Hi Everyone,

Welcome to my blog! This is the first time I have done anything like this and I am very excited to share my thoughts and opinions on all different realms of life. But I guess I better tell you a bit about myself. My name is Lauren and I’m currently studying my Masters in the Media Culture program at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

So why Maastricht University? That’s the question on everyones lips. How did I manage to find Maastricht with the option of going to any university in Europe? And to be honest I don’t really know. But as the first Australian to study the Masters of Media Culture program I do know I have found the right place.

Having been here for over two months now I have fallen in love with Maastricht. The main city centre is always buzzing, people are out ‘lunching’ at all hours of the day and I love that you run into friends everywhere you go. The international atmosphere here is so unique and I have learnt so much about other peoples countries while telling them about my own.

So what about my course? The Masters of Media Culture sounded extremely interesting and I knew it provided the right content of what I was wanting to know. How is our society changing through the power of the media? How is technology changing our everyday life? How is social media changing our identity and creating ‘multiple selves’? These were some of the questions I wanted to further explore before arriving here but now there are so many more.

Having worked full time for one year, I knew there was more I wanted to learn before I was at my full potential and ready for my dream job. So far I have completed my Media and Communications Bachelor Degree at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Majoring in Marketing, Public Relations and Journalism. As part of my three year degree I spent six months at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) in America. This was an invaluable experience as it allowed me to compare the two countries media platforms and develop more practical skills in my media classes at UNCG.

My marketing job at Healthways Recreation centre provided me the opportunity to start marketing campaigns for the first time at Healthways. It allowed me to start up new projects and be in full control of how I wanted to run the marketing projects. Part of my role involved engaging with new target publics and keeping our current publics aware of what was happening at Healthways by updating the website, brochures and newsletters.

The last Internship I did before coming to Maastricht was with Mama Mia. This was one of the most valuable internships I have done as it was all about the online world. It showed me the fast paced and exciting life of social media but also the flaws and negative comments that can occur. I think one of the things that shocked me the most was readers plainly abusing writers for their opinion or statements because it is so easily done through online communication (please don’t do this to me!). I was lucky enough to write some articles for Mama Mia while I was there for the week. One of my articles was published as Mama Mia news and my other article was on Libby Trickett who spoke about ‘living in the real world’ after being an Olympic Champion.

So what else is interesting about me? Whether it was being an elite athlete, swimming a grueling 25km open water, working in a Children’s Orphanage in Thailand or embarking on a six month study exchange to America, I am always ready to embrace a challenge. Furthermore I have travelled to North Korea on a JSA tour, presented at International exchange lectures and now undertaking my biggest challenge yet, studying a Masters in The Netherlands. My whole life has been about seeing new things and broadening my horizons. Each one of these experiences has pushed and challenged me in a variety of ways. These journeys have changed me as a person, and have allowed me to discover more about myself, people around me and the world.

Well anyway that’s enough about me! Hopefully by the information above you understand a bit more about me and why I think the way I do. I look forward to filling you in on my time at Maastricht and my increasing knowledge of the media and how it’s changing our society. I also look forward to hearing your views so don’t feel afraid to comment.

Lauren xxx


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