Andrea Gudmondsdottir

Consider your strengths and weaknesses because it can really help you in figuring out what job you will excel at.

Master Media, Culture & Society

Master Media, Culture & Society Alumnus

Why did you choose the master Media, Culture and Society? Was it a conscious choice for a specific career path? What other factors contributed to your decision?
It might sound cliché, but choosing the Master in Media, Culture and Society was the first conscious decision that I made based on a passionate interest in something (I was basically following my ‘gut feeling’). I received my Bachelor degree from the same department so I was already assured about the quality of the program and the university so in my case it really came down to my interest area. I was not yet sure about the career path I was aiming for, but I knew that this program reflected what I wanted to do and therefore I knew that by choosing this program I was already being steered into the right path.

How long did it take you to find a job after graduation and through which means did you find it?
At the time of my graduation from Master in Media, Culture and Society I had made the decision to do a PhD Considering how competitive it is to get into PhD programs, I was ‘fortunate’ enough to be accepted into a PhD program in Hong Kong on a full scholarship within nine months (it was my first application – note that the PhD application process takes time). I say ‘fortunate’ with quotation marks because my acceptance into the program was based on the quality of my educational background and my academic performance instead of mere luck. Doing a PhD in Hong Kong (versus somewhere else in the world) was not really on my agenda, but I heard about this great PhD opportunity through this department so it is truly thanks to them that I stand here today.  

For which organization or company do you currently work, and what is your position?
I am currently a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidate in City University of Hong Kong.

Which components of your master are useful in your current position or career trajectory?
Many theories and methodologies that I learned about in the Master in Media, Culture and Society are recurrently coming back in my current work. I also feel that I learned good work ethics during my time at Erasmus University Rotterdam, for example in professional academic writing.

In hindsight, what would you have liked to have known before, what you know now?
When I started my Bachelor degree, I thought I had everything regarding my future career path figured out (I had a solid plan). However, over the course of my degree, I slowly came to the realization that this vision was not right for me. It took me time to realize it and in hindsight I would have liked to know that I didn’t have to have everything sorted out beforehand. Rather, I should have seen the entire university experience as my personal development process. What I mean to say is that knowing your true interests when you choose a university program is already a good start and the rest unfolds along the way. Give yourself this time for personal development because in my opinion you experience the biggest personal growth during this time, not only because of your education but also because of the international environment in which you live and study. 

Do you have any tips or advice for current students?
What I recommend anyone to do who is making a decision about a master program is to look over the courses you did in university and consider which courses you truly enjoyed and why you enjoyed them. Also, consider your strengths and weaknesses because it can really help you in figuring out what job you will excel at.

Any points you would like to add?
The decisions to do my Bachelor and Master degrees in the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication were the best decisions I’ve made so far in my life. I am not saying this as an ambassador for them (which I am not). After all there is a reason why I stayed there so long – and I always tell them I will come back to my ‘home university’ one day. Particularly, I have positive feelings towards the staff members, many of whom I see as friends after all these years. The personal touch is truly what separates this department from many other university departments and it is so important to feel this positively about your study environment. 

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with me through the ‘Talk to A Student’ app.

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