By Imani Nichols
A few months ago, I officially declared my Media Studies major with a concentration in Media Policy and Ethics.
Media Studies goes by different names at different institutions such as Mass Communications, Communications, or Communication Studies. Media Studies draws on history, politics, economics, marketing, advertising, art, English, psychology, and a slew of other disciplines.
The core of Media Studies seeks to investigate how media such as (but not exclusively) television, film, and radio influences us as producers and consumers.
Initially, I wanted to study marketing, but I didn’t do as well as I wanted to in one of the marketing prerequisite classes, so I had to explore other options. Professionally, I’m interested in marketing, and as of the end of my sophomore year, I’m interested in consumer insights, market research, and segmentation. Basically, I’m interested in exploring marketing from the consumer’s perspective.
In my Media Studies classes, there is a pattern. We always talk about media with respect to four factors: the producer, the message, the medium, and the consumer. Out of all of these factors, the consumer has been the most interesting to discuss and read about. I don’t know what it is about consumers that I’m interested in, I just know that I’m interested and I’m running with my interest.
I would recommend Media Studies for students that are creative, theoretical, and practical. I would recommend Media Studies for students that like to ask questions. I would recommend Media Studies for students that are interested in exploring gray areas, especially when it comes to media policy.
I don’t believe that your major dictates your life, so, with a Media Studies major, you can do anything you want to do (assuming that you have a skill set that is complimentary to your chosen job/career).
Media Studies is interdisciplinary enough that it accommodates people who are interested in everything (like me!), but you still carve out a niche in a concentration such as media policy or film studies. With Media Studies, your options are wide open.
Imani Nichols is a student at University of Virginia graduating in 2017. She is considering Media Studies or American Studies as her major. After college, Imani plans to consult for a management consulting firm in Chicago and earn an MBA. She enjoys Forté webinars and working out.