What master to choose? It’s a question that drives many third-years crazy around this time of the year: the application deadlines are approaching, but how do you know if you’ve found “The One”? In our latest magazine issue, we helped you answer this and other future-related questions. We discussed careers, masters across the Netherlands and gap year options around the world. To finish off this chapter, let’s zoom into some of the options a little bit closer to home – the masters Media Studies at our very own faculty.
If you’ve done a little research on your own already, you’ll know that ESHCC offers four Media Studies masters: two international (Media, Culture & Society and Media & Business) and two Dutch (Media & Journalistiek and Media & Cultuur). When asked which programme you wanted us to cover, you overwhelmingly voted for Media & Business (M&B). To get an idea of what this programme involves, we talked to Programme Coordinator Lidewij Radix and current M&B student Sem Oerlemans, who graduated from IBCoM last year.
Media & Business in a nutshell
In Lidewij’s words, “This master is about how for-profit and not-for-profit businesses use media. Think about, for example, crisis communication at KLM or media use at the municipality of The Hague. Depending on what they are interested in, students can focus more on Media Industries or International Business, or combine the two.” To add to that, Sem mentions that these tracks are not set in stone. “You can craft your own track by choosing courses and a thesis topic that interest you personally. I’m doing what I call a CSR track, and I know others who are doing an entrepreneurial track. This master really is what you make of it.”
Careers after Media & Business
If you’re anything like me, every master evaluation tends to start (and end, in the less fortunate cases) with the question “what on Earth can I do with this?” The career opportunities after this particular master are very broad, but most students (82%) opt for jobs in Marketing, Advertising and Sales or Communications and PR. Given these prospects, I asked Lidewij when students with ambitions in these areas should choose this master over Marketing Management at RSM or Corporate Communication at the University of Amsterdam. According to her, the breadth of the M&B programme makes it attractive for students with broader and more diverse ambitions, whereas the Marketing Management master, for example, might be more suitable for students who specifically aspire to work in Marketing. She also stresses the importance of looking at each programme to see which courses fit your interests more. Different masters can help you enter the career that you aspire, but the courses determine which master will eventually suit you best. Sem nods at this last statement: “My other option would have been Marketing Management at RSM, but that master focuses a lot on Statistics. Marketing for me is more about storytelling, and this master prepares me better for the kinds of jobs in Marketing that I am interested in.”
The Media & Business master is unique in its focus on media use by businesses as well as its practical and personal approach. Lidewij explained that it doesn’t have many big classes and instead uses workshops and guest lectures in small groups, company cases, and fieldtrips. Additionally, all Media Studies students can attend the career days in April and participate in one of three practical Honours projects, one of which Sem will be doing next to his thesis. Besides giving students the chance to get familiar with their possible future careers, these activities provide plenty of opportunities to build a professional network. It is not surprising, then, that at least 77% of the students who graduated last September already started their career. According to Lidewij, this is the highest number of all Media Studies masters. When asked how he perceived his chances at the labour market, Sem said he isn’t worried. “I do and always have done a lot of relevant jobs and projects outside of my studies, and I think that is really important for students in this industry. You don’t get hired just for your degree anymore, especially in Communication and Business. The industry is constantly evolving, so the only way you can learn is by doing.”
A note on your Master’s thesis
Sem is currently in the middle of writing his thesis about CSR, which already starts in October with the Media Studies Master Thesis Market. At this market, students can meet the supervisors and discuss their ideas with them, to make a good decision on their thesis topic and the teacher that they will be collaborating with. “This is something I absolutely love about our programme, and I didn’t even know this existed when I applied.” Like about a quarter of all M&B students, he does his research at a company in order to increase the practical value of the programme and thesis. Lidewij: “It’s quite a challenge to ensure that research at a company remains independent, but we have established strict rules to make sure that students have this opportunity.”
Thanks to Lidewij and Sem for teaching us all a little more about the Media & Business master!