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Published by Afterschool.my on Jun 18, 2014, 04:59 pm
Working in media can be challenging, but it's a whole lot of fun too. Last Saturday, a career talk was organised as part of the Star Education Fair. The career talk featured YouTube personality Reuben Kang, Red FM deejay Jeremy Teo and The Star photojournalist Kevin Tan.
These speakers discussed all about media and the creative industry. The career talk gave a lot of behind-the-scenes insight into the industry as well as some important things students must realise when considering a career in media.
Soft skills are personal attributes that enhance an individual's interactions, career prospects and job performance. These skills aren't necessarily something you can learn in college. As a journalist, for example, making an interviewee comfortable could help them open up when sharing their story. First and foremost, you have to genuinely care about the people you interview and their stories.
Although employers in the media industry often prioritise work experience over paper qualifications, having a degree can still give you an extra advantage. Jobs such as photography or photojournalism, require a person to perform straight off the bat. By knowing that a person has some qualifications, such as handling a camera or setting up lighting, employers feel that they don't have to teach new employees everything from scratch.
It would be wise to take up media-related courses in university and do as many internships as possible during your semester breaks. Even if it's a small company, working with them helps you get a more hands-on approach on things. Moreover, you'll learn how to work with different people from all walks of life. Remember, the media are home to an eclectic bunch of people.
To be good at what you do, you must seek life experiences and have a thirst to learn and master new things. Listeners or viewers are able to tell whether you are genuinely interested in something you're talking about. For instance, a sports newscaster cannot report about the World Cup if he is not truly interested in it. Fans who are listening can easily notice it.
When you're just beginning your career in media, you gotta pay your dues. You have to write for no-name publications before you can get an article published in the world's leading newspapers. Furthermore, media professionals face tough choices. Boundaries are drawn and erased: between commerce and creativity, and between individualism and teamwork. And don't mention the working hours and the environment, war journalists and photographers, for instance, have to cover wars or other tragedies in real-time.