About my college education:
There were some subjects that were difficult, some were interesting.
To be honest, I think they did not have a good curriculum in College of Arts and Sciences then.
I didn't understand why we had to take 18 units in Natural Science, including Biology and Chemistry with laboratories, and only three to six units of each major subjects, such as, Creative Writing, Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising, and Broadcasting.
Don't get me wrong, I was okay with 18 units of Natural Science. However, I thought the university should put more units in our major subjects so we can learn extensively and give us more options on what career - aside from being a newspaper reporter and TV/radio broadcaster - we want to pursue after college.
If you are taking Mass Communications or Journalism, it is expected of you that you have communication and writing skills and great interest in reading. "A good writer is a reader first, " as what my professor used to say. If you know how to write, then you make good in print or in broadcast. Communication skill commands authority, influence, credibility and establishes good interpersonal relationship with others - important "ingredients" to be an effective journalist.
if you think you don't have those skills, don't worry. Some of it will be taught by your professors and most of it will be taught by experience.
My current job:
I am currently a freelance writer. I write news and feature articles for an online community news in Pasadena, California.
Am I using what I learned in college:
I put to good use the writing skills that I learned in college. I have more than 12 years of solid experience as journalist. I used to write in one of the news dailies in Manila.
I would say yes. It was very useful. Writing is a kind of job that you can do not only in the confines of your office. You can do that anywhere - when you go home, in the bus while traveling, or practically anywhere.
If you are employed full time in a newspaper, you can still accept writing jobs anywhere just make sure that you are not accepting assignments from another news publication. Your boss will fire you right away!
You can accept writing gig from a magazine, from a TV productions, or online writing.
How long did it take to find a job after graduation:
About a year.
Do I recommend studying AB in Mass Communication:
When I finished college, I only had limited opportunities. TV, radio, print/newspaper were the only way to go to to start your career. However, not all firms from these Tri-Media had the luxury to accommodate and hire and give opportunities to new graduates. It was a neck-and-neck competition.
Enter the Age of the Internet, it gave almost endless options and opportunities to a lot of people, especially to writers. For a writer, the Internet makes the world smaller. One can look for a job, not just in the Philippines but also abroad.
In terms of fulfilling and interesting career:
My World-Peace-type answer: Being a journalist is fulfilling. You have a privilege to witness a history in the making unfolding before you. One quoted saying "A bullet can destroy a cranium, but a pen can destroy a nation. " It means media has the power to shape the nation. It is very fulfilling and interesting career because you have the power to contribute for the betterment of the society or destroy it. It depends on everyone's perception.
The Reality: If you catch yourself in the middle of a cross-fire, you will ask yourself why did you choose this career. When you survive that incident, while writing the story, while trying to beat the deadline, and in between breath you find yourself cursing your editor for putting you in a dangerous situation. The day after, when you see the newspaper that prominently carries your story with your byline, you forgot that you hate your editor and you will laugh at yesterday's harrowing experience. If the editor handed you another assignment, you bet it's a little bit hazardous, and you still gladly do it. Of course, not everyday is a hazard day for a journalist, unless you are given the assignment in Mindanao. There are also beat/assignment that are not dangerous.
Working in the media is generally exciting. You get to meet and probably rubbing elbows with the Who's who. This job may look glamorous but most of the people in the media are underpaid, overworked, and "over-boozed."
In broadcast media, they are well-paid. In print, they are freeze-hiring right now. You can still get employment in the newspapers but payment is per story. Usually, a publisher will offer P100 per story. I heard there are some who are offering less than that. In online writing, it's a quick money, most foreign editors and publishers look for writers in the Philippines because it only cost them a few dollars. But there are some who are abusive and will offer you $1 per 500 words, plus you do the research too. Don't sell yourself short. Even if you are a newly grad and lacking experience, you deserve more than that. Don't be afraid to let it pass, there are hundreds of writing sites that are offering writing jobs. You get to choose who to work for. All you have to do is present them an impressive resume.
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