Making your career goals in Media and related fields a reality
Bachelor of Media Communication student Michelle Braczkowski is completing her degree this year. Fascinated by studies in media from her high school years and a true lover of films, television shows and radio, the notion of 'Why not keep studying Media and make a career out of it?' has led Michelle to pursuing her dream career in media. She is doing her media internship at SBN (School Broadcasting Network) and WWMN (Wonderful World of Media Network). We interviewed Michelle to find out about this fascinating work placement, her experience of the course and being a Media Communication student at ACU.
Student Michelle Braczkowski at her work placement
What have you enjoyed most in the course so far? The Audio Production unit in my second year, as well as a unit called 'Understanding screen texts' where I had to analyse and try figure out meanings and techniques behind different films and advertisements. I also enjoyed a unit in my first year called 'Written Communication' and Course Coordinator Dr Diane Charleson was teaching my class, and I just loved how free and expressive the writing was. It wasn't writing a novel or a poem per say, but being able to be creative in writing about a favourite moment in your life or a charity event that you'd like to develop if you had the chance.
The course is really hands on, and you study all aspects of media; so far I've studied media communications units such as introduction to media, introduction to communication, written communication, theorising the media, new media, video production, audio production, writing the news, understanding screen texts, interpersonal communication, power propaganda and persuasion. Currently I am studying Digital Imaging, creative writing and communication ethics as well as my internship. Next semester I am planning to study audio production, convergent media journalism and social justice in media.
What is your average day as an ACU Media Communication student? My average day consists of going to lectures/tutorials/workshops but also hanging out with these people you become really close friends with. The special thing about media communications at ACU is the teamwork you participate in. At first it might feel awkward or you're a bit shy, especially in first year, but from those teams or group of people you make so many good friends, not only those from Australia, but exchange students from other countries too.
Tell us more about your Media Internship My role at SBN and WWMN consists of filming the weekly and monthly shows 'Primary Perspectives' (Tuesdays) and Switch On Saturdays (Saturdays once a month). With special guests coming in such as Tyler Wilferd from Young Talent Time and Fatai V from The Voice, I record the shows as the kids speak with them live on radio. What I have filmed is then edited back at home, and currently I am editing all these weeks' worth of videos into a 21 minute pilot episode, which will hopefully give SBN a new 'SwitchOn TV' show. The pilot I'm editing will be shown to CH31 as a pitch, and hopefully they will give us at SBN the chance to start a brand new series.
I am learning a lot, especially with regards to time management as well as handling pressure. When I'm not filming I'm also co-producing the Switch On Saturdays show with another ACU student, Laura, and together we create the Saturday monthly shows - what questions will be asked, what music will be played, what topics will be discussed etc. And then we basically put it all together into a script that the kids can read when they're live on radio. I've also learnt about radio panelling and the various switches and controls to use while someone is on air, which is quite exciting too.
I am putting everything I've learnt in practical and theory classes into action. Particularly when I'm filming the radio shows, I need to plan what to film, or at least have a good idea of what to have, so I've done a bit of storyboarding. A lot of people hate storyboards, but it does help out a lot when the time comes to film exactly what kind of shots you want, or especially in the small radio studio that SBN have, I need to plan how to squeeze in 3 people into one shot without the microphones blocking someone's face out, or hide people walking in the background etc. With script writing also, the way a script is written isn't like a normal conversation, you need to emphasize various aspects to keep the listener interested; otherwise it can sound boring for them. I've done a little script-writing for the radio shows and some script work for the episode I'm editing, in regards to what the hosts have to say and how to squeeze them in between different segments.
How is the Bachelor of Media Communication course supporting you to achieve your future career goals? This course is helping me, as I mentioned before because of the wide variety of topics and units you study during your course. It's not just video and audio production. It includes journalism, radio production, PR and online media too. It's a great course to study because if in the future I change my mind with radio or TV, I'll always have those units that I've studied to fall back on and change my path to journalism or PR for example. It's not a one way path into exactly 'this' career so to say. You get a lot of options.
What would you say are the benefits of a Media Communication degree at ACU? The benefits of studying Media Communication is the enjoyment you get out of it once you're finished, and even whilst you're studying the degree. I'm not finished quite yet, but it is exciting knowing that I could possibly work in TV or radio. And not just those areas. Especially with the internet evolving these days, there'll be a lot of job opportunities to work online on social and new media such as tweeting events, or writing articles for online content, even posting videos on YouTube for a particular event or brand.
Studying at ACU allows you to have a glimpse into all these fields of Media. You choose what you want and you can go deeper. You can study audio and video production for more than one year and go deeper, and learn more, as with other units. ACU isn't as big as other universities, but I think that because it is smaller, people underestimate how much more ACU can provide. You make friends quicker because your classes are smaller, and a lot of the work isn't just writing all the time. You do practical things too and the lecturers make the classes interesting. Media Communication at ACU in particular is very new, and this benefits because in 5 years time, the course will become bigger, and more and more people will want to study at ACU. This year the ATAR score to enter jumped up a significant amount, and this goes to show how this course is developing as one that will become very significant in the future.
What are your career aspirations? I would like to work in radio or television production in the future. Radio especially. It's just something I've always enjoyed listening to and now becoming a part of in my internship. If I'm lucky enough I might even become a great radio presenter, like Hamish and Andy.