Life of a media student at UPES
Interactions with the who’s who of the media industry over coffee, outdoor workshops, riverside photography sessions – there is never a dull day at the UPES School of Modern Media
It is a sunny afternoon in the cold climes of Dehradun. Students are sitting outside the classroom, encircling a renowned media personality – Professor Nalin Mehta, an award-winning social scientist, journalist, author and now Dean, UPES School of Modern Media (SoMM). They are talking animatedly, taking notes from the wealth of his experience with major Indian media houses. Prof. Mehta has been Executive Editor, The Times of India – Online; Consulting Editor, The Times of India; and Managing Editor, India Today (English TV news channel). He has also held senior positions with the Global Fund in Geneva, Switzerland, and UNAIDS.
On another day of the week, the Modern Media students are taken for a photography session at river point. It is a unique experience – a sensory gift – that enables significant reflection and introspection. It allows students to explore powerful visual storytelling.
There are times when the Dean decides to do a random check on classes. It leads to a freewheeling discussion while Associate Professor TM Veeraraghav, who has held leadership positions at The Hindu, CNN News 18 and NDTV, imparts lessons in Media Laws to the MA Journalism and Mass Communication (MJMC) batch.
Masterclasses with the media heavyweights
Students at the UPES School of Modern Media learn from the best in the industry. The faculty comprises leading sports journalist Dr. Boria Majumdar; Senior Vice President and Head of Business, Voot (Viacom 18 Media) Chanpreet Arora; and international literary publishing consultant Jaya Bhattacharji Rose, among other luminaries.
Recently, Vikas Singh, Executive Editor of The Times of India newspaper, decided to spend a week at UPES. There was an open house session where he regaled all batches of SoMM students with his stories, from war reporting in Israel to the headline of a report that rankled master blaster Sachin Tendulkar.
Lessons on making waves on social media
Everybody loves being active on social media, but how often does the content go viral? SoMM students are given enlightening sessions on social media outreach, and the pros and cons of posting content on different platforms. The biggest learning for students – one size does not fit all – on social media. Now, the BA first year students are all set to handle social media accounts for big businesses.
Dumb charades in Media Law class
It is not always about heavy reading and taking down copious notes. The classrooms are fun and interactive, as the students found out when they engaged in a game of dumb charades to sharpen their knowledge of legal terminology in their Media Law class.
This is the usual drill in the life of a student at the UPES School of Modern Media. Combined with traditional classroom learning, the pedagogy at the university enables experiential learning, i.e., learning by doing.
The curriculum is designed to match the pace of the industry, including subjects such as Digital Marketing; Social Media; Digital Media Communication; PR and Advertising and Digital Media and Contemporary Relevance. From writing for media to developing communication skills to learning the basics of electronic and digital productions, the UPES School of Modern Media bridges the gap between theory and practice by engaging with industry experts who bring real-world knowledge and experience to students.
For Yash Pranjal Rishi, an MA first year student, experiential learning from media doyens using innovative approaches has fuelled his intellectual quest. He says, “The world is changing fast. The curriculum and teachers have ignited my imagination and the desire for lifelong learning. SoMM has given me the tools and platforms to learn meaningfully and effectively. There is a world of difference between what the media industry was just five years ago, and what it is now. This school has understood the demands of the changing times and created a syllabus that prepares us not just for the present, but also for the future. There are no monotonous lectures; classes are interactive and engaging. My time with SoMM has been amazing, and I look forward to the coming semesters.”