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I’d like to get into media…

Alumna in action
Alumna in action: Christina Blumentritt hosting the FAU doctoral degree graduation ceremony. (Image: FAU/Georg Pöhlein)

A lot of students hope to start a career in media after graduating. Dr. Christina Blumentritt, who studied Media Studies, (Media) Psychology and German Language and Literature at FAU and completed a doctoral degree there as well, managed to do just that – and very successfully as well. Since 2012, she has been the managing director of the regional broadcasting company Franken Fernsehen. In our interview she talks about studying and her career to date.

Did you aspire to stand in front of a camera as a journalist while you were still a student?

Not really, no. I was mainly interested in working in journalism and editing. I have always been fascinated by researching and collecting information and communicating it to viewers. In local television, editors tend to move in front of the camera after a certain time, starting out as a reporter then often progressing to become a studio presenter. That’s what happened to me.

Has something ever gone seriously wrong during a programme or broadcast?

More than once! A lot has happened over the years: I remember I once had to fill in a full minute when there was a technical hitch and the next feature couldn’t be shown. A minute can feel like a very long time when you’re trying to think of something amusing to say, and I’m afraid it must have been very boring for the viewers. There are also plenty of opportunities for mishaps during live performances – you might pick up the wrong notes by mistake, muddle up interview guests, trip up the stairs or realise that one of the straps on your ball gown has torn – to be honest, I think all of these have happened to me at one time or another…

What was your personal highlight at university?

I will probably always remember the very first time I went on air with university radio. I was extremely nervous whilst carrying out the interview and barely managed to hold the microphone still. I also had difficulties drafting the script. With the help of the others involved in the programme I was finally allowed to go on air, more or less at the last minute. Hearing your own report on the radio for the first time is an unforgettable moment which fills you with pride.

Looking back now, would you have done anything differently at university?

I don’t really think I would change anything. I might have liked one or two extra seminars with a stronger focus on practical aspects. However, at the end of the day, it is up to the students themselves to arrange work experience either by doing internships or working as a student trainee. I would really recommend making contacts and gaining first-hand experience of the sector – the sooner the better.

Are you still in touch with any of your former fellow students?

Yes, I’m still very close friends with six of them, and we meet up regularly. A close friend from university was one of the witnesses to our wedding and is our son’s godparent.

Do you have any tips for first year students who also want to ‘get into media’?

There’s no general recipe for success. A lot depends on external circumstances and luck definitely has a lot to do with it too. In my opinion, if you want to work in media, you need patience. Patience while hoping to finally gain a more or less permanent and secure position in a media company after completing countless, usually unpaid, internships. Patience while waiting for confirmation from colleagues, superiors and viewers that your reports and performances on TV really are as good and successful as you think they are. Patience while waiting for new challenges which will help you grow and develop. In the media, many talented people are on the lookout for new challenges every single day. In my opinion, there are not many markets which are so sought after, and that has been the case for decades now.

Out of sight, out of mind?

No chance! FAU keeps in touch with its former students via a lively alumni network. It doesn’t even matter if your graduation is still a long way off – you can join the network while you’re still a student. Via the interactive FAU Community portal or by attending events, you can make interesting contacts which might prove to be useful in your later career. Register as a member free of charge at: http://www.fau.eu/alumni


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