Communication is the essence of human expression and story-telling, and the most important tool in connecting with and inspiring others. I have been fortunate to experience the value of effective communication throughout my academic and personal journeys, and am eager to evolve my passion for expression into a professional career in public relations and advertising.
One my earliest and most memorable learning experiences involved my high school drama program, when I aspired to be a film director. After working on a few movies, I grew frustrated with my inability to tell stories in an attractive and meaningful way, and was convinced I was ill-suited for the field. But I soon learned a valuable lesson from my English teacher, who showed me an Oscar Awards ceremony and explained that the final, polished result was the product of many people’s efforts and expertise, and not just one director acting alone. I realized that I need a formal training in communication, specifically public relations and advertising, in order to realistically approach my dream of reaching people with finesse and skill.
The first time I realized the scope and impact of advertising happened during Benetton’s “Unhated” ad campaign. It depicted people of contrasting religions, sexualities, and lifestyles sharing something simple, yet intimate: a kiss. The emotional value of the advertisements both shocked and touched me deeply, and I began contemplating the impact I could have if I gained the technical abilities to share similar stories and images of people transcending barriers. I want to bring my creative potential to a modern platform that will still capture the essence of storytelling and communicating powerful messages. This can be achieved through studying social media, internet video platforms, and digital media.
As a social media and internet addict, I plan to build on my prior experiences in developing innovative media for communication purposes. Alongside a colleague, I developed a blog on a new Chinese media platform called WeChat, which marked my first hands-on experience with brand-building and utilizing academic knowledge in a practical way. As the project’s editor and designer, I complete data analysis, study media preferences, work on layout and design, and discover new ways to improve our efficiency and effectiveness in conveying messages to our audience. I applied these newfound skills in my internship at Weber Shandwick, where I managed the social media profile of an international B2B food processing empire. As my first internship, I was initially intimidated by my first big project of providing on-site support during the groundbreaking ceremony for Tianjn Julliard School. I quickly learned how to be a professional PR practitioner and operate with calmness in an urgent situation.
Studying communication at UvA will give my prior experiences new meaning and lead me towards my goal of working for a 4A/PR agency at the start of my career, eventually moving on to brand managing. The MSc Communication Science (Corporate Communication) at UvA, the best academic platform in Holland, will equip me with specific skills in strategy and brand communication and sustainability marketing that will bolster a strong career in brand management. Dr. Sandra Jacob’s seminars on strategic communication draw on themes of organizational culture and climate, leadership, and communication styles, which are highly important to an aspiring professional. There might be more lucrative options, such as business or finance, but I enjoy the challenges and competition that will inevitably accompany my career in communication and the world of media and advertisement. I have a passion that deserves to be explored and I am eager and well-prepared for the learning process.