Mastering Media Studies

Osmanee Offre ‘21, New York University

I am currently majoring in Media, Culture, and Communication or MCC for short. My major focuses around media studies. For the first year and a half the curriculum covers the basics of media theory. These core classes introduce several theories about how an audience is created, how media shapes who we are, and the history of all types of media forms from radio to television. Once you’ve taken the required courses, you can study any form of media that you want to go into. People from my major go on to pursue careers in everything from marketing and public relations to film and TV.   

Choosing Media Studies

I originally wanted to major in English since it was always one of my strongest subjects throughout school. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that I wanted to incorporate my love for literature, film, TV, art, and writing into my future career. Media studies was the best path for me, since it incorporates most of my passions, and is becoming increasingly relevant. 

Favorite class

My favorite class that I’ve taken in my major is Intro to Media Studies. Even though it was my first MCC class, it was the most pivotal moment because I realized that I was exactly where I should be. Our professor presented us with fundamental concepts that have forever changed the way that I think about media. Not only did the class present core concepts that I apply to my life on a daily basis, but it was also taught in a manner that isn’t outdated and treated the students like adults. 

Favorite project

Since my field of study involves visual media, I was able to take a photography class. My favorite project was our final project where we developed a series of 4 to 10 photographs around a central theme of our choice. As part of the project, we had to present our photographs at an exhibition for our peers. It was my favorite project because we got to fully express ourselves through any concept or theme that spoke to us personally. It was also satisfying to be able to have the exhibition and talk to our peers about our work.  

Common misconceptions

A common misconception about my major is that it’s going to be super easy. In reality, media and media theory are dense concepts to dissect and study. While it isn’t bio-engineering, you still have to have a high degree of analytical skills and be willing to put forth the work in order to succeed. Some analytical skills that I use as part of my major are deciphering the intended audiences of media content, decoding underlying messages in mass media, and determining cultural themes throughout history that influence subject matter and representation in media.

Career paths

Some possible career paths are marketing, public relations, social media, film and tv production, and communications. I hope to go into producing and writing for film and TV. My main goal is to find a way to develop original, artistic content that can be successful in the market. I think that my major has prepared me not only to develop successful content that is conscious and deliberate, but also has positively impacted the way that I think and engage with media, which is a major part of my life. 

Tips for future majors

My advice would be to stay curious. Be present in class, especially since those professors are in the industry and are great resources for recommendation letters and advice. The people that you make connections with are going to be as valuable as the degree that you get.