Professor Ying Chan, the Director of the JMSC, welcomed this year’s intake of 30 undergraduates.
She introduced the students to some of the JMSC staff and they also heard from two Year 3 undergraduates about their experiences of the course to date.
“It’s a good programme with a lot of interesting classes and challenges,” said Professor Chan. “We want you to be good journalists and storytellers. We’ll teach you the skills and the ethics and then you’ll be telling the stories.”
As the students introduced themselves it became clear that this year’s intake is an extremely diverse mix. There are 12 local students, 12 international students and six students from the mainland.
The calibre is also extremely good — this year’s local students have the highest average JUPAS score of any year admitted to the JMSC.
Gene Mustain, Director of the JMSC’s Reporting and Writing Programme, mentioned one new student, Elisa Chan, who is from Mauritius. He admitted that he’d never heard of the island before and was pleased to find that through teaching at the JMSC he too was learning something new.
He encouraged students to be equally curious about their classmates: “Try to enrich your lives and learn from each other.”
Mustain, who has taught at the JMSC for 11 years following a highly successful career as a journalist in the United States, was keen to point out the quality of the course.
“This is probably the best journalism school in Asia for both undergraduates and postgraduates,” he said. “Our graduates have gone on to have great careers in both Asia and round the world.”
Winnie Shum and Katie Tam, both Year 3 BJs, shared their experiences at the JMSC with new students.
They talked about the internships and exchange programmes they’d undertaken and urged students to take advantage of what’s on offer.
Both of them are doing just that: Tam freelances for the Associated Press (AP) and Shum works as a junior reporter at RTHK.
“Grab the opportunities provided by the JMSC,” said Shum. “Think about what you want to achieve over the next three years. There are loads of opportunities here so decide which ones you really want and go for it!”
Professor Chan pointed out that while the course prepares people for journalism, it is also a great training ground for many other careers. “Journalism will prepare you for all kinds of jobs — you will learn how to size up and analyse situations and information,” she said.