Why did you choose the Master programme Media & Creatieve Industries? Was it a conscious choice for a specific career path? What other factors contributed to your decision?
Coming from a very practice-oriented bachelor programme in Journalism, I was looking for a theoretical deep dive to complement my skills and experience. I completed my study at the age of 21 and knew I wasn’t ready to start working yet. Also, I had no clear idea yet of what kind of career I wanted to pursue. All I knew was that I was interested in many things, and that being a journalist all my life would not satisfy me. In my search on ‘what to do next’, I stumbled upon the Media & Creative Industries pre-master program. It was perfect for me, to both gain more theoretical knowledge as well as to find out what other job opportunities in the media sector would suit me.
Has the Media & Creative Industries programme lived up to your expectations?
It surely did. What I liked most, is that even though it was of course a master program and therefore had a strong theoretical component, the courses were also linked to the daily practice of media professionals. It taught me how to use theory to solve real problems. It was a lot of hard work, but I felt that the programme was the right choice for me.
How long did it take you to find a job after graduation?
Not long at all. I already found a job while I was still completing my master programme.
For which organisation or company do you currently work, and what is your position?
For 1,5 years now I have been working at Bijl PR as a consultant. Bijl PR is a public relations agency, based in the heart of Rotterdam. We build, guard and strengthen reputations for brands, companies and organisations. From corporates to non-profits, and everything in between. We help our clients to tell their story, reach the right audiences and really make an impact with their communications.
How did you find your first job?
By simply applying to an open vacancy I found online. I extended my master programme with an exchange semester at a university in Italy (which I’d totally recommend, by the way). From there, I started my job hunt. Successfully. I found a job in online communications at the University of Utrecht. However, a few months in an opportunity at Bijl PR came by that I could not ignore. For this position, I actually did not have enough experience. I decided to just try and send the director of the agency a message on LinkedIn. He was charmed by this and invited me for a job interview. The rest is history.
What are your most prominent tasks?
My tasks are best summarized as advising our clients on everything related to public relations and communications. I do both strategic and executive work. From creating PR plans and strategies to drafting up press releases, coordinating influencer campaigns, being a spokesperson for media questions and supporting clients with crisis communications. My work is very diverse, and so is the range of clients I work for. This makes it dynamic. My days never look the same. But the diversity and complexity makes it challenging from time to time as well. Luckily, I have a great team and boss, supporting and guiding me when necessary. And having been in this job for some time now, I have learned that those challenges are necessary in order to grow.
Which components of your Master programme are useful in your current position or career trajectory?
My master program helped me in developing a critical attitude, which you definitely need to have when working as a consultant. It is my job to stay calm, analyze the situation thoroughly and guide my clients into the direction that helps them to reach their goals best. On a more practical level, the program has taught me a lot about how media work, how audiences might perceive certain messages and what role digitalization plays in all this. Working in public relations and trying to reach certain audiences via both online and offline media, this knowledge comes in very useful.
Any advice for new graduates?
Do not put too much pressure on yourself to find your dream job right away. Sometimes, a not so great match can be just what you need to push you into the right direction and learn a thing or two about yourself. Most importantly: do never let your fear guide you. And consider starting off at an agency like I did. For me, working at an agency is the perfect stepping stone to gain a lot of valuable experience in the field and learn about my own strengths and interests at the same time.