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This year’s graduating Bachelor of Journalism students celebrated the end of their studies in style at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong.
The party was organised by JMSC Honorary Lecturer, Jeff Timmermans, and held on Friday, 27 April.
“After three years of very hard work learning to be a journalist, I thought it was important for the graduates to be welcomed into the profession in style – both as a reward for all that hard work and as a public recognition they’d made it,” Timmermans said.
Suhani Jain, BJ 2012, said the party was a rare chance to mingle with all the professors and classmates in one place. “It was really nice to spend time with professors on a more personal level,” she said. “It’s a wonderful gesture by Jeff and the JMSC to have thrown us this party.”
Jain said that she had enjoyed the late Diane Stormont’s Advanced Online Journalism course the most during her time at the JMSC.
“Diane’s dynamism blew me away,” she said. “The class reaffirmed my motivation to be in journalism at a time when I was getting quite low on the drive. It was fun (though extremely stressful) to be producing at least one story every week — it was real journalistic practice. The course pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and really go out there and produce multimedia stories.”
Su Xinqi also appreciated being able to see every one again at the gathering. “It reminded me of the first time we met three years ago,” she said. “We have grown up and learned a lot at the JMSC.”
She said she felt the most important thing she learned was “an attitude towards life and people, a type of curiosity and inquiry.”
Manon Pierre felt she’d leanrt a lot during her undergraduate years at the JMSC.
“It’s a bit of a paradox as we were taught journalism’s strict ethics and morals, but I also learned to always be critical of the media and news and to question everything I read or hear,” said Pierre.
Pierre’s thoughts, like many other graduating students, have turned to finding a job.
“Most of us are really anxious about the future and unemployment has been a recurrent topic in our conversations lately,” she said. “But the professors seem confident we’ll do well and that’s a comforting thought. I will try to live up to their expectations.”
Sarah Spaeth, also BJ 2012, said she hoped to work in journalism though would be willing to work in another field if necessary.
Spaeth’s ambitions are noble: “I hope I can change the world, be it on a small or great scale,” she said. “I hope to make the world a better place.”
Jain, who hopes to start her own performing arts and multimedia venture, put together a short and entertaining video of messages from staff to the graduating students which was played during the party.
“I wanted to do something special for the class,” she said. “My university life has been the best three years of my life so far and I think a lot of my classmates feel the same way.”
“A little collage of memories and farewell messages from our professors just brought it all together into one place for the class to look back on the three years, and at the same time look ahead at what came next. It was a graduation party: somebody had to inject a little dose of nostalgia in there.”
Jeff Timmermans included a message to the students saying how much he’d learned from them.
“Since I only started teaching full time at the JMSC in 2009, this was the first class of Bachelor of Journalism students I’ve seen all the way through to graduation – so it will always be a special class for me” he said.
“And whether they knew it or not, along the way the helped me become a much better teacher. In fact, I think I may have learned at least as much from them as they learned from me.”