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My university experience so far

We caught up with School of Media student Nikhara Korpal to hear about her university experience so far.

Nikhara Korpal
BA (Hons) Media and Communication student

Image of students, filming for BBC Community Sports Awards - Feb 2018
How have you found university life so far? 

University life has been amazing so far, I am currently in my second year studying BA (Hons) Media and Communication. I am really enjoying the course and it’s been exciting meeting new people and developing my media skills. 

What kinds of projects did you work on in first year?  

During my first year I have worked on lots of different projects as a Camera Operator and Photographer. 

My first project was for the BBC West Midlands Community Sports awards, where we partnered up with the BBC Sports Editor Nick Clitheroe to make a few short films for the Sports Awards. It was a great opportunity filming sports such as boxing, dancing and hockey. The crew was made up of a camera operator, a sound operator and a producer.  

Within our teams we filmed the nominees out on location, I really liked the project because we had the flexibility to be creative with the types of shots we filmed.  

In first year, I joined Scratch TV which is a media society run by second and third-year students where we create live television shows. It was great opportunity part of a family of media makers.  

During the first few sessions we had a go at trying out roles in camera, sound and presenting. It was interesting to learn about the different roles and how they all help create a TV show. 

It was really exciting being part of Scratch Chat’s first live TV show, I was the camera operator which involved filming the presenters on the show which was streamed live to YouTube.

Image of Scratch TV media students

Another project I worked on was with third year media students for their final project where they created a company called Ministry of Women. The company aims to give exposure to female music artists.  

For the project I took photos of each of the artists, which was used on their promotional material and social media. I took photos at their first event called New Wave which had local Birmingham artists such as Lady Sanity.  

Image of Lady Sanity, performing at a BCU third-year event New Wave

What projects are you working on now? 

In my second year, I am currently doing a collaborative module which involves creating a project with students from different subjects. It has been great meeting people from different subjects, seeing their work and projects they have been involved with.  

The other module I am doing is TV which involves working in a large group and creating a live quiz television show.

What has been the most fun project you’ve been involved with during your time on your course?  

Last September, I took photographs during International Welcome Week. This was a week full of activities and games for International Students. It was a great opportunity meeting student from different cultures and backgrounds. 

After this event, I got involved with creating a ‘We are International’ video for BCU’s Student Union. This was for international student day, to represent inclusivity and diversity at BCU. This was a project which I really loved working on because it was a simple and fun video, which we filmed in the green screen studio.   

The video has had a positive response from students and through this I have met lots of students from different subjects and joined societies such as Indian Society and Salsa society. 

Students in the green screen studio filming for the We are International video.

Have you taken part in any masterclasses?  

Media Lab is a series of events which happen every week, where people from the industry come in to speak to students about what they do and their personal experiences of the media industry. 

Verity Milligan is a photographer, she has worked on commissions for organisations such as Yorkshire Tea, Visit Britain and American Express. 

Verity gave us interesting tips for freelancing, social media and ways of making money with photos she has taken.

Have you gone on any media trips? 

Last year, we went to Manchester for a media trip. It was great visiting the Media City, we had tours around CBBC and Cbeebies studios. Then after looked around the Sky News and sports.  

Through the day we had a chance to hear from people who work in the media industry about their roles and asked them questions.   

BCU media students visit Manchester.

Have you had any work experience while you’ve been a student?  

In my first year I did digital marketing work experience. The first week was with Stan’s Café which is an independent theatre company. Through the week I did tasks such as analyse their social media channels, website, and I created a few infographics from some surveys. 

The second week was for St Philips Chambers who are a law firm based in central Birmingham. This involved shadowing through the week, where we completed tasks such as email marketing and photography. From this I developed my skills of using the Adobe software package. 

It was really good getting digital marketing work experience during my first year, the two companies were completely different. Stan’s Café was made up of a small team and St Philips Chambers had a large amount of staff, they both gave me different experiences in Digital Marketing. 

What is the community like at the School of Media? 

I love the community at the School of Media, there is a section in Millennium point where all the media tutors’ offices are. The lectures are all really supportive and passionate about the modules they teach. 

Also, on social media the online presence is huge on Facebook there are groups for the School of Media and BCU media trips. On twitter, staff and students regularly post exciting things they are doing at BCU. 

Is studying at a university much different to studying at college/ sixth form? 

Yes, the teaching is very different at university compared to sixth form. The classes are mostly seminars or lectures. 

In my Media and Communications course, it has all been coursework based where I have had to submit three pieces of work every Semester. 

What advice would you give to students who are thinking of studying a Media course with us at Birmingham City University? 

I would definitely say to come along to one of our open days, so you get a feel of what university life is like at BCU.  

The media course I am doing is really good because it’s a very flexible course and you can pick modules and topics which you are interested in. Also, BCU has really helped me to get lots of experience in media developing my practical and theory skills.