Media Career Week brings industry professionals to BGSU virtually
10th anniversary of BGSU's Media Career Day expands to week-long event
Some of the best advice a Bowling Green State University student can get is from alumni who have already been there and done that. Media Career Week aims to do just that, connecting alumni and industry professionals with students through various sessions with a focus on the ever-changing media landscape.
Dr. Louisa Shu Ying Ha, faculty advisor of the Media Student Association, which organized the event, and a professor in the School of Media and Communication, is excited about the speakers tuning in to share their knowledge and experience to the next generation entering the field.
“This is the 10th anniversary of the event and having it virtual allows us to expand the event by bringing in more people without having to gather in person," Ha said.
In past years, the media career event was only one day, with alumni and industry leaders coming to the University for in-person sessions. While effective at establishing strong connections with students, this was limiting due to travel time and having to take time off of work to return to BGSU, leaving alumni from some of the biggest media hubs like Los Angeles and New York a bit out of reach. With the shift to the virtual Media Career Week, there are more ways to include a wider variety than ever before.
“Not every student has the same interests, so that’s why when we choose alumni, we try to cover different areas,” she said. “It’s all about having a balanced mix of speakers so different students are exposed to different types of organizations, such as for-profit vs non-profit production, promotion, advertising, marketing – anything they might be interested in.”
Broadening the scope to give students a wider variety has led to some unique speakers attending this year. On Wednesday, March 31, the Past President’s panel will be held, featuring past media student leaders. They will discuss how their careers have grown since their time as students to help guide students in their journey beyond campus.
The Industry Association panel on Thursday, April 1, marks the first time all four major industry association representatives will attend to talk about their unique internship programs and opportunities. The Association of National Advertisers Education Foundation (AEF), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Television Academy Foundation, and the International Radio and Television Society Foundation (IRTS) will all be represented. The Advertising Major Industry Advising Board panel, also on Thursday, will have their first meetings with students at the event after the recent launch of BGSU’s advertising major.
“Our emphasis for speakers is focused on alumni for two reasons: they are more willing to come back to their alma mater, and they have had the same experience as current students-- they were at the same BGSU, they were in the same organizations, they can relate much better,” Ha said.
Media Career Week’s shift to online has been a blessing in disguise for speakers and alumni that might otherwise not be able to attend. In the coming year, in-person sessions are likely, but they will also continue to explore the virtual aspect.
“This year, we’re all virtual because we had no other choice, but next year, we do have a choice,” Ha said. “If the students want more out-of-state speakers, we really should think about online sessions. Now, with everyone so used to video conferences, it will be good to keep the expansions we made for this anniversary.”
Media Career Week will have sessions open for anyone to attend, including students, alumni and even those curious about the industry.