My experience as a Modern Media student at UPES
As a student of journalism, my learning is not limited to traditional forms of media and their practices. I learn about Digital Branding, SEO Management, Strategic Communication, Web Publishing, Mobile Journalism, OTT Platforms, Google Analytics, Studio Production, and many such aspects that keep me informed and updated on the current media trends
When you are fresh out of high school, you do not always know what you want to do. But it was different for me. After finishing Boards during the lockdown and having months to myself, I did a lot of thinking. What profession would suit me? Where does my passion lie? Which course would be perfect? And which colleges should I apply to?
Like a typical student, I filled out numerous application forms. I had interviews and online tests lined up. I had a list of colleges I preferred, had their backups, and even had backups backed up. While looking for universities in Dehradun (I picked this city because it is beautiful), UPES was always the top search. I tried hard to find out whether it was the brilliance of their community or the academics. Now I know it’s both.
Picking Journalism and Mass Communication as the program was an impulse, but it was the sort of intuitive trait that had developed over the years. My love for the media industry had created a subconscious muscle memory. Even though there were other courses that I would have loved to pursue, I chose BA Journalism and Mass Communication (BJMC).
While filling out the form for UPES, I was aware that the School of Modern Media was only launched that year and that I would be in the very first batch of the school. For me, it was exciting; it did not scare me. The UPES School of Modern Media is India’s only digital-first media school. I believed in the university and believed in myself. I did not know what to expect. During the admission process, one of the interview questions was, “Why UPES?” Back then, I remember giving a generic response and listing the good facilities that the university provides. After spending a good one-and-a-half year with the School of Modern Media, I have a detailed, personalised answer.
The ‘Resilient Batch of 2020’
Since the academic cycle began during the pandemic, the university dubbed us ‘The Resilient Batch of 2020’. The truth is, we were heartbroken because we could not physically attend our classes. This was not the college experience we had imagined from the movies. However, the university did its best to cheer us up, introducing us to clubs and communities, the new School for Life, social internships, and exploratory courses with the option of a minor. Although we were still low after spending an entire year of college in our homes, we always had that glimmer of something new, something exciting, something to make our day. That was all we needed.
Although I spent two-and-a-half semesters online, I have zero complaints. There were subjects we would have preferred in a face-to-face mode, but we got everything we could have asked for – a brilliant faculty, industry connect, activities for writing and creating stories – we were exposed to every facet of media.
We adapted and used every disadvantage to our advantage.
Journalism is ever-evolving. A couple of decades ago, we had limited sources of information and entertainment; now it’s everywhere. Everything is easily accessible on our mobile phones. My learning is not limited to traditional forms of media. I learn about Digital Branding, SEO Management, Strategic Communication, Web Publishing, Mobile Journalism, OTT Platforms, Google Analytics, Studio Production, and many such aspects that keep me informed and updated on the current media trends. I get to study all of this whilst learning and understanding the correlation and polarity between traditional and modern media, with courses such as Reporting the Other India, Writing for Media, New Media, Media and Gender Politics, and Media Laws.
To summarise, I can say that the confidence I have now, the voice that I have found, and my passion, are all part of my journey at UPES. Never in my life had I thought that I would be expressing myself through poetry on a stage in front of an audience, or that I would be organising a campaign for LGBTQ+ rights. I even started my podcast named ‘Explore Asia’ that is dedicated to my love for Asian culture (it’s hosted on Spotify).
This was made possible due to our university’s collaboration with Hubhopper, a platform that enables you to create your podcast within minutes. I further worked on creating news packages and research videos on topics such as sexism in anime and cartoons, along with exploring diversity in Marvel movies.
I never expected that I would be excited about waking up in the morning for a class. Clearly, I am in a happy place, and I am extremely thankful for that.
Link to the ‘Explore Asia’ podcast: https://hubhopper.com/podcast/explore-asia/336705
(The writer is a student of BA Journalism and Mass Communication at UPES School of Modern Media)