Outstanding placements for maiden 2-year PGDMC batch

Our first two-year (2014-2016) batch of Post Graduate Diploma in Mass Communication (with Journalism, Audiovisual Production, and Communication Management streams) recently completed the 3rd semester of the programme. Most of their 4th and final semester is now being spent in internships in the relevant industry. These internships are intended to convert into job offers, so in our initial conversations and communication, we were unambiguous that a student should only be considered for an internship initially.

We have deployed a small proportion of our students to such organizations, on the assurance that there is indeed a long-term requirement, and that our student will be seriously considered to fill that requirement after the internship period.

But the others have been offered jobs and have started to work.

150% offers-to-studentsratio: When we started seeking these internships, we were overwhelmed to know that many of the companies were eager to absorb them directly as employees. As a result, not only has the batch found its strong footing in the industry, but because of multiple offers in several cases, we have achieved more than 150% placements (i.e., the number of offers is about one-and-a-half times the number of students!) for the eligible students. Eligibility means a student must pass an eligibility test, must have a portfolio, must be in good academic standing.

Enquiries are still pouring in, but we have had to politely decline even the most prestigious companies.

Entrepreneurs: Significantly, three of our students have opted to be entrepreneurs and either opted out of the placement process or chose not to take a standing offer. These students have started working on their own enterprises in digital marketing, corporate film making and e-commerce with clients in place.

Preference-base jobs: Our primary concern was to ensure that each student is placed in a job that matches the stream of preference. Through a systematic method of building an effective résumé and a multimedia portfolio of live or independent projects and statements of purpose, each student presented himself / herself with a unique set of capabilities. In the end, our students got placed in prestigious organizations such as The Asian Age, Asian News International, India Today Group, Ketchum Sampark PR, NewsX channel, Nielsen Research, The Quint, and many more—organizations ranging from broadcast and online news portals to public relations, event management and film production.

How did we do it? A website with student portfolios was created, audiovisual material was produced and presentations prepared. Students themselves assisted me in this placement programme.

Fortunately rather than unfortunately, we never got a chance to formally launch that programme! The credit largely goes to three factors:

  1. i) ITMI’s own growing reputation from our students’ large-scale participation in seminars and workshops;
  2. ii) visiting faculty at ITMI, my former students—now heads of sections or media entrepreneurs, and our own contacts, who either hired or influenced hiring; and

iii) by reflected glory, the unshakeable brand value of the India Today Group.

A surprisingly large proportion has stemmed from enquiries from organizations that know of us. Factors that have governed this have been the fact that industry engagement at ITMI spans across the semesters, and teachers who belong to the industry have been of tremendous help in influencing hiring final process. Our own efforts at building a reputation also worked—whether through making presentations to companies or through networking.

Moving forward: This placement record was a litmus test for us, and in the end there is a sense of achievement of a reward. The preceding semesters were the execution of a strategy of industry-friendly, high-quality, no-compromise academic approach, and the combination of concepts and skills, of classroom learning and field practice, live / independent projects and multi-media skills, of personality-building as well as building worldviews and insights. Our further reassurance comes from the fact that the 2-year batch placement is a step in a series. Last year, our 1-year Broadcast Journalism students, too, found excellently placed in the industry—both within the TV Today Network and outside.

-Shashidhar Nanjundaiah, Dean

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