19 Apr 2013

The Pathway To Success

Despite having a plethora of Mass Communications programmes to choose from, one student decided that the programme at MDIS was the one for her. We sit down with her as she shares with us her experiences in the institute.


20-year-old Kathleen Marie Fernandez confesses that she is the odd one out in the family. While her brothers were more inclined to the math and science sectors, Kathleen much preferred to carve out a career in the creative field.

Kathleen: “I’ve always enjoyed being around people and talking to people. Math and Science don’t really go along with me. (Laughs) Since young, I participated in numerous music and drama ventures. For example, I took part in the Odyssey of the Mind back in 2009 when I was in junior college and finished third.”

The practical options

After graduating from junior college, Kathleen weighed the different Mass Communications programmes that were available before finally settling on the one offered by the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS).

In collaboration with Oklahoma City University, the programme provides a pathway for interested students to study all the way up to a Bachelor’s degree.

Kathleen: “The thing that attracted me most to MDIS was the television studio. The school actually has its own in-house production elements, unlike other private schools. The lecturers here are also really nice and have a lot of industry experience, which comes in really useful during classes. A lot of the projects and assignments given are based on the experiences of the lecturers in the industry.”

One of her most memorable projects was a Public Relations assignment for Rolex.

Kathleen: “That project was pretty interesting because the Head of the Mass Communications department sat in during the presentations, which turned it into a sort of a mini-competition among the groups. It was also memorable because my group got an A for it! (Laughs)”

A valuable network

It’s not all about theory in MDIS. The institute emphasises that practical experience plays an important role in a student’s education.

Kathleen: “MDIS is very well-affiliated with the industries. For example, our lecturers connect us with organisations like The New Paper. We even visited Mediacorp once as part of a school visit. It gives us a good sense of what’s actually happening in the working world.”

The lecturers’ connections with the media industry also mean the students have a valuable source of connections to tap on in the search for internships as well as a career after graduation.

Kathleen: “We talk to our lecturers if we want internships or even actual job opportunities. Of course, they just give us the contacts and it’s up to us to carry it out. We can also source for internships using the school’s Career Services portal.”

Practical experience

Gaining experience is not just restricted to the four walls of the classroom.

With her budding interest in production and television, Kathleen joined the TV Unit and rose up the ranks, becoming the Head of the unit in December. Her time in the crew gave her a well of invaluable experiences, one of which was the opportunity to work with the National Healthcare Group (NHG) for a campaign.

Kathleen: “We did a production for a Breast Cancer Awareness campaign with NHG. The MDIS TV Unit produced a teaser as well as a main video to spread awareness about breast cancer. Although we were not paid for it, we received testimonials and a lot of networking opportunities.

Joining the TV Unit gives me a lot of opportunities to try out a variety of different projects because unlike class where we have to do what the lecturers instruct us to do, being in the unit allows us to make our own production, write our own scripts, and go out and shoot.”

A holistic education

It’s not just all work and no play in MDIS. With a host of facilities and sports clubs available to the discerning student, there is a buffet spread of options to ensure the MDIS student receives a holistic education.

Kathleen reveals the existence of different sports clubs such as badminton and football as well as the range of enrichment lessons that MDIS regularly organises, like wine tasting.

On top of that, the newly-built hostel located behind the main campus also houses a music production room and a dance studio that students can utilise.

No regrets

With her newly-minted status as an Advanced Diploma graduate, Kathleen is waiting to kick off her Bachelor’s degree course in Mass Communications in September with Oklahoma City University. She has had no regrets about choosing MDIS to pursue her interest in the media industry.

Kathleen: “It’s a very fun working environment with fun lecturers and friends. It’s a good balance between work and enjoyment, so it’s very well-integrated in that sense. I’m really glad that I’m getting to meet all these people and get so many opportunities.”

For those who are weighing their various academic options, Kathleen strongly recommends choosing MDIS.

Kathleen: “In MDIS, your progress really depends on how much effort you put in. The tools are definitely given to you. I know quite a few MDIS Mass Communication graduates who have started their own production houses and are churning out memorable and recognised work. As long as you utilise your contacts and the help of your lecturers as much as possible, it will be beneficial for you. The MDIS education experience definitely prepares you for the future.”

Contributed by JobsCentral Pte Ltd