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Want a career in the media?

June 01, 2006

The media industry is booming with umpteen options in television, film, advertising, jouranlism and more.

If a career in the media is for you, here is some sound advice to get you started.

Rediff columnist and editor of JAM magazine Rashmi Bansal who chatted with Get Ahead readers says:

"Personally, I think a BA in English followed by a post-graduate degree in mass communication is the best option. There are media degrees at the Bachelor's level but I don't think they add much value.

"The important thing is, while you're doing your BA itself, you should build up a portfolio of your work. Freelance for some publication (like JAM!).

"Write a blog. Shoot a film (today, a digicam is all you need). And read a lot. Have an interest in many many things."

For those of you who missed the chat, here is the transcript:

Part I: Distance learning: Hot or not?

anilpandey asked, Do you think , public school are better than municipal school inspite of high fee rate !!

Rashmi answers,
Anil, municipal schools are in an awful state. Teachers are absent, classrooms are in a sorry state, funds are misappropriated. That's why even maidservants and drivers are striving to send their children to schools where their children can have some chance of a future! They want their kids to learn English as they know it is a crucial skill in the job market.

vikalp asked, hi rashmi,i m planning to go for my mba but i m financially very weak and i have working full time and have a experince of 2.5 years in adversting,educational marketing etc.Please provide me with the name of few institutes of mba with less feess.thank u

Rashmi answers,
Well, institutes like FMS Delhi and JBIMS Bombay, which are university departments, charge low fees. But they are very difficult to get into. UBS Chandigarh and PUMBA (Pune) are other such institutes.

But, if I were you, I would concentrate on getting into a very good MBA institute and not worry about the cost. Education loans are available, which you can pay back once you start working. Also if you get into, say, the IIMs, scholarships are available. Good luck!

dootika asked, Hi Rashmi, I am not sure if this is relevant or not, but i am studying for my 12th right now and am interested in Mass Communication. I wanted to know if should go for its undergraduate program straightaway or should i do B.A. in English and then master in M. Comm.? Also which are the good colleges in india for an undergraduate degree?

Rashmi answers,
Personally, I think a BA in English followed by a post-graduate degree in mass communication is the best option. There are media degrees at the Bachelor's level but I don't think they add much value. The important thing is, while you're doing your BA itself, you should build up a portfolio of your work. Freelance for some publication (like JAM!). Write a blog. Shoot a film (today, a digicam is all you need). And read a lot. Have an interest in many, many things. 'Good' colleges -- there are many. Depends which part of India you wish to study in.

kapil asked, Hi Rashmi! Can u tell me how APICS certification is useful for a supply chain professional? For consultant of qualification B.E. whthere it is advisable to go for APICS certification or any MBA course in systems.

Rashmi answers,
Honestly, I have no idea about the APICS certification. It is very industry specific -- you should check with your HR dept or seniors.

pintu asked, ok, do you suggest some institute in pune for that part time course.

Rashmi answers,
You need to do some legwork on this. Go and visit four to five institutes, speak to the students, see what the facilities and course is like. Would you buy a car just because I told you X or Y model is good? You'd do some research before investing your money, wouldn't you? Once you've short listed two to three institutes, get back to me! Good luck.

dootika asked, Well i am from northern india so would prefer some colleges here. But i am open to any part of india as long as the college is good. Which are the best five colleges for undergraduate courses in Mass Comm?

Rashmi answers,
In Bombay, the best colleges for BMM (Bachelors in Mass Media) are KC, Xavier's, Jai Hind, National, Wilson, SIES. In Bangalore, Jyoti Niwas college has a good course at undergraduate level.

liberalindian asked, Rashmi ji, For all those entering Medical/engineering Colleges whether SC/ST/OBC the PASS mark is the same. But what about the standard of the Rich Upper Caste guys studying in Bangalore Donation colleges..where a well-known fact is that they buy papers and complete their graduation..Now aren't these same guys circumventing the system and more incompetent than one and all..setting up nursing homes and industries..Do you have an answer for this??

Rashmi answers,
Well, I plan to write a column on this issue in the near future as well. Resident doctors had gone on strike in 1984 to oppose capitation fee based medical colleges. But, as most such colleges are backed by politicians, they went ahead. The point is that, in the institutes where you cannot buy your way through -- an IIT, IIM, AIIMS, JIPMER etc -- here too, that principle is being diluted. That is why there is so much anger.

Sruthijith asked, Hi Rashmi, long time. How different is the selection process of ISB from that of IIMs? Do they look for different things in their candidates than IIMs?

Rashmi answers,
Yes, ISB takes in candidates with minimum two years work experience and on the basis of GMAT scores. In IIMs, you have to score a minimum percentile to even get a chance for an interview. At ISB, there is more subjectivity -- they look at your work experience profile, leadership qualities, etc, in a more detailed manner. It's modelled on the American pattern of admission.

thimmaraj asked, I have child 4 years old, I have selected for him ICSE sylebus will it be better for his future?

Rashmi answers,
ICSE is fine. Don't be too anxious for his future. He will make his own destiny. Just love him, guide him, empower him!

easy rider asked, hi rashmi, i am a final year student at the imt ghaziabad. do you think that the new reservation policy will drastically affect us management students considering that the govt is proposing a reservation of jobs in the private sector as well?

Rashmi answers,
I don't think a quota will be implemented in the private sector in the near future. Companies will make an effort to become more socially responsible, provide training to the disadvantaged and in the long run we will all benefit.

IWANTMBA asked, Hi Rashmi, can you throw some light about one year executive programs and whether I sd go for it or not, as I have got 2 years MMS degree from Mumbai university and have 4 years of work experience. Personally I want to be abn entrpreneur,so if you can suggest some gd course for the same. I am also pursuing one year open diploma in Entrpreneurship from EDI, Ahemdabad?

Rashmi answers,
Honestly, you have everything going for you. No more courses required! Just take the plunge. But if it's a push you're looking for consider S P Jains 'Start Your Business' programme which aims to actually create entrepreneurs.

Pramy asked, Hi Rashmi, I am graduate BE working as a Business Analyst with a fortune 10 financial firm. I draw a 6 figure sal per month. I always wanted to do an MBA but when i graduated my family's financial position was quite weak. I am wondering whether an MBA would be helpful at this stage in career (eight years work exp). Would appreciate your views or opinion. Thanks!

Rashmi answers,
If you feel the need, yes, you can go for it. I would look at a one year programme offered by ISB, the PGPX programme at IIM A or abroad like at INSEAD.

SOSAMMA asked, I have a daughter she aged 14 years. Always she was hypertension. What is your opinion

Rashmi answers,
I advice you meet with a counsellor as the problem may be related to the pressure she may be feeling to perform. Please remember that every child is unique. Let her blossom in her own way.

NISHA asked, Hi Rashmi,i am 21 now and my family is not too liberal.i gave CAT this year but no calls from A level colleges in india.I know i am ambitious and would want to go to US after an year but my family wants me to do mba froM my state's best college and finish off the mba.i am unable to decde what to do.Kindly Suggest.

Rashmi answers,
Do what you want to do. It's your life. But then, remember, you will have to bear the consequences as well. Can you get a scholarship to study abroad? Are you willing to take a loan and pay it off yourself. Think about all this carefully before you make a decision.

Rashmi says, Folks, it was great chatting with you. Bye for today. Have a great day!

Part I: Distance learning: Hot or not?

Rashmi's earlier columns:

Rashmi Bansal is a graduate of IIM Ahmedabad and founder-editor of the popular youth magazine JAM (

She can be reached at

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Number of User Comments: 2

Sub: guide me

Hi,Mam, I am doing M.A. in Braodcast Journalism from MCRPV,Bhopal.But there is no placement. now my 3rd semester has started, and I am worry about ...

Posted by veera

Sub: Need your help

I am doing B.A in mass communication and i just completed my first year n i am really confused for whta to do next...plz suggest

Posted by Shruthi Bora


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