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Journey from an Engineering Undergrad to a Media and Comms Postgrad

I was an engineer, working in India in communications after my bachelor’s degree. But I always had a strong inclination towards content creation.

I had my share of doubts before enrolling in the Master of Media and Communications at Swinburne. The fact that I trained as an engineer with no media background whatsoever seemed very daunting and raised eyebrows amongst my friends and family.

I had so many apprehensions; would I be able to understand the basic concepts? Would I be able to return to study after working for so long? How will this decision shape my career?

If you relate to any of these questions, keep reading. I can tell you what you need to do to prepare based on my own experiences.

What to expect from your postgrad degree?

Coming to post-grad after completing a different undergrad degree, I personally didn’t find anything I couldn’t do. I have peers in my classes who’ve come from various backgrounds, from psychology to engineering. We’re all of different age groups and ethnicities, yet we have so much in common. So, I would say, don’t sweat it.

A Swinburne senior student gave me tip that saved me this semester, so I can pass it on to you: “Start your assignments weeks ahead of your deadline”. This certainly helped me manage my time and not have a last-minute panic attack.

This was my first time staying away from my family, so juggling work, study, and household chores tire me. I work part-time in the morning, then attend tutorials in the evening, and spend the night either studying or socializing. So, you do need an excellent school-work-life balance! There is no one right way to do this, but time management is non-negotiable.

What to expect after your postgrad degree?

As an international student, the first thing that came to my mind was whether this course was worth my time. Would I be able to find a job after the degree and make a career out of it? If you’re thinking there’s an easy answer to this, you’re wrong.

Are there jobs in Media and Communication? Yes! Is it easy to bag one? No!

I was lucky enough to land a job in Marketing Communications within the first month of my first semester, but trust me when I say the struggle was real. If you have some experience in your home country, that definitely comes in handy, but if you don’t, then you might have to walk an extra mile to find work. On the bright side, there are a lot of internship and junior level opportunities that you might be able to pursue.

When it comes to making your career here in Australia, I’ve noticed two things. You need to have the skills and perseverance! Skills will land you the job, but perseverance is needed to keep you going since you will be applying for one job after another. The best platforms in Australia that I found useful for job hunting were Seek and LinkedIn.

To be honest, taking this course, meeting new people, and experiencing the Australian work culture has been an exhilarating experience. Like most prospective students, I too imagined a lot before coming to Australia, and by far my experience has been BEYOND AMAZING!

-Siddhi Chavan

You can follow Siddhi on LinkedIn here.

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