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The University of Southampton
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Zhou Lisilu

Global Media Management, 2018

Zhou Lisilu

What made you select the University of Southampton?

I majored in journalism back in my undergraduates and I was looking for a media course for my postgraduates. I am fascinated by the course structure and the modules. Also, I’m really into it when I get to know that the course will be conducted in Winchester School of Arts, because I’m interested in arts and want to know more about arts and that’s it. To be honest, University of Southampton is the only university that I had applied for.

What was it like studying here?

Overall, the university is great, they have students from diverse countries and with multiple cultures, they are truly concern and respect their cultural differences. The students and staffs at the campus are kind and friendly. There are plenty of resources that you can get from the university. One of the courses that influenced me the most is Critical Thinking, which I still frequently used during my work. One thing I like the most is that I feel that my voice matters and my opinion values at University of Southampton. When there is a concern or request, I don’t feel being neglected and always get feedback to it.

What were your Southampton ‘highlights’ (best experiences)?

I remembered there is a course fieldtrip that aims to expand the concept of storytelling. We went to The Story Museum in Oxford. I can virtually see how it works and it broadens my mind and inspires me of the forms of telling stories.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

I like the course structure, with the lectures at the beginning, follows a seminar to discuss the topic issue and expand the issues. Based on the lectures and seminars, I can choose a point and illustrate my understanding. The course structure increases by degrees, and it develops my understanding step by step deeper.

Did any exposure to employer opportunities (such as work experience, company presentations, career mentoring) or research led learning during your course help you achieve your ambition? If so, how?

The workshop and dissertation during my course did help me to achieve my ambition. My dissertation is related to ‘how US-Sino trade impacts on media reports?’. So when I was interviewed in a media company back in China, I can easily demonstrate my opinion on this issue based on my research.

How has your degree helped develop your career?

Of course I gain knowledge, skills and experience throughout my degree, but I would like to address something apart from that. Throughout the course, it cultivates my comprehensive ability, (for example, how I communicate with professors and classmates? How I cooperate with my partners during teamwork? How I think independently? How I do problem-solving?) which is extremely helpful to develop my career in the long term.

What interesting projects have you been involved in that you would like to tell us about since graduating?

After graduating, I started out as a program coordinator at International Poverty Reduction Center in China, to hold forums and seminars in fields of education, infrastructure and rural transportation, which is aim to help developing countries to reduce poverty to certain degrees. It’s interesting to gain knowledge on poverty reduction on various fields and exchange cultures between people from different countries. However, I would like to work more related to media, so now, I’ve been working as an English editor on social media platform at iPanda from Recently, I had led a page of editing iPanda’s collection and theme page on Google Arts and Culture, and it had successfully published in October this year.

What have been the highlights of your career to date?

I can output my ideas in various forms, and I get a sense of identity, and perhaps, influence a minority of them. Moreover, I felt a sense of achievement when there are millions of viewers who like my posts.

What tips would you give to current students looking to start a career in your sector? What could they be doing now to make themselves more employable when they graduate?

Actually, it depends on what specific position you are looking for? What country do you want to be based in? But in general, knowing your pros and cons is really important. Do make sure you have a target company or position that you’d like. Browsing the job description and skills that need to be equipped, then compare it with your own experience, skills and ability. Then I assume you know the gaps between and try to find measures to fill the gaps. Another, I found friends I made at school and colleagues I associated at work also give me a hand sometimes. Further, some positions or companies do trust recommendations, but you still have to be fully prepared and qualified first. Last but not the least, finding a satisfactory job is not an easy task, luck plays a role in finding a job sometimes, so don’t get frustrated. What we can do is, seize the opportunity and take it seriously, because my experience tells me that opportunities are for those who are prepared.

Do you have any future ambitions?

I am hoping to be a free lancer, filming vlogs which focusing on women who might or have been encountered in the society in China.

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