<strong>Namitha Varma, </strong>Senior Content Writer at BankBazaar
Hope this finds you in good health and hope you have enough hair left on your head to carry it gracefully (after all the mandatory hair-pulling with batch after batch of students)!I know I have not been in touch with either the teachers or the alumni at IIJNM, but here’s to make up for all of it – a big thank you for helping me become what I am today. And coming to what I am today – I got promoted as the Deputy Production Editor last month. This means that I have risen three levels since my joining here (I joined at level one, am at level four now).The company was looking to expand its Media outsourcing operations and they got a proposal from a major US firm to take up work on Media monitoring and analysis. I was chosen to lead the trial run of the work because of my excellent handling of the work in the last three years and my good track record. Another colleague was chosen to support me. So it essentially meant that I would be the chief resource and would have to understand the project, work out its difficulties and key skills, identify its nature and deal with client requirements. We successfully completed the trial run and clinched the deal.Now I head a team of 20 journalists for the company. I am no longer a production employee but a managerial staff. I have got a rating of 5 in two consequent appraisals (ratings are from 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest). It makes me proud to say that I am from IIJNM. I value all that I have learnt at IIJNM, even though I am no longer into real journalism and am a ‘corporate journalist’. Many thanks to you, and to all IIJNM staff whom I have learnt from. Please give my regards to everyone.
<strong>Itika Sharma, </strong>Former Principal Correspondent at Business Standard
It’s only when you join the industry you realise what you’ve learnt at IIJNM.

“In conversations with fellow journalists, we often discuss the wide gap between education and professional life in India. What is taught in most classrooms in the country is far from what is to be done at the office desk. But I cannot complain about it because for me that gap was filled at IIJNM.

The college taught me how to practice journalism. My greatest learning at IIJNM was that ‘Journalism is not a job, it is a way of life’. It has been two years now and there are challenges and tough times every day. But the way of life that IIJNM inculcated in me always helps in sailing through.

Beyond syllabi and assignments, IIJNM is a big family led by the most driven and inspiring faculty who always gave us practical solutions and not theoretical answers. I call it a family because even years after having been their student, all my teachers are just a phone call away to help me.

My IIJNM friends often call it The Wonder Year of our lives, it sure is that! “

<strong>Swati Varma</strong>, Producer, NDTV

Lost…is the first word that comes to my mind when I think about IIJNM. Reason being, me and my folks were lost when we went to see the institute for the very first time. But ever since then IIJNM has only guided me all through and made sure I don’t lose direction.

Life in IINM is definitely not easy. You live in a hostel, there are umpteen deadlines and expectations, but after a year long of all of this you realise how important it was. After working in Broadcast media for more than 3 years, I have realised that it’s not a cakewalk, actually far from it and IIJNM totally prepares you for it.

Starting from early morning edit meets, to going on shoots, figuring out where the story is heading and eventually producing a bulletin or printing a newspaper…and no it doesn’t end there…after everything there is feedback time. Here the professors who have all been on field and have ample experience help you understand where and what went wrong.

We were not only taught how to use the best of equipment, we were also taught how to take care and respect the equipment. One is introduced to the basics of the industry like the lingo, formats which is a boon when you step into the professional world.

I was placed through campus recruitment and I still can’t thank IIJNM enough for what they have taught me and made me learn. It was a great, memorable and truly valuable year of my life
With lots of love & luck 

<strong>Mary Ercilia Gayen</strong>, Web Editor, Markets, Livemint.com

It’s almost unbelievable that time has flown by so fast and it’s been three years since I graduated from IIJNM. Honestly, I gambled when I picked IIJNM over another prominent Journalism School. But after a year at the institute – I have good friends, teachers and skills to talk about.

IIJNM gave me a head start on many things. The practical skills set you apart. From day one at work, my batchmates and I could make a page for a broadsheet and since then we were almost indispensable. I could upload a website and review content for NDTV while other J-school people went through training weeks (nothing has made me more smug).

The software skills I’ve learnt, I believe made me a whiz everywhere. The perspectives I received on International politics has made me somewhat an expert and am gradually working to make it a specialized beat. The insistence on discipline has ensured that I’ve not missed a single deadline till today and people find it unbelievable. The ethics classes have helped me maintain some principles even today, despite the fact that, sadly as you will learn, marketing dictates your journalistic ethics.

IIJNM’s facilities are excellent. You will be amazed as to how deprived other J-school students are.

My best…

<strong>Dilraz Kunnummal</strong>, Reporter, Daily Tribune, Kingdom of Bahrain

After graduating from IIJNM, in 2009 with broadcast media as my major, I entered the radio industry. And then, I shifted to the print media. The best part about IIJNM is that it teaches you to cut across media.

The course is tough, no two ways about it, but it prepares you to take on any media job, and helps you fit right in with any organization.

During my year at the Institute, I saw a lot of hard work, a lot of anxiety as deadlines approached, the excited buzz of a newsroom and the triumph of pulling off a daily bulletin. Things went wrong, but we were trained to learn and move forward.

The faculty was always there to support us, but they ensured that the maximum amount of work was put in by us. They knew each student thoroughly and helped them realize their potential.

But, it was also a lot of fun. We learnt not just to put our best foot forward but also to help those working with us. I am a proud alumnus of IIJNM and would happily recommend it to anyone who has a passion for journalism.

<strong>Debolina Sengupta, </strong>Senior Associate at Cognizant

I was a television student and always wondered what I was doing learning ‘writing’ news. I was shortsighted. Now, as a happy full time freelancer, my skills as a journalist are putting me above other “content writers” and “copywriters”. It might seem strange, but there are a lot of websites in the world that look for writers and editors online with knowledge of journalism. The first thing any foreign website asks me to do is to rewrite a press release into a news story. It comes easy now. Find the news, put it on the top, 5Ws and 1H, cut the adjectives (fluff as most of them call it) and put a brief background at the end. Seemed like hardwork then, but is a boon now. I’m fast, efficient and in a world where payment is per hour, my employers are happy.

Thanks a lot of making it tough in IIJNM, it’s simpler now.

Lots of love…

Harsimran Shergill, Travel Plus, India Today

I’d hate to start off saying, “Hi this is Simran, an old student of IIJNM.” If I remember correctly I hated reading any mail that started like that (and I was more than generous with the delete key). But I’m afraid that’s the only way I can introduce myself, atleast in this situation. I write this mail just to give you a preview of what’s to come (like the faculty does all year). Each time I have a conversation with Kanchan Mam, I can’t stop thanking her for what we learnt in IIJNM. Even as I write to you guys, I’m on a night shift and have juggled between four stories. The reason I tell you this is because, every time you go out searching for stories for the daily edition, don’t mistake it for being simply an exercise. It is almost identical to what you will be doing in the near future.

The purpose of this mail isn’t to preach but to tell you guys from experience that no matter how much they (faculty) scream, no matter how many times Kanchan Mam puts down your story idea saying “So where’s the story,” or no matter how many time Nikhat Mam fails you in one of those camera tests (my friend Suhali failed it thrice) please remember that in later years, this is all going to come back to you. And mind you, not so politely this time. For each time, she says that’s no story, trust me, chances are it isn’t one (and I can never dispute that.)

My point being that often times as students, and sometimes as immature ones, we tend to think/feel that teachers are out to target us, individually. Like in every batch, you’ll always have a set of kids believe that (I’d like to think they are the one’s with serious complexes lol). Besides the point, as an ex-student, all I can say is that, if Girish Sir or KK Mam is pushing you to learn shortcuts to Quark Xpress, do it. Believe you me, professional organisation aren’t there to guide you. The intension is not to scare you people, but it is true that media organisations don’t need interns; I think KK Mam will second me on that one. (Cheap labour, maybe yes lol) so no matter where you get to intern, TV channel, newspaper, magazines, give it your best shot (whether you like the organisation or not is irrelevent). I’ve even heard of incidents where interns in Express are given copies to sub from the bin and they go back straight into the bin without even a glace from the boss (No, It’s not an urban legend). For those who have inflated egos, kindly leave them at home and be prepared to be treated like shit. But mind you, once you pass that stage, its isn’t bad at all. Don’t be worried about placements unnecessarily, because with the faculty you have, all of you will get placed a 100 percent (except those with attitude problems, I guess even the faculty doesn’t take their responsibility).

Since this mail has got much longer than planned, therefore lastly, remember that when you’re out of IIJNM, you become a representative of the institute (atleast I think that way). If journalism isn’t what you want to pursue, don’t do it but don’t write a story half-heartedly. Don’t give anyone an opportunity to a point finger at the faculty because they deserve better, for the amount of work they put in us. All the best. Good luck with internships.

<strong>Vikas Pandey</strong>, Journalist at British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
I want to take this opportunity to thank the faculty for training us so well. Deadlines used to be a nightmare for us at IIJNM, but those very same nightmares are my savior now. Very often, while doing regional TV packages I have strict deadlines of less than half an hour but surprisingly, I end up finishing the job much before my deadline. All the credit goes to you teachers for making us strong enough to face the heat out here, because this industry hardly gives you a chance to commit a mistake.

I got a chance to do a documentary for PA. As one of their projects, PA helps a home for HIV infected children here in Mangalore. They needed a film to carry back to the UK and they asked Neelima and me to do a bit of work on it. My boss was going to do the post production work in UK, but when she saw our thorough preproduction work, (our questionnaires, our shot list, and all the other preparation), she was very happy with us. (I know you will find it difficult to believe I actually remembered, and did all this work). I remembered all your instructions; white balance, focus, exposure…. and even did shooting, even though we were given a professional cameraman.

When my boss saw what we had done (transcripts, logging etc), she changed her mind about editing in the UK, and gave us permission to edit the film here! We are now scripting it, and are almost ready to start the editing. This has made me very happy. And I must thank you all for the training at IIJNM, which has been so practical and just what the industry requires. Your having been so tough on us has paid its rewards!


<strong>Priya Randhawa, </strong>PR Consultant and Freelance TV Presenter
I’m fine and work is picking up pace and the training is going to start soon alongside the shooting, which is October 4th onwards.

I’m working in the fashion beat for the time being and have some 7-8 stories that my team and I are working on right now. We will start shooting by October 1st week and that should be interesting…oh! before I forget I told Surekha ma’am and I meant to tell you also…the training we got at IIJNM, especially the hands on experience, and you guys insisting on us using and knowing the manual mode of the cameras and especially the PD170, really helped, I think…I really feel we are better equipped with the skills and know how where terms, pictures, camera usage and script writing or rather the way to work on a story/documentary are concerned. Especially compared with some of the other trainees and people from the various institutes here 🙂

Just wanted to let you know that that’s what I’ve come across till now.

<strong>Anna Isaac</strong>, Deputy News Editor at The News Minute
I thought I should let you know that when I was speaking to students from other colleges, they told me that lots of their classmates did not get placed from college. So in actuality, when our students say we don’t assure them placements, I think it’s important to tell them that no college does. In fact, a number of print students from other colleges didn’t get placed and they didn’t get as many TV news channels to come to campus as IIJNM did. At the end of the day, it all depends on the individual, and your work speaks for itself.