By Renee Baker
It has been close to two years now since the Class of 2014 left the familiar halls of TIS, and I followed up with one of the students to see how well she has taken to university life.
Considering how Verena Tse graduated such a short time ago, her accomplishments are quite impressive. She is currently studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and in addition to being a member of the 51st Society of Journalism and Communication, she is a private tutor during the school year and works at a tutor centre in the summer. Journalism is not an easy or stress-free field, and CUHK’s program pushes students to get their sea legs outside of the classroom, so to speak.
“Because our course is all based on hands-on experience and practical work, we actually spend a lot of time outside of university (and our comfort zones!) for interviews and reports,” Verena says. “We spend so much time outside of lecture theatres and tutorial rooms it almost feels like the world is our little classroom.”
Verena’s class was involved in media coverage of the well-known Umbrella Movement. Freshmen were paired with seniors to gather interviews and video coverage, and it was an intense learning experience. “During that period, everything was really rushed. As freshmen, we didn’t have too much on our hands, but it was different for the seniors! Every night, if you went upstairs to the hub (kind of like a studio/mac lounge/ media hub place), you would see rows of seniors cutting videos, typing transcripts, editing photos, and writing articles.”
She also explained how the 51st Society of Journalism and Communication came to be. “Basically, in a nutshell, it’s like student council for your major. We had a campaign period for the first four weeks of Semester 2. We had to decorate our entire major’s building and introduce ourselves to other journalism students,” Verena clarified. “It sounded really easy at first, but we completely forgot about the 100 students who went on exchange and interning! At last, we did get our votes and became the official 51st Society of Journalism and Communication!”
As far as future plans go, Verena says it’s all up in the air. Naturally, she would like to do something related to media or writing, but she understands that making rigid plans is all but futile in a society as unpredictable as ours. As long as she gets to follow her passion to write, Verena is open to wherever life takes her.