Graduate students from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information will now have the opportunity to get a second graduate degree within a year at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Communications in the United States.
The programme will be the first major overseas opportunity for WKWSCI master’s students. “We want to give opportunities to our master’s students to increase their marketability,” said Associate Professor Augustine Pang, director of the Master of Mass Communication programme at WKWSCI.
“Medill is a partner we want to work with because it hosts one of the best — if not the best — IMC programmes in the United States.”
“For students who want to go into the workplace, having training in both IMC as well as media and strategic communications will make them more marketable,” he added.
As part of a memorandum of understanding with Medill that was signed in May this year, WKWSCI Master’s students will be able to complete the 1.5-year IMC degree programme in just nine months.
According to Assoc. Prof Pang, the only other overseas opportunity for WKWSCI graduate students currently is a week-long overseas course, ‘Managerial Seminar in Corporate Communication,’ held annually in New York City. “So really, this is the most substantive exchange we’ve had,” said Assoc. Prof Pang.
Medill has also agreed to award each participating student a USD$20,000 research fellowship, which may be used to offset the USD$46,000 tuition fee. “They’re essentially paying USD$26,000 for a second graduate degree from a top university, which is unheard of,” explained Assoc. Prof Pang.
On the Medill side, students will have the opportunity to complete the year-long MMC programme at WKWSCI in just five months. In addition, students will be attached to a three-month internship at leading communications firms such as Burson-Marsteller (SEA) Pte Ltd and Ogilvy & Mather Singapore.
“By partnering with the top communications school in the region, we can help our students gain more knowledge of the local market.”
Director of IMC Global Relations at Medill
Director of IMC Global Relations at Medill Jenna Luo said that the programme was actually the result of two memorandums, the first of which was signed in May 2016.
Rising interest among students in finding jobs in thriving Asian markets sparked collaboration talks between the two schools, said Luo, who added that international students from Asia were particularly keen.
“By partnering with the top communications school in the region, we can help our students gain more knowledge of the local market,” she said. “This will equip them with the skills and exposure they need to succeed in their future career.”
The programme will thus not only allow Medill students to get a second degree from a top Asian university, but will also provide them with a foothold to launch their career in Asia, she added.
While responses have been positive, there have been no confirmed applications yet on either side for the first session of the programme in January 2018. Applications for the second session will open in the first half of 2018.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our MMC students,” said Assoc. Prof Pang. “And Medill is a partner we want to work with because it hosts one of the best — if not the best — IMC programmes in the United States.”