Ever since I was young I was fascinated by media and in particular the way advertising, when executed well, could influence people. After finishing my high school the promise of someday working in the advertising business got me to sign up for the bachelor Communications science at the University of Amsterdam. Though not my initial motivation for choosing this study, while I was learning more about the different media I found myself, at the backdrop of a quickly changing media landscape, more and more pulled to new media. Realizing I had this new-found-interest I adjusted my study program by doing as much electives on new media, the internet, social media etc. as possible. In this light I wrote my bachelor’s thesis on the ‘Revenge of the Nerd’, elaborating on the change the definition of ‘the nerd’ has undergone in the past ten years from a curse-word for socially incapable teenagers to a definition for a tech-savvy, intelligent person whom is in control of a computer, in stead of the other way around. A quality that nowadays is appreciated in stead of made fun of. The bachelor however did not fully satisfy my interests in new media and I remained hungry for more knowledge about this exciting development.
For the completion of my bachelor I therefor did an internship at an ad-agency called Lemonade in New York City which primarily focused on using the internet and other online application to market brands and products. By doing this internship I was able to combine what interested me most about communication: marketing and new media. As I’ve said the agency focuses on utilizing the wide variety of possibilities offered by new media in actively engaging a consumer to a brand. Without going too much in detail: think of videos where one can influence the outcome of the narrative or a video-trailer for a novel. While working with the people in this agency I realized I wanted to learn as much about new media as possible so that I would be able to do the same as these guys: take advertising to 2.0.
On my return I began looking for possible masters and when I found out that a master entirely about new media existed I looked no further. With a half year to spend before starting this new media master I came to work for the daily-deals-site Groupon as a direct sales manager. Here I got to experience the success of a well thought-out online concept and see what it was like to work for a multinational. Seeing how deal sales add up every time I refreshed the page was a great kick and showed me the unlimited potential the web has as an sales channel. Furthermore the fact that the concept of Groupon had grown so explosively in such a short time in so many countries showed me the unbound potential any good idea has on the web.
And now I’m here, at the start of a year of this New Media master. I hope to learn what has been done in the world of internet, smartphones and social media. What has worked and what has failed. Furthermore I hope to encounter new, cool and innnovative online concepts and be able to critically assess why something works or doesn’t work, is of importance or not. And, most of all, I hope I’ll learn what’s yet to come to be as up to date as possible when starting my working career.