On Being Media Officer

Having myself being relatively inactive in extracurricular activities during Alevels, one of the few things I set myself to achieve when I first entered University is to secure a committee position in a society.

During the start of the spring semester, whilst I was preparing to self-nominate for the secretary position of the Malaysian and Singaporean Society (MASSOC), I received an email that I was nominated for the Media Officer! I don’t view myself as a photographer material (judging from my Instagram feed) so this came as a shock to me.

But surely the people who nominated me did so for a reason, so I decided to run for this rather unfamiliar position instead of secretary. Besides, since I am quite familiar with secretarial work, maybe this is a sign asking me to go out from my comfort zone!

Apart from the most important job of taking photos during society’s events, Media Officer is also in charge of managing the society’s social media platforms and also designing event posters, members’ t-shirt and hoodie. Essentially it involves maintaining the good image of the society and also increasing its audience reach. From what I see, this position requires a certain level of competency in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as good photography skills.

These are not the things that I am comfortable in doing. Therefore when I first took up this position, I struggled with all sorts of problems and had made quite a few mistakes. The major one being my failure to capture still photos for the Malaysians’ performance during International Cultural Evening (ICE). It was very frustrating because photographs capture moments which will be gone forever, and so the photos are very important and meaningful for the performers of that night. Afterwards, it was a relief to know that there was another person recording the video of the performance (the video was even broadcasted in Malaysia’s national TV channel). Nevertheless, this episode alarmed me of how unprepared I am for this position. Since then, I had been self-learning on photography skills and also crash-coursing on tips when using Adobe Illustrator.

At the same time, being part of the committee puts my organisational skills, particularly time management into test. In high school, my only concern was to juggle between my studies and extracurricular activities. But now, being an international university student really brings this time management game to a whole new level. There’s the house chores, cooking, studying, socialising and this, along with other extracurricular activities. At times it gets overwhelming but I push myself to persevere.

All in all, I do not regret taking up this position. So far I’m met with challenges but the process of resolving them is personally very meaningful and motivating. Currently I am busy setting up a new website for MASSOC, despite having minimal knowledge in HTML! I look forward to my time as Media Officer of MASSOC, working alongside with other committee members for the upcoming academic year. 🙂

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