Career start as a trainee at Deutsche Welle: Interview with student Warda Imran

Warda Imran, student of M.A. Convergent Journalism (since WS 2020 M.A. Digital Journalism, editor's note) is about to start her traineeship at Deutsche Welle in Bonn. But before she packs her bags, we talked to her about her best moments and experiences at the HMKW, her participation in the workshop Talent Campus_Video and her student life in Berlin.

Warda Imran will do a traineeship at the Deutsche Welle in Bonn starting in early 2021.

Warda Imran will do a traineeship at the Deutsche Welle in Bonn starting in early 2021.

What comes to mind when you think about your studies at HMKW?

When I think of my time at HMKW, the first thing that comes to mind is the red brick building on Ackerstr. which has come to be the site of many memories moments and laughter.

Why did you decide to study “M.A.Convergent Journalism”? And what made you choose HMKW Berlin?

I was looking for a program that would fit my need; I was searching for an amalgamation of theory and field practice, and I am really glad to say I got both. I was able to learn a lot about video and audio editing and producing, something that was absolutely alien to me. The ‘Convergent’ in the name of the program was what truly got my attention. I chose HMKW because I looked at a lot of programs around EU and inside Germany and this particular course outline was inspiring.

Did you get any work experiences prior to your master studies that you would like to share with us?

Yes, I worked at one of Pakistan’s leading English newspapers for their online and offline national news. I was part of the team leading the 2018 Pakistan Elections coverage which ran more than 40 hours. I believed it was pertinent to know some practical know-how of the field I inspired to be in, and I worked at the news desk for almost two years before bidding farewell to travel to Germany.

Which seminar/project did you like the most so far?

This one is a tough one, primarily because I really enjoyed the struggles and successes of all the projects we did. I think I particularly liked our coverage of re:publica 2019 mostly because it was a great conference and I met a lot of important influential voices from all over the world. I also really enjoyed the Talent Campus Video workshop because I was a multimedia rookie when I entered HMKW and because of the seminars and a push from our professors, I can now do a whole lot more than before.

What was it like to be part of the workshop Talent Campus_Video? What did you like most about it?

There was a particular day when Jost Listemann was teaching us how to shoot different angles of a person walking down the stairs depending on what tone and context you wanted to give the scene. It was so difficult to capture the right way to tell a story and it was so so rewarding when we did get it right. I think that is the one moment I will remember, Jost was so patient with us, encouraging us to experiment. It was real fun.


What is it like to live in Berlin? Was it easy for you to settle in? Would you like to stay?

Oh, I absolutely love Berlin. When I moved, winter had just begun so the first few months were tough coming from a hot country where temperature roams between 29 and 38. But it is a fantastic city. There is nothing you can’t find here. I would absolutely love to stay here. But I do have to pack my bags and move to Bonn for a year!

What are your plans for the future? Do you want to become a full-time journalist?

Yes, that’s the plan! I actually start my Volontariat at Deutsche Welle in January. So I am very very excited for that. The program is fantastic and it was quite a difficult feat to be part of the top ten. The pandemic had made everything so difficult and chaotic, I was so thankful to have this solid permanent thing waiting for me.

What’s your advice for students who decide to come to Germany/to HMKW to study?

There are a lot of advices to give, but I guess the most fruitful one is: do lots of research, be prepared, know what you want. If you do these three things before moving to Germany, the transition will be smooth. Wherever in the world you come from, it takes a while to get used to the cultural differences. But one has to brave through. For HMKW, I’d say it’s very easy to settle in, the professors are great, there’s always a lot going on. So you won’t be bored. HMKW gave me the opportunity and the support to get a student job at DW Documentaries in 2018 and for that, I will always be grateful.

Which characteristics should students have who want to study „M.A. Convergent Journalism“?

Keep up with the news (it’s not hard!), step out of your comfort zone to experiment with different things. Be empathetic yet critical of your surroundings and ask loads of questions! As long as you can do these, you will do great!

Thank you very much for the interesting conversation. We wish you all the best for your career start at Deutsche Welle!