About my college education:
It was definitely interesting and challenging. It was interesting because I got to learn a lot of things that I would never have learned if I decided to study in the province, and it's not just about journalism or writing. I learned a lot about people, places and our culture, because that's what we had to cover for our writing assignments, and for me to be able to write a good article, I had to immerse myself in the topic. It was challenging, yes, because I had never done any of the things I had to do back then (such as talk to strangers, tread on the garbage hills of Payatas, go to Tondo), but I wouldn't really consider it difficult because it's not difficult when you're having fun doing things.
English skills are definitely needed to succeed in Journalism, but we don't only use English in writing our articles. Our professors also encouraged us to write in Filipino because most of us were more versed in English than in our own language. Apart from language skills, you have to be really good with people because you will be dealing with them a lot. You'll be dealing with them when you go out to interview and do research, when you write your articles with a partner and when you have your article critiqued by your classmates and professors. You have to be tough-skinned for this. Not everybody can stay cool and collected when everyone tears apart what she had just poured blood, sweat and tears over to write and revise.
I wouldn't say logical skills are not needed in Journalism, but I think the ability to relate with people and put down words to paper are the two biggest skills you need to have to succeed in this course.
My current job:
I'm an Internet marketer and an e-book writer.
Am I using what I learned in college:
Yes, definitely. Everything I learned about gathering information, thinking critically and writing well I am able to apply in my career as a marketer and a writer.
How long did it take to find a job after graduation:
I was already working as a managing editor for a Web content production company in Manila during my last semester of college. That was my first job related to my writing skills. In my second and third years, I also worked as an academic tutor for Filipino high school and elementary students.
Do I recommend studying AB in Journalism:
If you want to become a professional writer, I would recommend BA Journalism. Of course, there is also a Creative Writing course and a Malikhaing Pagsusulat course in UP, but I had one of my Creative Writing professors tell me that most of the best creative writers are Journalism students because we have a better hold on reality than the Creative Writing students.
When it comes to employment opportunities, there are a lot of employers out there looking for fresh grad journalists as well as other kinds of writers. I personally don't want to become a "real" journalist in the Philippines, though. By "real", I mean one who writes for a print newspaper or a magazine. That's because this country, especially my province, isn't very safe for journalists and I see myself as definitely one of the hard-hitting types if I went into print. I don't want to get myself killed.
But there are definitely other branches of journalism or communication that you can go into. I don't think we're limited to opportunities in traditional journalism. I, for example, opted to go online after I had so much fun during our online journalism class. I now write for a website about Internet marketing and I'm learning so much about it that I'm thinking of putting up my own Internet marketing venture very soon.
As for the salary level, I can only say that I'm very satisfied with my salary. Because I work at home and I live in the province where everything is cheaper and the air is cleaner, my monthly salary (payment, actually, because I freelance) is more than enough to buy me and my family our needs, my wants and have a huge chunk left over for my savings.
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