Which studying style do you follow?

Some of us learn by trial-and-error and some of us prefer to learn through reading.
Here are some of the different types of learners and the study tips that work for them…

Visual Learners

  • Learn by seeing
  • Understand words that evoke images
  • Respond well to demonstrations
  • Enjoy visually pleasing presentations

Kinesthetic Learners

  • Learn through doing and by trial-and-error
  • Prefer hand-on approaches
  • Use multiple senses to engage with material
  • Enjoy solving real-life problems

Read-write Learners

  • Learn by reading and writing
  • Best understand explanations on paper or screen
  • Organise thoughts and make lists
  • Translate lessons into words

Auditory Learners

  • Learn by listening & verbalising
  • Listen for keywords & phrases
  • Respond well when things are explained aloud
  • Think in a linear fashion

 Study Tips for Visual Learners

  • Use maps, charts, graphs and diagrams
  • Use videos and Powerpoint presentations
  • Make and use flash cards
  • Focus on titles when reading 
  • Highlight and underline when reading

Study Tips for Kinesthetic Learners

  • Make and use flash cards
  • Study with others & exchange ideas
  • Study in short blocks
  • Use examples when taking notes
  • Feel free to doodle while studying

Study Tips for Read-write Learners

  • Take notes… a lot and detail them
  • Reword the notes in different ways of saying the same thing
  • Create and use bulleted lists 
  • Translate diagrams or charts into a verbal or written summary
  • Write questions based on the material and answer them 

Study Tips for Auditory Learners

  • Record lessons and lectures to listen to at a later stage
  • Read material aloud
  • Record yourself reading notes and replay it later
  • Explain concepts aloud in your own words
  • Use word associations or mnemonic devices to help remember

How BMH Grad, Michaelson Gumede found his true calling

Contributed by Michaelson Gumede – Reporter & Boston Media House grad

In some way or another, we all grew up idolizing popular individuals in various professions, particularly in fields we sought to be experts in one day. When I was about 10 years old in primary school, I always looked forward to the arts and culture classes because my teacher was quite lazy and she would tell us to find an old magazine and cut out pictures, paste them in blank pages of an exercise book – sounds boring, right?

My classmates and I used to do this at least three times a week for 45 minutes and as you’d imagined, it really irked some of my mates. Ironically, I enjoyed that process because I would always come to class with two of the most popular soccer magazines in the country, ready to etch out my favourite players and engrave them into my book.

A couple of years after primary school, I fell in love with other professions like radio, particularly talk radio, and I was also fascinated with television production.  Also, I always wondered how advertisers were so sure that if they splashed their products all over television, newspapers, and radio, people would flock to their stores.
Advertising puzzled me and left me with so many unanswered questions.

It’s not unheard of for recent matriculants to suffer a little confusion when it comes to choosing a career path. My mind was half made up about studying journalism but part of me was still eager to learn about the makings of radio and figure out how those advertisers’ minds worked.

And then I came across a Boston media House billboard, talking about a Diploma in Media Practices where you get to learn everything media. At that time, Boston only offered a Diploma in Media Practices, but they now offer degrees and specialisations that rage from Digital Marketing & Animation to Television & Radio.

When I saw that billboard I didn’t hesitate, I applied and was immediately enrolled in the program. Trust me, that was one of my best decisions. I came to understand how advertisers segment particular targeted audiences and they advertise their products based on demographics and something called supply & demand. This Diploma gave me the opportunity to learn in a fully equipped, state of the art studio. We were taught the technical and presenting side of things, and to be honest, I was almost convinced to dump the written word for the spoken one, but passion prevailed.

My fascination with television production was finally put to bed and now I know how you can become a film director or a scriptwriter if you’re properly armed with that qualification. Most importantly, this Diploma fully equipped me with extensive knowledge in my specialization of journalism. And in a short space of time post-graduation, I saw my dream of being a sportswriter come to pass.

A lot comes with the specialisations that Boston Media House offers. For example with radio as a major, you can headline some of the biggest stations in the land just like DJ Fresh does as a breakfast show host. If you’re an introvert and not one for the spotlight, don’t panic, there’s plenty of room for you in the background. You can work as a technical producer or a content producer. Same goes for the marketing and advertising qualifications. Opportunities range from being an account executive to a marketing strategist.

BMH Graduate Michaelson Gumede now works at The Citizen

I spent three solid years at the Media House Campus where I was brewed from raw stone to a sparkling diamond. If you read the back pages of The Citizen newspaper, six times a week, you are most likely to come across one of my masterpieces. If you ask me, the greatest thing about the institution is the intimacy of the campus. It is a lovely petite environment and the student culture is truly amazing!

How to heal through writing

Weekly Wellness…

Dealing with something difficult?

The mind works overtime in emotional distress, like the loss of a relationship. 

Have you tried writing about it?

Writing will help you make sense of the event and reduce stress.

Write for 15-20min a day,
4 days in a row

Write about your deepest thoughts and emotions! 

Write only for yourself

Deal only with events and situations you can handle now. 

Don’t worry about spelling or grammar

Don’t overdo it by writing about distressing events back to back.

Try putting the event into a story…

Or write about the event from someone else’s perspective. 

Writing may make you healthier

Sleep and the immune system will improve, along with your memory retention. 

You’ll be able to focus on other things

You may feel more connected relationships and be able to focus on work and schools.  

Writing isn’t just for introverts

Everyone can benefit from the power of writing about your emotions!

5 Powerful self-confidence tips

Weekly Wellness…

  1. Develop a sense of yourself
    Explore your interests, values, desires, wishes, inspirations, style, strengths, and more, and record these in a way that is meaningful to you.
  2. Accept yourself fully
    Knowing, acknowledging and accepting your strengths and your weaknesses improve self-confidence.
  3. Give yourself permission to want
    Wanting things is the core of healthy goal-setting. Know yourself. Know what you want. Give yourself permission to want it.
  4. Live fully in the present
    Low self-confidence is connected to being stuck in the past or to worrying about the future. Challenge negative thinking and embrace the positive right now.
  5. Develop your whole self
    Discover things about yourself and in your life that create a sense of peace and joy, and do them!

 

What we learned interning at Vuma FM

BMH Durban Interns get some hands-on experience at Vuma FM

Amidst all the madness of lockdown and a lot of us experiencing Blended Learning for the first time, BMH Radio students in Durban managed to attract the attention of a local radio station.

 

Vuma FM’s Programmes Manager, Vusumuzi Shangase has given five Durban students some first-hand experience at the station. The students will be there until November but they’ve already been assigned to shadow the Sound engineering, Programming and News departments.

Amanda Mtshali and Nompumelelo Hadebe are both presenters while Nomfundo Zungu and Sibongokuhle Ndaba produce, narrate, research, and report as news interns. Ntokozo Dlamini produces content with exposure to sound engineering.

Some of the on-the-job tasks so far have ranged from pre-recorded voice links to hosting whole entire shows! Both Amanda and Pume have presented their own Sunday Morning shows on Vuma DM. Amanda hosted ‘The Real Pillow Talk’ from 11pm to 2am and Pume hosted ‘Before the Sunrise’ between 2am and 5am.
Hats off to the presenters for keeping the energy alive on some very late night shifts. Most of our favourite radio presenters started just like this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The students are interning until November and the work will also contribute to their Experiential Learning which forms part of the BMH curriculum. The requirement ensures that studies are work-ready by the time they graduate.

Learning to Learn Online

Practical guidelines to being an online student

Many students started 2020 with the nervous excitement of finding their way around a new campus, making new friends and getting to know and be part of campus life.

As a lecturer, I know I start every year hugely excited for the energy and vibe that campus life brings.

Unfortunately, 2020 had its own plans and many students and lecturers are now finding themselves doing online classes and distance learning. It’s not what we planned, but one thing we learn in the media industry is that most things don’t go according to plan and rolling with the punches is a way of life.

Being an online student may not be what you signed up for but you can certainly make the most of it and finish the year strong and as a champ.

Here are some practical guidelines to help you make the most of online learning.

  • Shop around for the best data packages

South African data providers have come to the party to help students out in many ways so shop around for the best data packages you can find. Many colleges and universities have been able to secure deals with these providers too, so make the most of it and ensure you have the best package to suit you and your study needs.

Click to find out more about the BMH MTN Student Data Deal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Get up and get dressed for class

Avoid the urge to spend the day in your PJ’s and slippers. You have to get your mind and body ready for a day of learning. Get cleaned up, get dressed and get in the proper mind-set to learn.

  • Have a dedicated place of study

This may be hard when you are sharing homes and rooms with everyone else who is home during lockdown but you need a quiet, distraction-free zone that is yours. Perhaps you can work out a schedule that allows you to rotate rooms or spaces and there may need to be some serious negotiation for quiet time, but remind the fam how important your studies are and how much you need their support.

  • Follow a class schedule and learning routine

There is nothing random about online learning. Set your day plan according to what your normal class schedules would be and stick to it. Do not allow yourself to get distracted and make sure every day counts.

  • Take a break

Rest and exercise are very important. Set aside time each day to go and sit in the sun, read a book, watch your favourite TV shows, go for a walk or do some high intensity exercise. Your mind needs a break so it can process what you have learnt. Make your break time a reward for the hard work you have put in.

  • Enjoy your weekends

If you work hard during the week and get everything done that you need to, then you can relax and enjoy weekends that are study and assignment free. There is nothing worse than the little voice in your head reminding you of everything you need to do when you are trying to chill! If you plan your week properly and reach your goals, then you can really enjoy guilt-free down time.

  • Stay mentally strong

This is easier said than done, so you are really going to have to work hard on having a positive mental attitude. Try to focus on what you have, and not what you don’t have. Reach out to the people who form part of your support structure and lean on them. But also, be there for your friends and family and try to be a positive influence on those around you as well. Start your day with a smile and keep the end goal in mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The world is a tough place to live in at the moment and there is no doubt that uncertainty is part of normal, everyday life.  Focus on the things that you have control over and make sure you can proudly say that you did your very best whilst studying online during Covid-19.

And lastly, when times get tough for me, I rely on the words of Muhammad Ali, “Don’t quit, suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

 

*Claire Jackson-Bernardo has been a Public Relations lecturer for 11 years and is MD of Alerting the Media, a Public Relations consultancy started in 2006. She has over 25 years of media and communications experience in South Africa and has a passion for educating the PR professionals of the future.

Create a CV that stands out

How to create a CV that grabs attention…

I made mention in a previous post about the importance of getting your CV perfect and ready to send out. Sadly, many students have a bog-standard CV that they send out to any and all job postings and wonder why the spray-and-pray approach is not working.

Having the benefit of being a Public Relations lecturer as well as someone who works in the PR industry, I read CV’s with a very critical eye because I know how the studies should translate into usable skills for our industry.

I also understand how hard it is to put a CV together when you are just starting out and you need experience to get a job but no one will give you a job so you can get experience!

There is good news! If you have studied at a reputable college or university, you should have many of the skills we are looking for when we look for interns and junior PR practitioners.

Here are a few tips to improve your PR CV.

  • Get the basics right!

There is nothing more annoying than reading a CV or cover page that talks about how good your spelling and grammar is, but it isn’t! The devil is in the details and we cannot employ someone who can’t get the basics right. Ask a parent, a friend, a lecturer or a professional to read your cover letter and CV before you send it out to make sure it is perfect.

  • Read and understand the job you’re applying for

Before you send a CV, you need to have researched the position you are applying for as well as the company who is offering the job. You can’t send a generic document. Make mention of some of the accounts they work on or some of the awards they have won and why that is interesting to you. Match up the skills they need with the skills you have.

  • You cannot just have one CV

Since no two PR jobs are the same, one CV cannot accurately convey your skills and interests. You may need a CV that focusses on your knowledge of Social Media. You may not have managed social media before but, you surely manage your own social media account. Talk about how you have learnt the value of storytelling, how to use pictures appropriately, and how you research and follow all the top brands on social media to see how it is done. You could even mention some of the posts and social campaigns the company you wish to work for has done and why they resonated with you.

You should have CV’s ready that cover eventing, internal communications, media relations, writing skills, CSI, crisis communications etc.

  • You need us more than we need you – so tell me how you can make my day better

Sadly, there are hundreds of recent graduates out there and we are spoilt for choice. Sometimes having an intern is hard work for us because we don’t really have the time to provide on-the-job training and we expect you to have learnt the basics at college or varsity.

But, if you tell me (and maybe even provide an example) that you are good at writing media motivations, researching and updating media lists and can compile strong editorial angles then I’ll be able to see how you can help me and the team and I’ll be more inclined to want to hire you.

  • Avoid the Platitudes and Clichés

To be honest, it is not a skill to say you are hardworking, professional, always on time and willing to work late hours. That’s the job of PR, day in and day out. No one is here to help you better your skills and help you become the best version of yourself. Don’t waste the reader’s time with these clichés. Get to the point and tell me what you can do for me.

  • Don’t forget the small things

It may not be something you studied or majored in but it may just be what we need. Are you able to shoot and edit small videos, take good photos, MC at an event, DJ, use PowerPoint or have skills in graphic design or Photoshop? These skills can be invaluable so don’t leave them off your CV.

  • You do actually have experience

For internships or junior positions, we don’t normally have the expectation that you will have experience in the position you are applying for. However, there might be other work or positions you have held that taught you several skills. Your Saturday or holiday job still gave you experience but don’t just say where you worked. Rather mention what you learnt while you worked in that position. Perhaps you learned how to cash-up at the end of the day, deal with demanding or difficult customers or you help out with events at church or your community centre. Look closely at what you did and you will find it gave you some experience. You just have to word it correctly for your CV.

  • Don’t be a robot

Imagine having to read through 20 CV’s all in black and white and all in the same boring format you were taught at school? It’s soul-destroying and sometimes just puts the reader to sleep. We are in a creative industry and we need to stand out and get people’s attention for our clients. Use your CV to show me who you are and what you can do. It may be the one and only opportunity to get my attention so do it in a creative and professional way.

  • Have a realistic understanding of your skill and your worth

Be humble – do not call yourself a guru or an expert. There is no possible way you can be a guru if you have just finished your studies. Even those of us who have been in the industry for 25 years don’t call ourselves that. You need to be aware that you have a lot to learn. Show that you are willing to learn and do whatever is needed to be the very best.

Also, don’t talk about how you need this job to help you grow and learn. Rather talk about how you will be an invaluable asset to the company and plan to learn and grow every day under the guidance of an expert team.

Looking for a job is hard work and can feel like a full-time job on its own. But just remember, your CV is the first bit of work you are showcasing to a potential employee. In the words of Eminem … “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow …this opportunity comes once in a lifetime …”

Good Luck!

*Claire Jackson-Bernardo is a Public Relations lecturer and is MD of Alerting the Media, a Public Relations consultancy started in 2006. She has over 25 years of media and communications experience in South Africa and has a passion for educating the PR professionals of the future.

Thinking about media? Tips from a BMH media graduate

We all understand just how crucial it is to land the right media internship or first job after graduating. At Boston Media House, we aim to prepare students as much as we can about the different local media industries in South Africa.

Siphiwe Nhlapho was a Boston Media House student who majored in Television and Video Production. Siphiwe went to Sesani Studios for his experiential learning – 80 hours of practical work as part of the professional skills module provided in the third year of the diploma. Professional skills modules quite literally teach students all they need to know about being a professional in the workplace.

Professional skills also shows students how to go about applying for different jobs. You’re given the right tools to make your cv more appealing, as well as write motivational letters and professional emails to people in various departments.  Sometimes it’s better to physically go to the company, because when you send emails you may not receive any responses.
“I went there physically to apply for my experiential learning, if you’re really passionate you’ll go out there and make things happen by all means,” says Siphiwe.
Of course, we recommend staying safe and sanetised at all times during COVID-19.

Below are some of Siphiwe’s other tips for students…

  • Go there with the intention to learn, even in the departments you’re not really looking to go in after your studies
  • Network with people around you, it’s really important because people that you work with may be the people who end up giving you references for other jobs
  • Make sure you learn as much as possible about the field you’re looking to venture into
  • Try to learn a lot about how other departments within production function, for example, if you’re into editing; learn more about camera operating, directing, producing, and what goes into those departments
  • Networking is very important, try to form lasting connections with the people you meet
  • It’s okay to start from the bottom, even if it means making tea or coffee for a couple of people
  • There is no such thing as a stupid question, make sure you ask as many questions as possible, and if you don’t understand something make sure to ask for clarity
  • Time is very important in production –  do not waste it – time is money

You can always work as a freelancer in the television and film industry – be sure to carefully review your contract…
“There is a chance of me going back if I wanted to, as a freelancer or permanently,” says Siphiwe.

 

Making your spare time work for you

7 Easy Steps to prepare you for the end of your studies

The first half of the craziest year in memory is now a thing of the past. Whether you have been learning online, or chilling on the couch with Netflix, it’s now time to prepare yourself to get back into the real world, even though it’s going to be a little different from what we all imagined it would be.

I have many final year students who are now enjoying a small break between first and second semesters but the reality is, this is not a break. This is probably one of the last opportunities you will get to get your life in order before the final year-end push and the inevitable CV-sending life that will begin the day you submit your last assignment or write your last test.

Using this time constructively is key and will save you a lot of time later in the year.

  1. Final CV Updates

You have done and achieved a lot during your studies. Perhaps you did exceptionally well in a few assignments or found yourself loving a subject you never thought you would. Incorporate these learnings into your CV.

Don’t just give a list of the subjects you studied. Show us what actual skills you learned while studying and how those skills can help me from day one if I hire you. You may also need specific CV’s for different fields you hope to enter. Now is the time to have everything ready to send out at a moment’s notice.

  1. Get your Driver’s or Learner’s License

If your goal is to have a car one day, then get preparing for it now. When you start a job you won’t have time to leave the office for lessons or tests so try to schedule as much as possible now. This also includes having updated ID’s and passports. Who knows, we may be allowed to travel again!

  1. Volunteer

There are many organisations who are in desperate need of a pair of free extra hands. What about spending the day cuddling with abandoned babies at an orphanage, playing with puppies at an animal shelter, or reading to Grandparents at an old age home? Maybe you can help a small business or charity set up their social media, or design a website for them? It shows us what kind of person you are, and that you are willing to spend a few hours a week helping someone in need. You also never know who you could meet or what you could learn.

  1. Watch Webinars

There are amazing discussions happening online at the moment. Use this opportunity to open your mind and broaden your skillset. Most of them are free and you have the chance to ask prominent industry professionals some questions too.

  1. Clean Up your social media

Have a look at your posts and pictures … even the ones going back many, many years. What do they say about you? What would a potential employer think about you based on what you are saying and doing online? As it gets proven time and time again, your online past can come back to haunt you.

  1. Read … everything!

Many professionals are using this time to write excellent opinion pieces about the future of the industries they are in. Now is the time to read what they have to say. You can also sign up for industry newsletters and updates to make sure you are totally up-to-speed with what is going on in your chosen industry.

  1. Stalk the people you want to work for!

If you have an agency, a person, or a brand you want to work for, you should be stalking them online. Not in a creepy way, in an educational way. Follow their senior staff members on social media, visit their website to find out what they are doing, google them, and find out what is being said about them. Imagine how you will sound in a job interview if you know about the business and can ask proper, relevant questions based on all you have learned?

Preparation is key and time is of the essence. Covid-19 has affected everyone but don’t let it be too much of an excuse for not being ready for your future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Claire Jackson-Bernardo is a Public Relations lecturer and is MD of Alerting the Media, a Public Relations consultancy started in 2006. She has over 25 years of media and communications experience in South Africa and has a passion for educating the PR professionals of the future.

Thinking about journalism? Tips from a BMH grad

Contributed by Yami Nhlenyama – Journalism & Boston Media House grad

What is Journalism?
It’s a way of informing the people about events taking place in their society and the world, be it political or social issues. It’s all about telling untold stories within society. Journalism as a medium has the potential to influence and change society at large, that’s why if you want to be a journalist, you have to be someone in pursuit of truth. You cannot let your bias and prejudices get in the way of society finding out the truth.

The various kinds of news staff writers

Beat reporters… This means you can write or broadcast on any topic or focus on certain types of news from politics and sports, to hard news and entertainment.

General assignment reporters… These are the journalists who cover news generally without any specific tasks. They report when the editor needs an urgent deadline on a front cover, a story of interest that’s trending.

Special assignment reporters… These types of journalists have specific departments that they write for, sports entertainment, investigative, and politics. You would normally find special assignments in bigger publications. Smaller publications employ more beat reporters.

The journalism industry has really evolved over the years, with the help of technology, from print to digital. Journalists don’t have to work from the office 24/7, they can work from the different places that they are located in and still be able to submit their work on time. Depending on the contract that you’ve signed with the publication that you work for they may freelance, you may work with other publications while still working for them, you can work certain days or when they call you to cover a story.

What it takes to make it as a good journalist:

  • Be able to work under pressure; there might be a story that has to get out immediately and you’d have a few hours to get the information that you need
  • Be time disciplined – it’s a deadline-driven industry. If you take time to deliver a story after the hype around it has faded, people might not be interested in hearing it again
  • Be able to work in teams because the newsroom is all about working together and making sure that everything comes together perfectly
  • Ethics and professionalism

Boston Media House was one of my first choices when it came to tertiary institutes because they are one of the few places that specialised in media-related subjects, journalism included. I knew that it would be a perfect fit for me because I was entering a world full of creative people who thought differently.

When entering the media industry mentorship is important if you’re really passionate about the field. I approached Amanda Matshaka, a channel Afrika radio journalist who’s been in the industry for more than 10 years. She agreed to teach me about the journalism industry, she also has a news publication and was starting a mentorship programme where she mentors up and coming journalists all over Africa. Through her mentoring, I learned that news never sleeps, you have to be ready for anything at any time and it’s all about hard work and dedication.

Qualifications
It takes three years to get your Boston Diploma in Media Practices qualification. In the first two years, you get to learn about different media sectors in the industry including journalism. In the third year that’s when you can major specifically in journalism

I’ve learned that being a journalist doesn’t mean you’re limited to being a journalist, writing for a specific publication, and nothing else. In media every career compliments the other – they interact with one another. Aas a journalist you can also find yourself working in public relations, marketing, or even the film industry and that’s because of the great research and writing skills you acquire during the years.