are they doing now?
Bright-eyed & bushy tailed graduates: Emmy Chirchir (middle) and Hien Nguyen (right) are full of energy & enthusiam
By Veve Hitipeuw After having successfully worked hard through four semesters, Danh-Quy Nguyen, 27, returned to his homeland with future in his hands. He already got some work offers when he was still in Germany. Since October he works at Ringier Vietnam, a Swiss media company, as Brand Manager for Women’s Health Magazine. And it is great that in January 2012 he will start his position as Digital Managing Editor for ELLE Vietnam, another international magazine owned by the same company. Knowledge about international media and the multicultural experiences at IMS have helped Nguyen to smoothly fit into an international company. “Intercultural communication skills taught at IMS allowed me to be able working together in a team consisting of people from various cultural backgrounds, who also have different working styles”, he explains. Moreover, the broad curriculum of IMS has enabled Nguyen to solve problems and multitask quickly in the field. Media projects at IMS give the students an opportunity to learn and practice making various types of media. “With the knowledge about online media I learned at IMS, I’m now preparing a very nice Facebook campaign for our magazine, with
viral marketing elements”, he says optimistically. Nguyen hopes he can contribute to media development in his country. He believes, “working in a multinational company also means bringing an international standard of media production to the country”. For his career, this young Hanoian now lives in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest city with more than 9 million people. The situation there is very different from Bonn, a quiet little town with well-organized public transportation. He usually took xe ôm, Vietnamese motorbike taxi, to work. But now he is a proud owner of a red scooter. Like her compatriot, Hien Nguyen, 30, also has to ride her coffee-brown motorcycle for twenty minutes to reach her office. She is now back at her previous position as assistant lecturerer at the Academy of Journalism and Communication in Hanoi. “I really like the way my lecturerers at DW-Academy taught us to do research. It is very helpful for me to prepare my class,” tells the mother of her 4-year-old son. Her work is also very challenging because the classroom is not so well equipped: not everybody in class can work with a computer and go online. On the continent of Africa, Emmy Chirchir, 26, has to struggle to look for a job in media companies in Kenya. “If you don’t have two to three years experience in journalism, most local media will
Manager on duty: Danh-Quy Nguyen delivers the goods IMS – Global Network for a lifetime
“More critical thinkers needed” not give you any chance,” she says. Before joining IMS, she worked in film and photography and media education for youth in Nairobi. Now she is back in the capital of Kenya, as marketing and communication officer for Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), a private sector fund. “At IMS we had a little bit of everything, including exposure in marketing & media planning. I’m enjoying my work now because I can apply what I learned”, explains Chirchir, a nature-lover. She hopes that in the future she will still be able to develop her career in journalism and bring innovation to the media industry in her country. In Brazil, Rodrigo Severo Rodembusch, 36, is still waiting for his master’s degree to be acknowledged by the Brazilian government. He has to deal with some problems, such as culture shock and difficulties finding a job. “The challenges I am facing now are very big, because I was out of the market for two years and although this master title may have an important meaning in Germany, in Brazil it is not so well recognized as it should or could be”, explains Rodembusch, a journalist with eight years of experience. He hopes his title can be soon recognized and facilitate him in pursuing a bright career in media. In the future, he wants to go further in his academic life, and plans to apply for a PhD program.
IMS – Global Network for a lifetime
What IMS graduates can do for development, a view from Dr. Kalinga Seneviratne Having been a media expert for years, Dr. Seneviratne, 57, head of research at the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC), knows well about the current situation of media in Asia. What are the challenges? • Media commercialization is one of the biggest challenges. Nowadays, problems are not only coming from government, but also special interest groups as well as economic pressures. • Critical thinking is not well rooted in the Asian culture. Media educators in universities do not nurture active participation in class. In addition, many of them do not produce media themselves, so the lectures are often too theoretical. • There is still lack of research skills among journalists. A lot of workloads and time limitation are the obstacles for journalists to practice their research skills. How should the future leaders in media look like? Media today should act as watchdog over the government as well as other interest groups. Many developing countries across Asia need more media professionals with the following characteristics: • Enjoy practicing critical thinking skills • Practical experience with excellent research skills • Able to work with different types of media • Intercultural communication skills
Optimistic: media expert Dr. Seneviratne