Beginning of the Second Half

Last month I “celebrated” one of the milestones of my university career – by completing the qualitative research methods exam, my bachelor studies have officially swung to their second half. As much as the first fifteen months could be described as clearly defined steady progress, I suppose that the other half will be a bit more turbulent.

I will take a break from Rotterdam for ten months. I will return to Prague this spring to do my compulsory internship. In September I won’t be welcomed back by tulips and canals, but rather by waltz and Sachertorte – if everything goes right, I will be headed to Vienna for a one-semester exchange at the Universität Wien’s Institute for Journalism and Communication Science. This way, I will return to Rotterdam next year basically only to write my bachelor thesis and complete a few electives. However, this all lies in the distant future at this point, so I will get back to all these things that await me in some of my future posts.  

According to the logic of this blog, here should follow presentation of my recent accomplishments, or at least interesting moments from the last three months. However, when I look back, the only things that come to my mind is sitting in the lecture halls, revising and writing papers. I must say it wasn’t a particularly wise choice to pick six instead of three subjects for the second term, because – according to the official workload – it meant that I was supposed to spend around 80 hours a week by studying. As I often experience an inner struggle when it comes to doing things only half-heartedly, there were weeks when I probably came pretty close to this number, especially after the not-so-productive Christmas break. Before the exams I managed to spend one whole day in the library, from early morning till the midnight’s “last call”. The reward for these efforts be the knowledge I gained on qualitative research, marketing and consumer behaviour, trends and strategies in media industries or working in various graphics-, video- and sound-editing software. Nevertheless, I’ll try to keep it more real next time I choose my courses.

The third term that I’m halfway through now is considerably more laid-back – I have only three courses. Two of them are designed rather practically and project-based. In Communication Management, we study in teams communication strategies of specific companies. As part of data collection, we were supposed to interview someone responsible for communication at the company and also analyse the market and the customers, especially in terms of social media use in corporate communication. The output of this research will be a report that will include some strategic recommendations how to possibly make the company’s communication more effective. The course on political communication also revolves around new media. There we examine social media profiles of politicians from our home countries. Considering the rather diverse composition of our tutorial group I expect we will come to some interesting comparisons. The last subject is Cinema and Society, where we (surprisingly) learn about the relationship between cinema and society. The very interesting lectures focus every week on a different theme that resonates within society and how the phenomenon gets portrayed on the silver screen – taboos, violence, dreams, power… The main aim of this course is to understand that movies are a fully-fledged art form that deserves to be studies as thoroughly as literature, for instance.

Even with all the movies I have to watch before the exams I still have enough time to contemplate about the future. Even though it’s a bit hard to admit, it is about the time to start thinking about where to go with a bachelor diploma I hope to obtain in a year and a half. I’d like to continue studying, but that brings two fundamental questions – what and where? The first seems more burning. I intentionally chose a bachelor study that is broadly focused and the overview of subjects that I’ve taken recently clearly shows that I’m involved in almost every area of communication and media science. I am aware that I won’t be able to afford this luxury of studying across disciplines forever and that I will soon have to decide which path to choose. I hope that the work experience I will get in the upcoming months will help me with that.


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