First year mass communication students were treated to a roller coaster ride in a two-day boot camp that began bright and early at 8am on Thursday 26th September and ended past 6pm on Friday.
There were trips to a haunted flat, a sampling at a delicious bakery, the meeting with a “K-Pop star” and the frantic rush to complete news stories, a campaign pitch and an advertisement. As if these were not enough, there were night games and a sleepover that did not include much sleeping.
From the get go, students had to behave like media professionals. Day One was dedicated to finding out what it was like to be a journalist.
After a quick round of journalism workshops, the teams were off to find stories in three locations: at a haunted block of flats, food factory and the scene of a gruesome murder that happened some years ago.
This was arguably the highlight of the day for teams. For almost all of them, it was the first time doing interviews with perfect strangers and many a door was slammed.
But that did not deter them from giving up. Said Gwen Teh, 17: “It was like being thrown into the wild! We really had to expect the unexpected but we managed somehow.’’
Once back, they had to rush to put together their news packages. And that itself was a challenge.
“The most difficult part for me was to be able to gather the story and knowing how to put everything together that will attract the audience,’’ said Cherie Cheah, 17. After the two crazy hours, campers were then treated to night games – after all, a camp is not complete without puzzles and a scavenger hunt. “The games were really entertaining and I enjoyed myself to the max!” said Muhammad Iqbal, 19.
Day Two was dedicated to finding out all about PR and Marketing – with a fun and interesting “press conference” with a “K-Pop star”. It had students in stitches but there was serious business to be done – based on this teams had to come up with a campaign pitch and create an advertisement. This was on top of a visit to top PR agency Ogilvy.
Ms Gan Koh, programme chair for DMC was thrilled to see how the students performed but more importantly, she was glad to see the objective of the camp met.
“This is the first cohort that has to choose their specialisation track. So the camp was to help them identify the expectations of both industries to see where their interests and abilities lie,” she said.
Amongst all the buzz that was happening in and around W1 Forum, a group of students who were part of the DMC newsroom worked around the clock to put together this camp daily. The design team rushed to lay out pages as soon as reporters filed their stories and photographers uploaded their pictures.
The final two hours were buzzing with facilitators guiding students as they polished stories and checked facts.
One of the camp organisers, Mr Eugene Lim summed up by saying: “It is very rewarding when we see students find out more about the course and it is wonderful to find out more about the students too. It was hard work but well worth it.’’