"You'll barely get as much practice as you certainly will at Media University"

Fiene Oswald discovered her fascination for corporate communications during her studies. Meanwhile she is working in the public relations team of a large international corporation and develops effective PR and communication strategies. In the interview she tells how she made her way to her dream job and what she particularly liked about her time at Media University Berlin.

Fiene Oswald now benefits from her practice-oriented studies at HMKW Berlin.

Fiene Oswald now benefits from her practice-oriented studies at HMKW Berlin.

What comes to mind when you think about your studies at Media University?

The project week - probably the most challenging, work-intensive but also most exciting time at Media University. Without the cream cheese bagels from the cafeteria on the 4th floor, the whole experience would certainly not have been so successful (an absolute recommendation!).

You acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Corporate Communications at Media University Berlin. What is your current job position?

I am currently working in the public relations team of a major international corporation. My main tasks here include positioning the management in the perception of the public, the digital strategic orientation and the use of all relevant communication channels. In addition, I am completing my master's degree at the Technical University in the field of "Digital Media and Communication Cultures".

Did you get any further work experiences prior to your current position that you would like to share with us?

A colourful mixture of topics, challenges and people: this is probably the best way to describe my professional career to this day. Because if there is one thing I want to avoid, it is standing still. For this reason, it was a great experience for me to both immerse myself in the start-up culture of an e-learning provider (yes, there was a table football) and to go through the much stricter hierarchical levels of a large publishing house. What did I like better? Not easy to say! But probably it was this very combination of different work situations that led me to a completely new path in the meantime: self-employment.

When did you figure out your preferred career path? How much was your choice influenced by the compulsory internship?

At the beginning of my studies it was clear to me: I will become a journalist! At first there was nothing to question this decision. But the deeper I dived into the field of corporate communications, the more it became apparent: I have to try it! And that's what I did, in my mandatory internship. But much more important was the realization that you don't necessarily have to make a fundamental decision between the two disciplines. My current profession, for example, unites both worlds.

Why did you decide to study “Journalism and Corporate Communications”? And what made you choose Media University Berlin?

Let us take a little time travel into the year 2012. I graduated from high school, but what next? Suddenly every family member had a concrete idea of which would be the "right", the "reasonable" way for me. I wanted only one thing: to write. While in childhood it was still stories about mythical creatures, as a young adult I increasingly observed the everyday adventures and put them down on paper. After graduating from school, I plunged into the editorial hustle and bustle of a daily newspaper for half a year. At this point at the latest, my wish to study was clear. But if you look for the practical side (which is essential especially in a journalistic context), you won't find it at most German universities. That is why I decided straight away to study at Media University.

Which contents of your studies are part of your current job? How do your studies help you in your work routine?

Above all, the ability to develop integrated strategies that include not only individual measures, but also complex approaches to solutions, is a key task of my work. Regardless of my current job, I have already been able to benefit from this in various areas.


What are your plans for the future?

In the near future there is the much anticipated deadline for my master thesis (Hallelujah). In general, I continue to hope for the opportunity to explore, seek out and boldly seize new chances - especially in emerging media and different forms of work. How these will look like, will perhaps soon become apparent.

What do you like most about your current job position? What is your biggest challenge?

Networking is the key to success - especially in this industry. But in no other working environment it seems easier to me to make contacts, to meet interesting people, to develop visions together and (any idea, no matter how crazy it seems) to put them into practice. This is both a benefit and a challenge.

Could you tell us more about the application phase after your graduation?

Relatively uncomplicated. If you gather experience, build up networks and develop your own goals during your studies, sometimes things happen faster than you can react. But it can also take weeks or months before positive feedback flutters into your inbox. For example, 11 months after submitting an application, I received the following response: "... We have received your documents and will get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience." Just the usual madhouse.

What would you tell fellow students that study at Media University?

I know how exhausting it is to prepare presentations, manage projects and work in nightshifts every week because the deadline of the next submission suddenly strikes us from behind. But in retrospect, and especially in comparison to my master's degree at a state university, I can say that you will rarely get as much practice as at Media University. Of course, complaining is allowed and works great as a stress management tool. But afterwards, get back to your report, the 3D graphics or the social media concept and really step on it! It's really worth it.

Which characteristics should students have that want to study „B.A. Journalism and Corporate Communications“?

Courage, a healthy dose of curiosity, flexibility, a sense for good stories, eloquence, openness to great challenges and (this is optional but very helpful) the unyielding will to bring your own ideas to life - no matter how absurd they may seem.

Ms Oswald, thank you for your insights and helpful advice. We are pleased that you still benefit from your studies and wish you all the best for the future.