Edīte Mežciema

President of ViA Student Union (2017-2019)
Media studies and journalism

What influenced your choice to study at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (ViA)?

There were different reasons why I chose ViA. I had heard only positive reviews of the study programme I chose and when I read its official description, I realised that the studies in ViA could be very interesting.

What, in your opinion, is the most important aspect to pay attention to when making the decision on what industry to work in and hence study? What would you recommend to pay attention to those who are planning to make a decision about studying?

I would absolutely suggest to think about whether the profession you are planning to study is interesting to you. The experience of people I know is a real proof that studying something that you don't like is not worth it, because in the first and second year of studies you will probably decide to leave. You will have to start everything again and you will lose valuable time in your life when you could’ve done the things you enjoyed.

Have you ever been disappointed with the chosen study programme so far?

I’ve had ups and downs at the university but I am definitely not disappointed with my study programme. During some courses I’ve thought that the study materials won’t come in handy in the future and then to my surprise later down the line when it proves necessary.

How do you rate your chosen study programme? What knowledge and skills have been most valuable and useful to you?

I have realised that the information we consume must be filtered and how to do it. Every day we get a large amount of information literally thrown at us and it is easy to get confused and believe in false information sources.

The academic staff at ViA are knowledgeable in their field, and they are very good at transferring their knowledge to students, so I try to perceive everything as equally important. I believe, however, that not only the knowledge gained through course work is important but also each student's own initiative and industry internships. A good journalist will become better over time. Working daily with content creation, analysing the information available ultimately can improve the quality of work for a journalist after graduation.

What kind of people (character, passion, interests), in your opinion, should study journalism?

There are no people of a particular nature or interests who may be journalists. In my opinion, a future journalism student must have three things: self-confidence, excellent communication skills and good linguistic knowledge. Journalism will always involve people - talks, interviews, co-operation with colleagues, you can't go a day without it, and if it's difficult for people to communicate with others, then they would definitely have to find a way to overcome it.

Which, in your opinion, is the biggest challenge when starting your studies?

Definitely entering into a new environment and understanding the study process, because it is something new to anyone who has just begun studies. We had help from our student godparents who showed everything in Valmiera and introduced with other students, and also answered any questions. Also, the lecturers and ViA staff have been very responsive from the beginning, which contributed to getting handle of things more quickly. Whilst in Valmiera, I have found other like-minded people with familiar interests and life at the university has become truly exciting and fun!

What would you like to wish for all future students?

Find the things that you are passionate about, set goals and do everything to reach them, because we, ourselves, create our life and no one else is responsible for our decisions and achievements. And, of course, enjoy your study years in order to have something to remember in the future!