How to Make the Dean’s List (For Mass Comm Students!)

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.

Since results just came out less than 12 hours ago, I’m gonna share some Dean’s List tips for Mass Comm diploma students in UiTM. But I welcome everyone on the internet to read this post. Not sure if I’m qualified to write this, actually… but here you go.

Iqra’! Read!

Mass Comm has a lot of reading subjects, so like it or not, you’re gonna have to read a lot if you want to score. You don’t have to read that much if you pay attention and jot down notes during class. And honestly? I don’t study much. I’m actually really lazy when it comes to revision. BUT I read a lot of general knowledge materials, and sometimes Mass Comm-related stuff (outside of academic texts). I notice that some of my friends take longer to understand what they’re learning because they’ve never heard of a lot of terms/concepts and they tak boleh imagine benda tu. Our textbooks are US-based and they mostly use US-related examples when describing things. So READ, my friends. Not just for the sake of exams, but to be rich in knowledge.

Communication skillsΒ 

My lecturer once said, “Kalau korang sama ada tak suka bercakap ataupun tak suka menulis, kenapa korang masuk Mass Comm?”.

Communication skills are very important. Nama pun budak Mass Comm. You have to know how to communicate to the masses (or at least show the passion to learn!). You have to make sure messages reach audiences in a clear and fun way. Budak Mass Comm, muka kena tebal. Like, seriously. Tapi muka tebal bertempat lah. You’re gonna have to promote events to other students, act/sing/dance, speak in public, and so on.

Thinking outside of the box + extra creative skills

For your assignments, you’re gonna have to interview random people (Journalism), interview public relations practitioners (Public Relations), translate texts (Translation), speak in public (Public Speaking), create short films (Comm Theory, Islam and Comm), create instructions (Instructional Comm) create ads (Advertising), take brilliant photos (Photo Comm), sell stuff (Entrepreneurship) and so on.

You really don’t want your work to bore people. You have to grab their attention. So you have to be interesting — think outside of the box! For example, for our CTU assignment, my group produced a horror short film based on the theme ‘Bahaya Mengumpat’. If you can’t generate or execute creative ideas, maybe you’re better off pursuing a career as a math teacher or a stockbroker.

It also REALLY, REALLY, REALLYYYYY helps if you have extra creative skills such as video editing, graphic design, social media expertise, drawing, writing, and etc, even if it’s only the basics. University is the time for you to make mistakes, and to learn. Spend time sharpening your creative skills, ESPECIALLY during the semester break. For example, you might have to create a Twitter account for your class event for the sake of publicity. Someone with skills in social media will know what accounts to tag, which hashtags to use, the right time to post to get the most retweets, how to start threads, what captures the attention of Twitter users and how to convince them that attending the event is worth their time, pendek kata, dia mahir pasal selok belok Twitter. And ta-da! More people will attend your event!

Know your lecturersΒ 

VERY important. You should keep a few notes on your lecturers if necessary. Different lecturers have different personalities and therefore, different expectations. Some will deduct 5 marks from your presentation because you exceeded the time limit by 26 seconds (happened to me…). Some will lock the door after class starts, or ask you to leave the class if you didn’t bring your book. But some don’t mind if you eat during class. So you should master the art of pleasing them, knowing where to add and where to deduct. For example, most Mass Comm lecturers love gimmicks (acting skits) during presentations, but when my group did it during Part 3 for a certain subject, the lecturer criticized us, saying we wouldn’t be that unprofessional if we were presenting in front of the Rector. So, know your lecturers πŸ™‚

Establish rapport (a good relationship) with your lecturers

Using the word ‘rapport’ because it appears quite a lot in the Mass Comm syllabus hehe. Participate in class, make the effort to go to their office to consult them on assignments, be friendly with them. It can make the difference between an A+ and an A and an A- when the lecturer actually knows who you are and sees you as, if not a good student, then a good person.

All the basic stuff~

Have clear goals. Keep a planner. Figure out which study method is the best for you (Mind maps? Flashcards? Drawings?). Keep specific folders for each subject. Submit assignments before the deadline. Don’t fight with your classmates. Eat healthy. Get enough sleep. Exercise well. Come to class on time. Don’t skip class. Don’t procrastinate. Utilize the internet, the library, and other resources. Write reports according to the proper format and cite your sources. Make sure your laptop won’t have technical problems during presentations. Print slides and past-year papers. Don’t be lazy. Join non-academic clubs and organizations. Make friends with students from other faculties and ages. Clean your room. Do your laundry. Be a nice person. Work hard. Pray hard.

You can find all these tips in detail in more general how-to-study articles instead of this blog entry which is focusing on Mass Comm students lol.

And most importantly, for Muslims, put Allah first and betulkan niat

I won’t deny it. Mass Comm kadang-kadang banyak menguji keimanan. Because of the nature/personalities of most Mass Comm students. But believe me, every course has its own challenges.

The articles we’ll write, the advertisements we’ll create, the films we’ll make… make sure they are beneficial. Ustazah Sadiqa always said, “Pelajar Mass Comm sangat bertuah, sebab course kamu yang paling senang untuk mengajak orang kepada kebaikan”. Hold on to that.

And of course, tunaikan perintah Allah dan tinggalkan larangan-Nya. I’m not promising you’ll get a 4.0 CGPA if you wear a jubah and spend half the day in the masjid. But God is Great and He looks at your efforts. Personally, I have a schoolmate who is slowly but surely starting to istiqamah in praying five times a day, and her GPA increases every semester. Maybe it won’t be the same for everyone, but Allah is fair. Who knows, you might get average grades but you might land a job that pays higher than all your Dekan friends!

Bila buat assignment, buat secara bermoral. Jangan tinggal solat sebab shooting. Jangan Jangan viralkan benda yang Allah tak suka. Jangan tikam belakang. Jangan tiru waktu exam.

And, betulkan niat.

Tak guna jugak korang bersusah-payah belajar kalau niat korang salah. So, betulkan balik niat. Every single time bukak buku. Every single time masuk kelas. Niat untuk belajar dan untuk mengajar. Niat untuk gunakan ilmu yang korang dapat untuk betulkan diri sendiri, untuk membantu umat Rasulullah dan seluruh manusia, untuk menyumbang kepada agama Islam. Niat untuk membalas jasa dan memberi pahala kepada ibu bapa. Niat untuk menunaikan tanggungjawab korang di atas muka bumi ini sebagai khalifah dan hamba. Niat untuk ajarkan ilmu korang kepada orang lain juga. This is your jihad.

Hope this helps! Do share this article with your fellow MassCommers or leave a comment below if you have anything to add!

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