Kai Kalb – MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice

Image for student profile for Kai Kalb, MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice, LCC
Image © Alys Tomlinson

Catch up with Kai, who shares her enthusiasm for the many collaborative workspaces at London College of Communication, her love for the wide-range of museums and galleries in close proximity and her hope in the future to work making conscious and critically-engaged media.

Why did you choose to study a postgraduate qualification?

I felt that I spent so much of my undergraduate years trying to figure out what I was interested in until I realized I am interested in learning and sharing my knowledge with others. I chose to study MA Media, Communications and Critical Practice at London College of Communication because I want to push myself academically, and gain expertise in a field that I think is the most influential.

Please tell us a bit about why you chose to study at UAL?

I chose to study at UAL because I love being surrounded by artists and creativity. I may not do technical arts myself, but I think that generating ideas and concepts depend on the same level of creativity and passion. UAL's many art-focused colleges and libraries inspire me to incorporate art as well as theory.

Why did you choose London College of Communication in particular? And which are your favourite facilities and why?

I chose LCC because I've heard excellent things about the media and communications department. My favourite facility LCC offers are the many spaces available for group study because I love doing collaborative work with other students and feeling like we have a space to share our ideas out-loud, without worrying about disrupting other students.

What are the best things about studying in London?  Do you have any favourite art / cultural sites / social places near to your campus?

The best thing about studying in London is the unending galleries and museum exhibitions. LCC is pretty central, so when I get out of class I take the opportunity to visit centres like the Barbican, Tate Modern, Hayward gallery and especially the BFI South Bank.

How did you find out about your course and why did it appeal to you?

I chose this course because other similar courses at different colleges were much shorter, so I didn't want to move countries for a short course. Other communications programs also accepted a lot more students, and I've always been a fan of smaller class sizes so MCCP is perfect for me. I really enjoy the critical practice element of my course, because it helps me figure out and develop the skills I have before I get into the job market. I hope to make conscious media with a message and this course helps me do that.

What's been the highlight of your course so far?

Creating promotional videos for positive organizations has been exciting and really interesting, as well as good for my portfolio. I also love the sociological theoretical foundations, reading the work of important academics, like Stuart Hall, and then applying theory to establishing my own original ideas.

Can you tell us about your project work so far?

Our first module, Media, Culture and Economy, taught us to assess the way the economy and money flows influence socio-cultural behaviours. We made a short documentary about how austerity measures following the financial crisis played a role in the creative economy. We also had to write a research paper about how the digital economy created or changed other industries. I wrote about the transition of advertising to social media, and how brand promotional tactics now rely on neoliberal self-promotion online.

What advice would you give to somebody thinking about postgraduate study at UAL? What would you suggest they do to get the most out of their postgraduate study experience?

Sign up for creative opportunities and arts temps right away! They have so many short-term but really interesting positions that add experience to your CV and a chance to network with other like-minded people. Go to all the lectures and panels that the school offers because the speakers are very insightful in their field, and they are happy to help.