Go for if you’re turned on by Advertising and Journalism, say Veena Almad & Hans Lewis
Don’t want to continue mundane graduate courses like BSc, BA and Commerce? Think you have creative juices flowing in your blood?? Then BMM (Bachelor in Mass Media) could be just the course for you. This is a 3 year graduation course where all the subjects related to media are taught. In the 3rd year, you have the option of majoring in either Advertising or Journalism. The course is still in its infancy and 2003 will see the first graduates in BMM.
Unlike Arts or Commerce, the first year of BMM has 12 subjects – six subjects per term. On request of the BMM faculty and the taking into consideration the advice given by top Advertising Personalities, the University has changed the syllabus (for the better). The revised subjects for 1st year are:
1. Effective Communication Skills-I 2. Macro Economics 3. Landmarks in 20th century history 4. Mass communication 5. Introduction To Computers 6. Introduction to Sociology
Semester – II
1. Effective Communication Skills-II 2. Introduction to Psychology 3. English Literature 4. Marketing 5. Political concepts and the Indian Political System 6. Principles of Management. In the 2nd year all other media related subjects like Copywriting, Radio, Photography etc. are present. There are compulsory internships for all 2nd year BMM students in the summer vacations. Colleges like Wilson and KC used to guarantee students with internships, but with the growing no of students in each college, finding internship positions is becoming a problem.
This year, most BMM students have had to find jobs through their own efforts/ contacts. Mumbai University had earlier stipulated that in the 4th semester students would have a choice between between Advertising and Journalism but it has been postponed to the 3rd year (5th and 6th semester). Basically, being a new course, the rules tend to keep changing. The course has extensive project work in each subject, which does tend to get hectic although students do gain a lot in terms of knowledge.
They not only learn to finish their assignments on time but also present it very creatively. Many colleges have professional visiting faculty – from companies, agencies or the media world. Bachelor of Mass Media is recognized by leading advertising agencies such as Lintas, O&M and Enterprise. This course in not as simple as many might perceive it to be and don’t get into it thinking there is not much to study, theory is tough and there are many exhausting projects to complete. There’s also this trend of BMM colleges having their own festival, which is an attraction as well as a distraction.
Also at: Maharishi Dayanand, C.H.M. Ulhasnagar, Sadhana College (Thane). *Jai Hind might be commencing BMM- enquire at in the college. Tel no: 2040256
Psst: Ruia abruptly discontinued BMM after, leaving TY 13 students in the lurch.
Eagerly awaited: BMM at Xaviers!
Choosing a BMM college
Check out the teaching faculty and especially how many professional guest lecturers, workshops, industrial visits and projects were undertaken – it varies widely between colleges. For example, Wilson had 15 workshops and 25 professional guest lecturers while Andrews was found lagging behind on both counts. Also consider the college’s influence in the advertising world (how many internships they could wrangle for their students), media equipment (like computers, cameras, video) etc and of course overall student’s satisfaction.
The eligibility for this course is 10+2 from any stream with a compulsory 50% secured in the board exams. Fees: Rs.9000-9500 for FY Earlier colleges like Ruia grossly overcharged but the fees are standardised now.. Some colleges are still selling their prospectus at a premium eg National and KC charged Rs 250, while Andrews priced the same at Rs 50 and Wilson Rs 20
There is no common exam for BMM so students have to go to each college they’re interested in and ask about the entrance exam. There is a written test where they may ask you questions like: – Change the copy and slogan for a certain ad – Write an essay on any recent topical issue (expect Kashmir this time) – Reading Comprehension.
There is no fixed format, so check with students who’ve given the test in that particular college the previous year. Every student also goes through an interview, where your GK and knowledge of current affairs and most importantly. ads, names of top 10 advertising agencies etc and their major clients is tested. So do read the newspapers and magazines like India Today, A & M and Brief.
Check out these websites: www.agencyfaqs.com / www.gutterspace.com
*JAM advises students not to waste money on career institutions who claim to polish your interview and writing skills for BMM. The entrance procedure is not that tough.
The placement prospects after BMM are uncertain. With over 700 BMM students enrolling last year (and more expected in the near future), most students may be in the same boat as your average BA/ BCom graduate ie searching for a “good” job. The top 20 ad agencies prefer MBAs/ MICA graduates for client servicing and copywriters will still be selected through a Copy Test.
Tip for students planning to enter journalism – write, write and write. The more articles you manage to get published the better your chance of landing a job right after BMM. Considering the boom in the TV industry, the course needs to pay more attention to that area.
– both Veena and Hans are BMM students