And now, what next?
written by Caroline Godoy Dessen
And here you are, in the last semester of a two-year Master course. The question you have been avoiding to ask yourself keeps popping up: what will be the next step?
I guess this story is pretty similar to many Mundusians who takes this course. After struggling to find an ideal topic for your thesis, when you should relax and focus on you final piece, you just can´t stop thinking about your future and what is coming next.
So, depending on your anxiety and self-control you will be able to do one of the things at a time. First, write your thesis, and believe me, it is a lot of work, so start now! Second, think about what you want to do and job applications. If you can do that, tell me how. I could not.
I can be a very anxious person, and the fact of not being German (I am Brazilian) and not really being sure if I want to go back to my country or where in the world would I like to go next, gave me insomnia.
Because I was very conscious that I wouldn’t be able to be fully concentrated on my thesis for the following six months, I schedule one day of my week to think about my future. It would be the day that I would think about all the things I’ve done, what I liked, what did I not like, my skills and where could I see myself in the next years. Great if you already have some direction here, but if you don’t, hey, this is more than normal!
This was a nice way of keep my thesis going and, at the same time, look into the future. I also started to look into a lot of websites offering jobs to journalists around the world, the institutions that I liked (to check their recruitment process), and I also considered to take a PHD, so I was also looking into programs, and deadlines.
I can tell that I spent some of my precious time surfing in the internet looking for, “the job” we all want to find after the Master. However, it was through my thesis that I found my current job. And, nowadays, this makes all sense for me. Why? Well, let me explain.
If you have the chance to choose a topic you are really interested, do it. But do it with your heart and not because you see that this could be a way to open good opportunities for you in the future. You will only produce a great work if you fall in love with your topic. Then the thesis will become more a pleasure than a pain (well, there are some parts that will not be a pleasure anyway!).
My thesis was based on interviews with experts and one of them was my current boss, the director of an international organization called Avaaz, which organizes online campaigns for different topics from human rights to economic justice.
In this search for experts about my topic, at the end I was the one who got interviewed. Since I was studying the topic (new media and social activism) I felt comfortable during the interview and I ended up getting the job. I could notice that the Master also played a role in getting the job. I mean when you are trying to get a job in the international field and say you studied Media and Globalization in three different countries, this has some impact. Beside, some of the issues discussed during the classes gave me good knowledge for broader discussions about culture, media systems and international affairs.
I got the job and started working three months before handing in my thesis (this was a crazy time, and I advice any student not to start working full time while writing the thesis). Now, I have been working for Avaaz for six months and am super happy about it, and feeling that the Master gave me the confidence I needed to apply for this job.