What comes to mind when you think about your studies at HMKW?
Looking back at everything we did during the previous semesters, I realize how much it all contributed to not only my general academic knowledge but also to my personal ambitions. Considering all the practical work we had the chance to do, I could apply it to my professional and personal life. There is clear growth.
Why did you decide to study “M.A. Public Relations and Digital Marketing”? And what made you choose HMKW Berlin?
I was looking for a program that could combine both creative and analytical elements, a program that could really push me further professionally, and during my research all over European Universities HMKW really stood out from the other options, it was a combination of a great program in one of the most interesting cities: Berlin.
Did you get any work experiences prior to your master’s degree that you would like to share with us?
Previously I worked in the Banking sector as an intern, then mostly in collaboration with youth development programs, and it was something that really opened my eyes to many things around me, it helped develop a more “human” side of myself.
You are currently working at Blinkist. Please tell us more about your work: What do you like most about your current job position? What is your biggest challenge?
I always had a huge passion for sound, so working at Blinkist as a working student in the Shortcast circle, I got to explore more of this side and always discover new podcasts that I tend to fall in love with. Out of a thousand other things I could describe, what I mostly like about working there is being surrounded by incredible professionals who are generous enough to share their knowledge with students like me - and give us the opportunity to build our professional profiles, especially the circle I am part of, I always feel like if I struggle with anything be it on a professional or personal level they are always there to give me a hand.
I wouldn’t really say it’s a challenge as such, but working at Blinkist really motivates me into improving myself constantly. I get to challenge myself into learning new things that I would perhaps never think of and improve other skills I already had.
Which seminar did you like the most so far?
All seminars were great, but "Converging technological trends" was my favourite because every presentation required more of “thinking out of the box”, I was part of an amazing group, and both professors really showed us parts of these converging trends that I had no idea even existed, and to see how companies are using these technologies and trend in actual times, especially due to the current pandemic made it an even greater “virtual” experience.
What was your favourite project during your studies?
My favourite project was a research paper two other incredible colleagues and I wrote for our Applied research methods class about how CEO activism impacts consumer perception through the use of social media and also how consumers respond to CEO activism on social media. We based our research on the #BLACKLIVESMATTER movement which at the time due to the killing of George Floyd, a victim of police brutality in the United States, had a great impact on the media, and we really felt that it was necessary to contribute to the literature on this topic and to give our perspective as PR students.
You are writing your master thesis soon. Which topic did you choose and why?
"My thesis is about how podcasting has become an important new digital communication tool for activism by people of colour, and I chose this topic not only because I have read and observed how much growth in this area has happened. It is also impressing to see how much freedom podcasts give especially to independent creators to address their issues without the common censoring we see in many media platforms. This is more for me than just a thesis. It is a way of making a statement about this, and giving even more visibility to people of colour - that some of us see them, hear them and understand them. It is a topic that I personally feel deserves to be further explored also by others."
What is it like to live in Berlin? Was it easy for you to settle in? Would you like to stay?
I love Berlin. I love how diverse it is and how you can be completely yourself all the time. In the beginning, it was a bit difficult to adapt because it’s completely different from where I come from (Angola) or lived before (Zimbabwe), but with time it became more and more like home. I would like to stay for a longer time to grow professionally and explore more of the city.
What are your plans for the future?
I would like to focus my professional career in content marketing and communications in the podcasting sector, I believe that podcasting is truly a phenomenon to keep an eye on due to its continuous growth, and I would like to learn more about it and build my long-term career around this - consequently become an influential figure in my country.
Which characteristics should students have that want to study „M.A. Public Relations and Digital Marketing"?
I would risk saying curiosity, open-mindedness and creativity, since many projects we have challenge us to explore more of our creative side from both a PR and digital marketing perspective, and this most of the time links to curiosity and open-mindedness in wanting to understand and know more about aspects related to both areas.
Thank you very much for the interview. We wish you all the best for your master thesis and your career start!