19 Apr 2010

MDIS: Coaching our Future Communicators

Working in the media is not as easy and glamorous as it seems, but MDIS helps its students to get ahead of the game with hands-on experience and relevant teaching.

Fauzia Begum d/o Rashid Mohd, 22, adores the glitz and glamour of the media industry. A self-proclaimed linguistics person who “cannot see numbers”, she is positive that the media industry is where she wants to be. Through a diploma programme in Media & Communication awarded by the Singapore Polytechnic, she developed a greater understanding of the different aspects of the industry and is certain that she would love to build a career in the Public Relations industry specifically.

However, upon graduation, Fauzia felt that she was not yet ready to enter the industry and instead, joined the Ministry of Education as an allied educator in her alma mater to teach English. At the same time, Fauzia made plans for post-diploma education so as to better prepare herself for her dream industry.
After doing her research, she eventually set her eyes on the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) Business School and took up a Bachelor of Communications awarded by Edith Cowan University, one of Western Australia’s largest universities. More notably, its advertising and public relations courses are accredited by the International Advertising Association (IAA) and Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) respectively.

A versatile media degree
The part-time programme is targeted at diploma holders from any field who plan to venture into areas of public relations, advertising and communications. Hence, it is designed to give students a strong focus on visual, oral, print and digital communications for the purposes of information dissemination, entertainment and education. Possible career fields include media, journalism, advertising, market research, corporate communications and so forth.

According to Fauzia, the types of modules offered were her most important selection criteria when making a choice between different institutions to further her education. She believes that the degree offered by Edith Cowan University is more closely-aligned with her interest and it covers areas that had not been taught before in her polytechnic. The accessibility and convenience that MDIS offers also helped the institute to score some brownie points.

Students in the programme are assessed not only through written examinations, but also a combination of class presentations, discussions, assignments and project works throughout the term. Fauzia certainly did not find it easy having to juggle both work and studies concurrently; time was a major constraint.

In addition, it was difficult to find a common time for project meetings with her classmates as each of them had a different working schedule. Fauzia, however, appreciates the challenge and has since learnt to manage her time better and to multi-task.

Fauzia is grateful for the comfortable and conducive learning environment in MDIS. She shares that the small class size allows everyone to receive adequate attention from the lecturers. Apart from that, her classmates also share articles and resources with one another, and even help each other to keep a lookout for jobs in the media industry.

Even though Fauzia already possesses a related diploma, she believes that a degree remains important and necessary. “I believe that at some point in one’s career, he or she will eventually be required to do a degree in order to learn more about the rubrics of the industry. After all, a diploma programme teaches everything whereas a degree programme focuses on more specialised areas,” Fauzia says.

A different perspective
“In addition, my classmates are adult learners who are more mature in their thinking than polytechnic students and are able to offer interesting perspectives of the media.”

“The lecturers I had are very experienced as they have been in the industry for a long time. They frequently share their experiences with us and expose us to real-life case studies to enhance our learning. For example, in one of my modules, namely Public Relations Issues and Crisis Management, we had to simulate a press conference held after the Taipei crash and learn how to go about talking to the media, expressing our views, handling the situation and doing damage control,” Fauzia relates.

“Everything that I learnt here is very enlightening; I now have a much clearer picture of the public relations industry than before.”

Armed with new knowledge after one and a half years of study, Fauzia looks forward to her entrance into the public relations industry in the near future. Meanwhile, she puts what she has learnt into good use. She was responsible for training her students for Chingay last year and she also prepared them for interviews by the media.

”The world is all about planning ahead of time; we do not wait for a crisis to strike before we react,” Fauzia sums up her new insights into the public relations industry. Now one step closer to her dream career, Fauzia certainly has it all planned out.

Contributed by JobsCentral Pte Ltd