Christine Wandolo from Kenya is a 2011 graduate of the IMS program. She is the founder and CEO of CWAN Consulting for Media and Communication and a lecturer at the Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya.
Why did you apply to the International Media Studies (IMS) program?
"After I finished my undergraduate studies I wanted to do a Master's where I could have hands on practice. The IMS program offers that. Although some of the universities in Kenya at the time were offering media studies with practical sessions, the Master's programs were mainly theoretical."
What direction has your career taken since graduating from the program?
"I'm teaching [at the university] at the moment and doing a PhD in communications. I'm also doing some media consulting."
Which of the skills that you acquired during the IMS are you now applying in your work?
"Almost all of them because the IMS courses were very comprehensive. We had media management, for example, and I'm teaching that at the moment myself. Online journalism, projects and media practice were all integrated in some way. And the things we did in media economics, projects, media law, controlling and research methods – I'm using it all."
What were some of the other aspects of the program?
"I liked the international nature of our class. We were 21 students from 13 different countries and we shared a lot about our different countries. Reading something about a country or hearing it first hand from someone who’s from there are two different things. This way, we had direct information about China, Brazil, Ukraine. Hearing from the other students and being able to ask questions was like having the whole world in one place."
How would you describe the current media situation in your home country?
"Things are quite hazy at the moment because we can't rely 100% on the media like we used to. During the [2017 general] election the media was fairly gagged. There are people who are trying to improve this and there's a lot we could do, but politics are now influencing the media and I believe democracy is being compromised by that."
Is there anything you'd like to pass on to future IMS students and graduates?
"It's a good program. You'll learn a lot. It's good to be open-minded so that you can learn from the others. Someone else always has something to say, so it's good to listen. And for writing your thesis: try to focus! Because if you've mastered your topic, and end up publishing your work, it will help someone else out there."