Experience on Erasmus – Career Development Module

erasmus, travel, Trier

My Erasmus year brought many different classes and modules. I was taking Media Studies classes, German language classes, and a class in German history and literature. At the start of the year, I didn’t realize that I was signing up for classes under two different courses at the university. You could choose classes as long as they added up to 60 credits for the full academic year. The compulsory Erasmus German language classes added up to about 15 or 20 credits, so we had to sign up for classes to add up the rest. Unintentionally, I signed up for one class in the German Studies course and the rest was in Media Studies. Thankfully though, I didn’t get penalized for it and I was allowed to continue studying in the classes that I’d chosen.

However, I must tell you that my home university, DCU offered Erasmus students the opportunity to undertake a Career Development Module. The module would see us speak with people who worked in our chosen area of study and allow us to get a perspective on possible future careers. It would help us decide the path we wanted to go down on after we graduated. I was all up for it.

While working on this module was a little bit annoying in the fact that it took so long to finish, I have to admit that I am glad that I did choose to work on it. The module gave me a chance to look deeper into the different options with regard to careers in the media industry. I know that I would love to work in television and broadcasting in the future, but I also know that it’s important to look at all the possibilities.

As part of my Career Development module, I had to interview three people who work in different professions in the media industry. The three industries that I chose were communications, education, and broadcasting. It took quite a while to find three people in these professions. Think I must have emailed at least twenty different people all over Ireland and Germany. At last, I received a response from Vera Tellmann, the Head of Communications in die Deutsche Welle. We conducted an interview by phone about a week after she agreed to take part. Vera Tellmann was lovely to talk to and gave me an insight into the world of communication. She spoke about the years that she worked in journalism and public relations in England and Germany before moving to Die Deutsche Welle. 

I also interviewed one of my Media lecturers in the university, Annette Deeken. Although (to be perfectly truthful), working in education is the last thing that I want to do, I thought that I should still look into it because you never know. This interview was easier to organize because I was able to talk to her face-to-face. I must admit, from my interview with Annette Deeken, I found that the education side of media had more depth than I thought. In all honesty, I assumed that education was just teaching to kids who couldn’t be bothered to listen most of the time. But from what I discovered was that education involves research, asking questions, and understanding what you are teaching.

The final person I interviewed was someone suggested by my mum – Irish radio broadcaster, Ian Dempsey on Today FM! This interview was done by email due to (unfortunate) problems with the phone connection. Ian Dempsey was really kind in his emails and answered every question that I sent to him. I grew up listening to Ian Dempsey, every morning on the way to school. Mum absolutely loves him! I’m glad that she gave me the suggestion of interviewing Ian Dempsey. He actually said to me that he’ll be watching out for me in the media!

The one downside to working on the career development module was that most of it had to be written in German! Not fun, especially as it took me forever to write out my notes into an essay and then translate it all into German! By 22nd May, the day of submission, I was nearly tearing my hair out with frustration, wondering how on earth I would finish this. But, I am relieved to say that I did get my career development module finished and submitted back to DCU just in time.

Looking back at the interviews that I did and the amount of time that I took to get it done, I have to say that I’m really glad that I decided to do the Career Development module. It gave me a better insight into the different career options in the world of media and all the choices that I have in the future. Before I sign off for now, I got an email from DCU, with the results of my submission – and I’m happy to say that I passed! 

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