Enabling Students for the Future Workforce through CNM’s Compulsory Internship Programme

The Department of Communications and New Media (CNM) is delighted to present its inaugural Compulsory Internship Programme (CIP). Students who pursue a major in NM under the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore, are automatically placed into the programme. The objectives of the programme are to:

  • give students industrial experience through the well-structured internship programme, and
  • enable students to apply academic theories taught in class to real-world situations

Beyond the Classroom

Most students, after they graduate, will enter the workforce for the very first time. It can be an overwhelming experience. CNM established CIP to help ease the transition from being a full-time student to a fresh hire. The CIP offers students an unprecedented opportunity to gain practical experience beyond the classroom through an active-learning and active-doing role, which can be acquired through meaningful internships.

Getting Yourself the Exposure You Need

CNM believes that internships are important interim programmes within a student’s candidature, which enables them to garner relevant knowledge, important skill-sets, as well as acquire experience through day-to-day practice on the job. Furthermore, internships expose students to a myriad of meaningful connections with individuals and corporations in the field so that students stay current.

Although CNM boasts a very strong academic portfolio which empowers students with appropriate skill-sets, modules are only a stepping stone toward giving students a solid foundation in the theory and practice of communication principles. Learning how to manage projects requires an understanding of traditional and new media communication as well as how communication functions in order to integrate them. Thus, it is only appropriate for students who are promoted to course code ARS3 to pursue internship. Students can have the option to go on CIP either in Semester 1 or Semester 2 of their third academic year.

Internship Woes

Internships can be overwhelming, and it’s only natural to ask questions like Am I going to be paid for my internship stint?; Will I be in-charge of only providing coffee for the breakfast meeting? At CNM, we try our best to minimise certain work-related issues like students not being paid for their work or forced to perform menial tasks that are not related to communication. Through the CIP’s structured programme, we seek to not only foster lasting and trusting relations with industry partners, but also build future-ready students.

Figuring Out the Next Steps

Internships are beneficial because they make students more competitive in an increasingly demanding job market. They also give students crucial insight into particular career fields they are interested in, and gain valuable experience that prepares them for their future careers.

The Importance of Internships

Internships not only unlock the uncertainties one might face in the future, they serve as a powerful demonstration of future capabilities. It is not inconceivable for high-performing interns to create such a strong and positive impression on the employer that the students receive a stellar reference letter, or better yet, secure a job immediately upon graduation.

Have you gone on your internship yet? We’d love to hear from you your own experience as an intern. Leave your comments here!

CNM students write about the nation’s first Olympic Gold

Students from the module NM4211- Online Journalism taught by Ms Tan Ee Lyn, are busy writing articles on Singapore’s first Olympic gold by Joseph Schooling. First up, is an article on Schooling’s return to Singapore and how he was greeted by excited Singaporeans.The article is written by Natasha Kleinman, who is an MOE Teaching Award scholar, and in her third year of studies majoring in Communications and New Media (and minoring in Theatre Studies).

N.Kleinman Headshot

Natasha Kleinman

“There was a very tight window to prepare and produce my article on Schooling’s homecoming, so this experience challenged me to think fast and have a clear focus. Amidst jostling with the crowd taking pictures and videos, through the interviews I conducted with people of different ages and backgrounds, I could see that they had a huge amount of respect for Schooling and his parents. They were genuinely inspired by his historic feat and were more than willing to sacrifice some sleep to show their support”, says Kleinman

For this event, Ms. Tan encouraged me to prepare some material such as interview questions, be mentally prepared for the crowd, and always put my safety first”, she adds. Kleinman is looking forward to attending today’s press conference, and is excited about writing another article on this. Read Kleinman’s article here.

Student video on Pulau Ubin wins consolation prize in Sharing ASEAN Project

Melody Lee’s video titled ‘Falling in Love with the Human Touch’, won a consolation prize in the video competition organised as part of the Sharing ASEAN Project.  The competition was organised in late 2015, by the Ministry of Information and Communications of Vietnam and managed by the Media Development Authority of Singapore, with the aim of capturing the traditions, lifestyles and culture of ASEAN countries.

Melody was in her final semester of studies and studying the Photographic and Video Storytelling module, when the opportunity to take part in this competition came by. The knowledge she acquired from this module, helped her in putting the winning video together. “Beyond the technical skills of film production, I was able to explore social issues on the ground, by speaking directly to the people affected, such as single mothers and elderly workers. Although this video was not produced as a module deliverable, it was filmed with skills and opportunities garnered from the module. The module enabled me to feed my interest for on-the-ground social issues, as well as do something about them – in terms of being a voice, advocating for change, through our videos produced and published on Inconvenient Questions,” says Melody.

Melody-Lee-Low-Res-Video

Her video submission was based on life on the island of Pulau Ubin, which is often dubbed as Singapore’s ‘dying town’. With only about 38 residents and physically disconnected from the modernised and digitally connected mainland, Melody felt that this quaint island depicted an alternate perspective to Singapore.  She observed that although the island was far removed from the digital world, human connection was very strong. “You grab a taxi on through speaking to the locals, and not through booking one on your phone. You enter shops, not just to get your thirst and hunger quenched, but you ask after shipowner’s day, how they’ve been. Residents’ homes aren’t gated and padlocked, but doors lay wide open, beckoning you to drop by and have a chat. They say Ubin is a ‘dying town’, I’d say its alive with human connection,” adds Melody.

Watch Melody’s video here.

Spreading kindness with food and social media

‘Roti for Homies’ a CNM student-led project recently won the “Kindred Spirits” certificate from the Singapore Kindness Movement, for being a kindness advocate. The project is the brain child of Honami Lam, who came up with the idea to reach out to homeless people in Singapore, after she listened to the woes of a homeless person one day.

ROH - Kindness Award

Honami was a student in Asst Prof Elmie Nekmat’s class ‘Topics in Media Studies: Social Media’, which focuses on social media theories and strategies to carry out impactful projects aimed at addressing issues in the community. Honami and her group of classmates used crowdfunding and crowd sourcing strategies to raise donations and recruit volunteers. They campaigned for the project on Facebook and also used it to document their interactions and stories that were shared by the homeless people.  The group used the donations to buy basic food and necessities that were delivered by volunteers to homeless people in various locations in Singapore, over a period of time.

RotiForHomie_EastCoast

Asst Prof Elmie (right), with some of the group members from Roti for Homies

CNM students use social media to address real-life issues

Students from the CNM module – ‘Topics in Media Studies: Social Media’, taught by Asst. Prof. Elmie Nekmat, use social media platforms to address real life issues. The module which covers the impact of social media on social, cultural, economic and political life, emphasises on the analysis of contemporary social media practice and design of social media platforms, allowing students to explore advanced topics in social media, while encouraging them to experiment with real social media platforms.

Prof Elmie says, “The module was developed to look at social media and the communicatory behaviours on the platform from the social-psychological perspective. The aim was for students to have a good grasp of this understanding and perspectives in social media communication and apply them toward achieving community objectives and social good by carrying out actual campaigns. Students learn about the various strategies that can be carried out on social media toward achieving the objectives. They experience the challenges and lessons from applying theoretically-informed online strategies and translating them to offline and actionable outcomes.”

By applying the theories and fundamentals from this module, students have created successful campaigns that addressed issues in the community, for instance students who ran the ‘Got Book or Not’ campaign collected lifestyle magazines from NUS and the wider community for patients recuperating in the National University Hospital (NUH). The campaign was run on Facebook and their book collection drive was a success, helping them collect a good amount of reading material for the patients. Another, campaign ‘Roti for Homies’, raised funds through their social media campaign to buy food for the homeless in Singapore. Apart, from raising their target amount, they also documented their interactions with the homeless and shared personal stories that were told to them by the homeless people.

Students from the "Got Book or Not' campaign at one of their book collection drives.

Students from the “Got Book or Not’ campaign at one of their book collection drives.

A food pack ready for disribution as part of the 'Roti for Homies' campaign.

A food pack ready for distribution as part of the ‘Roti for Homies’ campaign.

These social media campaigns run by the students not only helped them delve deeper into topics of communication, but also gave them first-hand experience of creating solutions to issues in society. The module and Prof Elmie’s class were recently featured on the Berita Harian.

Click to read the Berita Harian article.

To view the ‘Got Book or Not’ and ‘Roti for Homies’, click here and here.

CNM Media Writing Students take All Three Top positions at the Future News Competition

What a way to kick off the term!

Three of our students from NM3211 (News Reporting and Editing) won all of the Top 3 places in an international competition for aspiring journalists“Future News Competition” and will be headed for a three-day, fully-paid journalism conference in Edinburgh in September. There, they will meet leading journalists and learn more about multi-media reporting and editing. To win all three top positions at a global journalism competition is unprecedented.

We are grateful to attract to CNM faculty members such as Ms. Ee Lyn Tan, an award winning journalist covering the health beat who joined us after having worked  at Reuters. In 2009, she received an Asia Human Rights Press Award for an article on maternal mortality in Afghanistan, and her students reflect Ee Lyn’s high calibre work in journalism. The work of the students can be accessed at the publication attached to the Module “Campus Eye.” The link to Campus Eye is here:http://blog.nus.edu.sg/nm3211/. Congrats Ee Lyn!

Here is some details about the Future News Competition from their media statement:

“Inspiring the next generation of global citizens – Future NEWS 2015 aims to inspire talented young people with media ambitions to become journalists with a passion for freedom of the press and a belief in media integrity.

It will expose over 100 undergraduates aged 18 to 25 to leading international media figures in areas from editorial management to news, sports and business reporting and give them hands-on practice in everything from video to writing and social media.

The delegates are from 20 countries with varying levels of media sophistication and editorial balance. Given the rigorous selection process, many can be expected to become the editors and opinion formers of the future in their countries with an understanding of ethical standards and an appreciation of and affection for British values. These participants’ mere attendance will bring extensive coverage in local media.”

The event in the Scottish Parliament building on September 4-6 is unique in the international media calendar. It will help secure Britain around the world as a centre of excellence in media values and training.

Future NEWS 2015 is supported by the British Council, international media company Reuters, the main British university journalism schools along with a large partnership of international and British media organisations.

The conference is organised by the Scottish Government, the British Council and Reuters. It is backed by the following media companies – Herald &Times Group, Newsquest Media Group, Tinopolis

Interactive, Reuters, STV, DC Thomson and CNN – as well as the following Schools of Journalism  – Cardiff University, City University, Glasgow Caledonian University, Queen Margaret University, Strathclyde University, Napier University, Bournemouth University.

Of these three students, two – Desmond Koh and Celine Leong – are NM majors and one – Chng Yan – is from law. In fact, you can see their work on Campus Eye.

I am thrilled beyond words because they didn’t just win, but they scooped the top three places.

– Prof Mohan J.Dutta (Head of Department, Department of Communications & New Media)

Reproduced from CNM Head’s Desk