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PDMM graduate now in Brighton

Date Released: Wed, 5 October 2016 12:40 +0200

Pic Mantoe Phakathi

This time last year I was about to complete my Postgraduate Diploma in Media Management (PGDip in Media Management) at Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje  Institute for Media Leadership. It was during this time that I had to ponder my next move after graduating from the prestigious Rhodes University.

After considering my options, I was left with three choices: to go back to my old job and continue working as a journalist at The Nation Magazine in Swaziland; further my studies in the United Kingdom; or start my own business.

 I then decided that I could do all three, thanks to the PGDip in Media Management, which is popularly known as the PDMM, which gave me the necessary knowledge, understandings, work skills and confidence to take my career to the next level after working as a journalist for 14 years.

 The skills I obtained from the PDMM – a qualification pegged at the same level as  an honours degree – enabled me to consider enrolling for a Master of Science degree, to launch and manage my own business or tell better stories as a journalist.

 I then applied for the prestigious Chevening Scholarship, a United Kingdom programme that awards scholarships to top students from over 150 countries to study in Britain. I had an interest in climate change, a subject I covered for many years as a journalist. I figured that the skills I got from the PDMM would enable me to do much more in the development sector, where climate change is a key concern.

 With the media industry being so diverse, I felt I could do more with the MSc which will give me the technical depth in climate change which I will fuse with my media skills to create media content that could create more awareness on the subject.

 Being awarded the Chevening Scholarship was partly because of the skills I acquired during the PDMM course, which gave me clarity on how to go about doing what I have wanted to do for a long time – running my own business.

 I impressed the Chevening interviewing panel by demonstrating how I wanted to start my own media consulting company with a focus on development issues, particularly on climate change. 

                                                                                        PDMM Modules

 I drew most of what I said at the interview from my business plan, which I had prepared as part of the examination for one of the PDMM modules. My country, Swaziland, is one of those with a high unemployment rate. It needs innovative people to create jobs, which is what the PDMM emphasised.

 What I found amazing about the PDMM was that it prepared students to not just thrive in the job market but to also start their own businesses. I believe the fact that I now understand how the media industry operates and what its challenges are, particularly those posed by the internet and other emerging technologies, has put me in a better pedestal to fully explore these opportunities.

 My experience at the SPI and at Rhodes University is full of good memories. I learnt from my colleagues, who elected me as their class representative, as much as I did from the lecturers. I enjoyed lots of cake because I guess my colleagues felt compelled to invite me to their birthday parties as their class rep.

 We came from difference backgrounds: some -- like myself -- had already been working, while others had just finished their undergraduate programmes. We also came from different countries in Africa. This presented good learning opportunities as we challenged each other based on our different experiences.

 The facilities at our disposal did not only help us manage our academic work, which happened to be challenging at times, but also propelled us to thrive on completing our course. I am therefore not surprised that a year later, I am exactly where I planned to be after completing the PDMM.

This time last year I was about to complete my Postgraduate Diploma in Media Management (PGDip in Media Management) at Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje  Institute for Media Leadership. It was during this time that I had to ponder my next move after graduating from the prestigious Rhodes University.

 After considering my options, I was left with three choices: to go back to my old job and continue working as a journalist at The Nation Magazine in Swaziland; further my studies in the United Kingdom; or start my own business.

 I then decided that I could do all three, thanks to the PGDip in Media Management, which is popularly known as the PDMM, which gave me the necessary knowledge, understandings, work skills and confidence to take my career to the next level after working as a journalist for 14 years.

 The skills I obtained from the PDMM – a qualification pegged at the same level as  an honours degree – enabled me to consider enrolling for a Master of Science degree, to launch and manage my own business or tell better stories as a journalist.

 I then applied for the prestigious Chevening Scholarship, a United Kingdom programme that awards scholarships to top students from over 150 countries to study in Britain. I had an interest in climate change, a subject I covered for many years as a journalist. I figured that the skills I got from the PDMM would enable me to do much more in the development sector, where climate change is a key concern.

 With the media industry being so diverse, I felt I could do more with the MSc which will give me the technical depth in climate change which I will fuse with my media skills to create media content that could create more awareness on the subject.

                                                                                       Awarded

 Being awarded the Chevening Scholarship was partly because of the skills I acquired during the PDMM course, which gave me clarity on how to go about doing what I have wanted to do for a long time – running my own business.

 I impressed the Chevening interviewing panel by demonstrating how I wanted to start my own media consulting company with a focus on development issues, particularly on climate change. 

 I drew most of what I said at the interview from my business plan, which I had prepared as part of the examination for one of the PDMM modules. My country, Swaziland, is one of those with a high unemployment rate. It needs innovative people to create jobs, which is what the PDMM emphasised.

                                                                                      Challenges

 What I found amazing about the PDMM was that it prepared students to not just thrive in the job market but to also start their own businesses. I believe the fact that I now understand how the media industry operates and what its challenges are, particularly those posed by the internet and other emerging technologies, has put me in a better pedestal to fully explore these opportunities.

 My experience at the SPI and at Rhodes University is full of good memories. I learnt from my colleagues, who elected me as their class representative, as much as I did from the lecturers. I enjoyed lots of cake because I guess my colleagues felt compelled to invite me to their birthday parties as their class rep.

 We came from difference backgrounds: some -- like myself -- had already been working, while others had just finished their undergraduate programmes. We also came from different countries in Africa. This presented good learning opportunities as we challenged each other based on our different experiences.

 The facilities at our disposal did not only help us manage our academic work, which happened to be challenging at times, but also propelled us to thrive on completing our course. I am therefore not surprised that a year later, I am exactly where I planned to be after completing the PDMM.

Source:Rhodes SPI