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University of Leeds, Communication and Media Personal Statement

Communication and Media , University of Leeds

Media, whether we like it or not, pervades the daily lives of each and every one of us. A crucial aspect of today’s society, media saturates everything we do, everything we hear, holding the ability to control our emotions, our worries, our interests and our actions. We rely on the media to keep us updated, to deliver messages and information that we otherwise might not bother searching for ourselves. It has become an essential element of society that is ever-changing and continually expanding, something which we cannot quite work out, but that somehow manages to latch onto our dynamic society at every turn. The opportunity to study media at degree level is a goal I have been working towards ever since taking up the subject at GCSE level.

Continuing media onto AS and A2 has been a natural journey and I am currently studying it alongside English Literature and Philosophy and Ethics. It has become further evident to me through studying these subjects that media is present throughout everything we learn today and that there is nothing that could be more exciting and relevant to study at this moment in time. I believe that my learning so far will equip me to take on the challenge of the subject at university. In my current role as Head Girl, as voted for by staff and the student body, I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to take on a key role in a number of school and community events, including addressing 1000 people in the St.Albans Abbey for the annual school prize-giving event. Events such as these have enabled me to further my communication skills, particularly when presenting to a large group.

My part-time job in a bakery for two years and current job in clothing store ‘Hobbs’, have also contributed towards the development of these skills, as they involve dealing with a wide variety of people. To acquire as much experience as possible within the area of communication and media, I willingly sought to involve myself with voluntary causes that work with people from differing walks of society. I felt that this was a truly beneficial way of gaining a direct understanding of how communication varies between people of contrasting backgrounds to myself. Last year, I spent time over the Christmas period volunteering for homeless shelter and organisation, ‘Crisis @ Christmas’, getting to know the guests and letting them know that somebody cared. This was an eye-opening experience, which despite approaching with some trepidation, I thoroughly enjoyed. It became clear to me that perhaps my pre-judgements of the homeless may have been a result of what I had seen or read within the media, reinforcing my desire to discover more about the relationship between the media and reality.

Following this, I volunteered for a three month period at an after-school club as part of my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, developing interaction skills with an age group that I had never worked with before. Inspired by the fact that my Nana suffers from Dementia, I also became a ‘Dementia Friend’. This provided me with information needed to understand and support the illness. It has enabled me to make easier conversation with many of the residents at my Nana’s care-home, as I now understand how methods of communication can be altered to suit the individual. These voluntary experiences, which I wish to continue at university, have been extremely valuable in coming to terms with the importance of communication over an array of different cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, ages and genders.

Growing up in a generation obsessed by the ‘celebrity’ is a topic which especially interests me. This year I attended a London talk for Grazia Magazine titled, ‘The Changing Face of Celebrity’. This was an extremely insightful evening which furthered my fascination of this topic, discussing the social-media dominated world and what defines ‘famous’. I was able to converse with an array of media figures, including a presenter, blogger, publicist, photographer and fashion PR manager. This event was beneficial in that I could learn more about jobs across varying media platforms whilst also exploring how the media is responsible for creating and upholding someone’s celebrity status.

The chance to study communication and media is, to me, a truly exciting prospect and an opportunity to experience and learn about an industry so applicable to the world we live in today. I would relish the opportunity to study such a current and unique degree and believe that alongside my experiences so far, this course will help me to thrive and succeed in the media and communications industry.

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