It was during my first few days at Ustinov, while I was trying to find my footing, still in the process of meeting new people, and exploring all the opportunities I could have outside of the academics, that I stumbled upon the Media Team. I say stumbled, because when I joined the team, I didn’t really know everything that it would entail, only that I love photography, and this was a place where I’d get to click some photos. Click photos I definitely did, but it turns out, that was actually just one part of being in the Media Team, and not even the most exciting part! As a member of the team, I had the opportunity to try my hand at everything media-related from photography to film-making to designing; and to interact with a creative, talented group of people that I now happily call my friends.
One of the important and more regular tasks of the Media Team is to cover the range of events – academic and social – organised by the Ustinov Global Citizenship Programme (GCP), and the Ustinov College Graduate Common Room (GCR). Coordinating with the organising teams, we photograph and where possible, film these events to showcase them on social media.
This has naturally been a great opportunity for me to hone my photography skills. But, what’s more, attending these events on topics ranging from global politics, social issues, technology to even music, has helped me broaden my perspective and made my university experience all the more enriching.
Other than event coverage, video-making for the college has been one of the larger projects we have undertaken. If event coverage is more of a day-to-day responsibility of the media team, the college video has been somewhat of an overarching project, which doesn’t require as frequent a contribution on our part, but on which we follow up throughout the term. This promotional college video, the first in a series of more to follow, has been the first foray into film-making for most of us. As an entirely student-run endeavour, everything from scripting to filming to editing has been carried out by us amateurs, brimming with far more enthusiasm than experience. It has been an incredible learning process, giving me a chance to pick up and practice skills I didn’t even know I was interested in!
And speaking of learning, while volunteering on the Media Team is full of opportunities to learn new skills ‘on the job’, the various workshops organised for those of us on the media team have been invaluable in developing a more formal understanding of photography and film-making. Conducted both by students and professionals, these workshops – on topics such as Event Photography, Photoshop, Film Editing, to name a few – have enabled me to gain knowledge and understanding of the more technical aspects of the field, to complement my hands-on experience.
Being a part of the media team has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The skills I learned here will be invaluable for me when I step out in the real world. But more than that, meeting these like-minded individuals, learning from them, creating something wonderful with them has given me a sense of belonging, of being part of a community and engaging with it.