Graduate views: Helene de Chalambert
- Graduated 2012: BSc Media Studies and Sociology
- Intern at the Media Policy Project (LSE) and studying MSc in Media & Communications
Why did you choose Media Studies and Sociology at City?
I had always been interested in understanding why and how things happen in the world and also why some issues were recurrent in newspapers or television compared to others. It was important for me to be in London and City is the only institution that teaches this joint course at undergraduate level.
One of the benefits of City's location is that it makes it easy for professionals and other academics to come and participate in public lectures and events. It was also good being close to the British Library when I was working on my dissertation.
Can you tell us a bit about what you're doing now?
I am studying for a Masters degree in Research in Media & Communications, focusing on media regulation and policy, political communication and research methods for the social sciences. I am doing an internship at the same time, which involves helping with projects regarding media policy matters such as the regulation of the press and issues around media convergence. This involves doing some group-based research and also helping to organise events.
How did City help you get to where you are today?
The Sociology & Media Studies BSc I did at City gave me very good theoretical foundations for my current studies and, I believe, for the future as well. Most lecturers in the School of Social Sciences do research, which is valuable for students in the sense that we get a more pragmatic view of what current research in the social sciences actually entails.
Were there any lecturers who really inspired you?
My personal tutor and one other lecturer were particularly inspiring because they were passionate about their own research and wanted to share their knowledge. They were also very helpful in advising me on what to do in the future and how to attain some of my goals.
What was your favourite topic or module?
One of my favourite topics was on 'Media Crime & Criminal Justice'. It was about how the media define 'crime', what types of crime they focus on and assessing discrepancies in media portrayals of crime but also in media research. This course helped me realise how interdisciplinary media research is, which eventually grew into a passion.
What are your longer-term career plans?
I don't have a dream job in my mind. However, I know that I want to do research whether that is in academia, media policy-making or the corporate sector. My experience at City gave me a good theoretical background and also tools for working both individually and in groups, making strong arguments and presentations. Using the careers services at City also helped me clarify what I enjoyed most doing, what I was good at and what I could work on.
Any advice for someone considering this course?
My main advice would be not to be afraid of asking questions to lecturers and visiting speakers. Often, you need some clarifications and the sooner you get them the better. I would also say that although individual study is necessary, forming study groups was very valuable to me and my friends at City because we learned a lot from each other and it made us bond even more closely.