"When I discovered Digital Media and Society at Sheffield, it felt as if I had hit the jackpot!"

Katy Turnbull
Katy Turnbull
Current student
BA Digital Media & Society
Katy Turnbull is a third-year student studying a Bachelor's in Digital Media and Society.
Katy Turnbull
Katy Turnbull

Why did you decide to study the Digital Media and Society course at the University of Sheffield?

After completing my A Levels, I decided to take a year out to think about what I truly wanted from a degree. I was searching for a course that celebrated creativity as much as theory, and provided opportunities for multiple endeavours. When I discovered Digital Media and Society at Sheffield, it felt as if I had hit the jackpot! Having grown up in the digital era, I was immediately drawn to social media being the focal point of study and studying the effects of the online world on the offline. Furthermore, learning how to research online spaces for human observation and subsequently utilising this research for other purposes was an attractive trait considering the ever-growing reach of the digital sphere. The University of Sheffield as an institution also appealed to me more than any other, considering how the Digital Media and Society course in itself is new and evolving. 

What have you most enjoyed about the Digital Media and Society course?

Being a second-year student, I can wholeheartedly say that so far I have enjoyed almost all aspects of the course itself. The modules have aided my understanding of the bigger picture of social media in terms of history and the societal implications. Moreover, I have thoroughly enjoyed the sociological aspect of the course, which has influenced my choice of optional modules throughout. The accessibility of these modules provides students with the opportunity to craft the degree around their interests, ultimately paving the way to a rounded and conceptually relevant education tailored to them.

How has the Digital Media and Society course helped you to secure work placements?

When investigating work placements and experience, I was searching for a marketing-based company to which my premature skills could be developed and applied. I have now secured a two-month internship in Philadelphia, USA (for the summer of 2020), at a creative digital marketing and communications brand. During the phone interview, I was asked what my course consisted of and how I accredited the internship as relevant to my own prospects. Answering such questions was straight-forward, as the hands-on experience I have gained through practice alongside the theory of digital media formats has provided a foundation of topical knowledge suitable for a placement. 

Philadelphia

Tell us more about the work placement you have secured as part of your degree.

The company I will be interning with is a creative digital marketing firm; consisting of branding, public relations, content marketing, social media strategy and advertisement. Some of the modules I am currently taking are ‘Digital Storytelling’ and ‘Essentials of Marketing’. The shoe could not possibly fit any better! 

What is Sheffield like as a city? What are your favourite things to do here?

I was immediately drawn to Sheffield when I attended the open day. I had never visited before, but once I did, it became difficult to imagine myself anywhere else. The centre is within walking distance, and the locals are delightfully friendly. Being from South West London, I was unsure of how I would acclimatise to life in the North (to us, anything above Milton Keynes is foreign territory!), yet it felt like home from the second week of Freshers... after the hangover had subsided, that is. Nights out are so cheap and there are a multitude of different music venues you can pick from, whether that be Molly Malone's Irish Bar or an underground club such as Tank. Moreover, the Peak District is a short bus ride away, which is ideal for clearing your head of any rum-infused fog. All in all, I could not recommend a more wholesome student city.

Social - Park

What are your goals for the future?

Currently, my sights are set in the domain of Digital Marketing - specifically - the creation of ideas and content for social media when targeting specific demographics. Understanding which audiences utilise which platforms and for what motivations has always fascinated me, thereafter, applying such knowledge for marketing purposes. Whether I am in front of the drawing board or behind a computer, I would love a career where my creative streak can thrive and allow me to translate my ideas into stories. 

Any advice for prospective students?

If I could give any advice to prospective Digital Media and Society students, it would be to ask yourself what you are searching for with this degree. If you are looking for a course that equips you with a wide range of practical and theoretical skills, this is it. Furthermore, if you have a genuine interest in Sociology and the effects that the digital world has upon the real, look no further. Even if you’ve never considered or studied Sociology, rest assured that at Sheffield, you will be aided by an exceptionally high standard of teaching and resources to position you in line with those who are familiar with Social Studies. From a technical perspective, I would also remind anyone reading this that the field of Digital Media in regard to career prospects is hugely opportunistic and sincerely valued. Technology is constantly evolving, and companies are always going to be searching for fresh ideas and mindsets. Digital Media and Society could pave the way to your inclusion in this exciting field of work; one where every day will be different.

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