Christine Wang MCM’25 started her Master of Communication and Media (MCM) journey in January 2023, studying Communication with a specialization in Digital Media’s. After receiving her associate’s degree in Digital Media & Film Studies from Raritan Valley Community College and transferring to Rutgers, Wang majored in Communication with a specialization in Public Relations and minored in Digital Media. An unexpected change in her graduation date left Wang scrambling. “Unsure what to do, I spoke to my advisors and professors about my dilemma. They helped me explore my options and introduced me to the MCM program. With their encouragement and a leap of faith, I decided to pursue a graduate degree at SC&I.” As Wang completes the program, she shared her experiences with us.
SC&I: How are your studies at SC&I shaping your career goals?
CW: Majoring in Communication and specializing in Digital Media in my undergraduate education helped me define my career goals and marketing path. The MCM program has supplemented that. As I progress through the program, I’m identifying my niche and finetuning what I like. I hope to enter the digital marketing industry after I graduate. My classes and professors have enlightened me, broadening my perspective on life and my specific industry. They’ve given me a variety of career options to consider. I have a background in marketing, event planning, and video production and always wanted to work at Rutgers; through my spring 2023 classes, I was able to do just that! I started a part-time job as Graduate Coordinator, Marketing Programs & Outreach, at the Rutgers Career Exploration and Success office. My studies at SC&I have helped me refine what I am passionate about and I’m excited about this job.
SC&I: What classes and faculty members have had an impact on your learning?
CW: I credit two classes and professors with radically changing my life. When I was a new transfer student, I accidentally took a Media, Marketing, and Communication course taught by Mark Beal, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, Communication, thinking that the content would be more about marketing than public relations. Even though I had no experience or intentions of going into PR, I was inspired by Professor Beal and his zeal. I learned so much from him and the in-class materials and this showed me the potential of delving into PR as part of my career aspirations.
One of my most impactful classes was Digital Video Production with Neal Bennett, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, Journalism and Media Studies, assisted by TA Khadija-Awa Diop. In the course, my classmates and I worked in small groups and engaged with the Rutgers Choir, Rutgers Theater, and Rutgers Dance programs in producing promotional videos for their events. In the process, we met the teachers and students, attended their practices, and saw the behind-the-scenes work. We also help promote the annual SC&I Communication concert, COMMchella, by sharing the event through a livestream with software that we learned in class. It was so fun because our whole class worked together. We were assigned to different roles at different times and locations as we set up cameras, did video shooting, and talked with each other through wireless headsets. This unforgettable experience combined all of the skills and knowledge we learned in class.
SC&I: What extracurricular opportunities have you enjoyed?
CW: Outside of class, Professor Bennett offered other hands-on opportunities, such as helping livestream Rutgers Day. I had new roles and responsibilities and worked with different people. While this took me out of my comfort zone, I wanted to learn more about video production, and it gave me a chance to learn more from him. His encouragement and his support gave me the courage to try. Though the event day was rainy, the experience was just as memorable and exciting, and I was glad that I participated. Professor Bennett gave us the freedom and autonomy to take on these projects as clients, teaching us how to communicate and work with the directors of the programs and utilize our creativity and vision. Ultimately, the biggest takeaway that I learned was that video production isn’t naturally smooth and on schedule because unplanned things happen unexpectedly. But having a mentor and teacher made it worth pushing through and trying my best. Professor Bennett and Diop showed their willingness and eagerness to help us experiment with no right or wrong answers. I am forever grateful for this class and my teachers—they have inspired me to keep film in my life in pursuit of finding new experiences, opportunities, and aspirations!
SC&I: What advice would you like to share?
CW: When life gives you opportunities, be courageous and take them!