Geert van den Hoek
Class of 2009 (Graduated in 2012)
Media, Culture and Society Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
What was important in making up your mind?
Most important was of course the content and career opportunities of the different programs. In my three years of being an IBCoM student, I enjoyed the practical courses (and workshops) the most because they allow you to apply your acquired knowledge to conduct research on something of your own interest or to be creative by producing media content for example. Specifically, I was interested in how new media technologies are reshaping our daily practices and culture from the ways we communicate and become entertained to the creation, management, and distribution of information online. I was therefore looking for a master program where I could delve deeper into this vital field of study.
What made you decide to choose for this master?
I wanted to stay in Rotterdam for my studies and this master program seemed a good follow up after IBCoM as it gives the opportunity to follow many courses with a focus on the digital transformations in media, culture and society. However, I also wanted to go abroad for a short period of time since I missed that wonderful opportunity in the third year of my bachelor. MCS fulfilled these desires.
How would you describe the connection between IBCoM and your master?
In terms of structure, I would say the connection between IBCoM and MCS is fairly strong. Both programs are intensive, internationally oriented and the classes are small and interactive which I consider as very positive aspects. Similar to IBCoM, the courses of MCS are highly selective and diverse ensuring a nice balance between theory and research overall. Obviously, the curriculum is rather different from IBCoM. With the exception of one methods course in the first term, MCS does not provide any introductory courses and aims to go much deeper into the subject matter from the very first meeting. Its prime focus is writing the thesis and understanding the impact of media on society at large. Compared to IBCoM, this master program pays less attention to the economic aspects of successful media businesses such as advertising and marketing strategies.
In hindsight, what would you have liked to have known before, what you know now?
The EUR website and the open days for master programs do a really good job at providing students with all the information needed in my opinion. The only thing that I can think of is the master thesis class. Before the start of the program, I assumed this class was similar to the IBCoM bachelor thesis class where you already start determining your research topic in cooperation with your supervisor. But it turned out that the master thesis class had a more general purpose of preparing the students for the later practice of writing the thesis through several assignments such as finding literature and making good arguments. Related to this, I would have also liked to know beforehand about (some examples of) the different thesis projects
What kind of job would you be interested in after this master?
I still find it hard to decide what I am going to do after this master due to its wide range of career options. Therefore, I would probably first undertake an internship or part-time work experience during or short after the summer. Not only does this improve my practical skills and employability, it would also help me to determine what kind of long-term career I would like to pursue in the future. I would be most interested in a position as a media communication specialist in the creative industries, preferably music.
Any other points you would like to add?
Don’t forget to attend the Master Open Day to get a better picture of all the master programmes offered by the EUR. Give every master an equal chance and, if you have any, ask questions to the different lecturers to help you make a decision. Good luck and enjoy your student life!