We asked Luis Pesce – a former student with the International Media Studies Master’s program – why others should apply.
Luis Pesce is a journalist from Mexico, who is currently in his 3rd semester of the International Media Studies Master’s program.
Why did you apply for the Master's Program in International Media Studies?
I was looking for a chance to gain new media-oriented know-how and skills so that I could pursue new career opportunities. I've always been interested in development studies and started out as an International Relations major. The IMS offered me an opportunity to study areas that relate to journalism, media work and development. I also wanted to gain a broader perspective of how media companies operate outside of my own country, and with a goal to learn the top professional media skills from the top media professionals.
How did you find the application process? Were there any challenges or difficulties?
The process went fairly smoothly. In the first stage, I read up on the program, sent in my documents and waited for a confirmation that I'd been shortlisted. I was then given an interview where I highlighted what I could bring to the group and why I'd decided to join this program instead of applying for a Master’s in journalism or sustainable development. I also pointed out that I had experience in academic writing, and I think that also made me an attractive applicant. The biggest challenge was that sending and receiving documents across the North Atlantic can take several weeks, and that slowed down the application process.
What advice would you give to students who want to apply?
Make sure that you read the course description and clarify any questions that you have before you apply. Also, if you decide that you want to join the IES, make sure you obtain your English language certificate as soon as possible. This not only helps with your application but it also gives you more time to study once the semester gets underway.
Has anything been different from what you had expected?
I’d like to have more opportunities to interact with my colleagues and be able to do more professional networking but that hasn't been possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And even though we had a lot of opportunities to create media products before coming to Germany, I expected that as students we'd have some hands-on experience at one of the DW departments. That hasn’t been the case, and that's the difference between being enrolled in the Master’s program or DW’s journalism traineeship.
What impact has the coronavirus pandemic had on your studies?
I was able to attend regular classes during the first semester but since then all the lectures have been held as video conferences. This, together the social distancing measures, has limited the opportunities I’ve had to interact with my colleagues. Given that this is an international program with people from all over the developing world, I was really looking forward to deepening my understanding of the world by learning from colleagues through in-class interaction. This hasn’t been possible.
What have been the highlights of the program for you so far?
The media practice modules have given me the chance to explore new media formats like podcasts and videos. I'm a print and digital journalist, so working on audio and audiovisual formats has been enriching and it's allowed me to understand the concept of media convergence. The seminars on Human Resources Management, Media Economics and Media Management have also given me a wider understanding of the processes of media organizations. These classes will be very useful when I get back into the workforce and will help me improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the media organization I'll be working for.
What are you aiming to do after you graduate?
I want to do an internship in Environmental Communication at a transnational NGO like Greenpeace or at an IGO (intergovernmental organization) like the UNFCCC. I'm also working right now with a colleague on my own podcast on sustainable development. It'll be published soon. Aside from that, I’m aiming to do a PhD in a couple of years and to pursue a career in academics as well as journalism.
The interview was conducted by Rebecca Clemens and Admir Lleshi and published at Alumniportal Deutschland.