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The Medium is the Message

Posted by Rebecca on 13 February 2009

I first read Marshall McLuhan's book Understanding Media (apologies for the unacademic referencing) back as an undergraduate.  At the time I thought it was one of the best books I had ever read and I was naive enough to think that I understood what he was talking about.  It was enough for me to seek out media projects as a management consultant and waste countless hours reading everything related to the media industry, from Pew to Trendhunters to Adbusters. 

So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the first club I joined was the Media Club.  They had me at "multi-channel content".  I quickly learned that I know only a trivial iota about media, barely enough to compete at pub quiz night relative to many of the other Media club members.  The Media club is one of the largest on campus with over 600 members. Its mandate is two fold: to help students learn about and engage with the media industry and to educate the media industry about the value of MBA students.

The Media Club organises different events to serve these two mandates.  The biggest single event is the annual Media Summit held each November (captured in an episode of MBA TV). This year we were lucky enough to have a stellar line-up of guest speakers, including Mark Thompson (Director-General of the BBC) and Bill Roedy (CEO of MTV Networks International) and over 200 delegates.

Twelve of us also went on a trek to LA in December, visiting 14 media companies in 5 days.  We met with NBC Universal, MTV Digital, Yahoo! Sports, MySpace and CAA to name a few. I think my personal highlight was having dinner next to Larry David, but that's just the star-struck tourist talking. 

On a smaller scale, the club organises weekly lunches with media executives.  Each week we invite a different person to join 15 of us for lunch on campus.  It's an informal event where we can learn about what's happening in digital or television or social networks to name a few topics.  I've made it a habit to go each week and I'm never disappointed - I always learn something new and leave with something to think about.

Up next we're gearing up for our Meet the Media event in March.  We're inviting an equal mix of students, alumni and industry execs to join us at Soho House for a night of chat and cocktails.  It should be a lot of fun and chances are tickets will be in hot demand.  

Blog MTM Invite

I'm one of the hopefuls looking for a media internship this summer, which is typically more of a "make your own job / choose your own adventure" deal as opposed to a structure programme like banking or consulting.  These types of opportunities tend to come later - May or June - and I know the wait will be agonizing.  It's already weird sitting out while everyone marches around in suits and cracking cases. But I know that when the opportunity presents itself I'll be armed with more than a Marshall McLuhan quote, which is a lot more than what I started with in September. 

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