Rethink React Respond Day Trip

I haven’t been able to much write on this module until today, because it’s all been very secretive. All we knew before today was that in our groups (1 person from each course) we would be taken on a trip and given a task.

It turns out we went to London, we were told we would be going to the Olympic Village, and we have to create a piece based on ideologies in sport and polotics.

This module is an important step in the progression towards an autonomous professional career, and as such it has been purposefully built to replicate a real-life situation commonly occurring in the life of a media professional.

The situation in question is the unexpected arrival of a very open brief with an extremely tight deadline, necessitating individuals to work swiftly and effectively as a team with people they may be unfamiliar with. In order to succeed, a media professional will have to:

1. be able to tolerate uncertainty and ambiguity, and focus on the task at hand
2. be able to proactively find out any information needed
3. be able to take decisions based on the information available
4. be able to formulate educated guesses extrapolated from existing knowledge
5. be able to reorganise their own schedule and workload at short notice
6. be able to work effectively with new people
7. be able to work effectively in a pressurised environment with tight deadlines
8. be able to execute an extremely open brief
9. be able to think creatively and on their feet
10. be able to make sense of a non immediately straightforward situation

Media professionals agree that coping successfully with this type of situation is one of the most important set of skills to acquire at the beginning of one’s career.

The department is committed to help students succeed in such real-life everyday occurrences through a careful progression of tasks and projects that will move students from smaller structured tasks to larger and unstructured ones. To do so, we present students with as lifelike a situation as possible, at the same time providing support, feedback, and a summative evaluation that takes all these factors into due consideration. Through this learning-by-doing approach, students can thus acquire the necessary mileage to succeed when confronted with an analogous situation in their professional life.

In year two, students have been exposed to simulations of events such as press conferences or news days, and in year three they will have the opportunity to work on real-life sized projects.  In this context, 202MC-Rethink React Respond is a crucial stepping stone, as it aims at providing the learning outcomes listed above, and it has been purposefully built around them. Specifically:

We were pretty surprised to learn we were going to London, considering we left at 1.30 which meant we didn’t get to London until 4.30, we then had to be in Euston at 6 which took about 40 mins on the tube, so we had just under an hour to do the whole task. Which was ridiculous, especially as we also had no public access to the Olympic Village, we were told we cant film or go anywhere near it for security reasons.

We were pretty stressed, but came up with a plan, our inital reaction when we saw the outside of the Village was, is that it?

There has been so much hype about the Olympics, and seeing the concrete/grey walls was a let down. We decided to use this as our starting point, comparing what the government are feeding us, the image of a beautiful structure that will rescue our economy, and the reality, annoyed workers around the city and nothing but grey buildings.

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