Media student follows her dreams to New York

23 February 2016
Freya Dumasia

Media, Film and Television student Freya Dumasia has followed her dreams to work in the media world all the way to New York.

Freya was in her fourth and final year of a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Media, Film and Television when she decided to use the skills she had learnt in the programme's TV Studio production ‘The Interview course’, to take her to the United States.

The 21-year-old from Bucklands Beach has been an exchange student at Stony Brook University in Long Island since August last year. She liked it so much she extended her stay until this May.

She emailed the course professor with a document of her experiences within and outside the University to show she was capable of taking the course.

She was interviewed the week before classes started and accepted on the spot.

“I have always had a passion for media and been very driven, not only to be in front of the camera, but also backstage so I can experience how everything works.”

During her time at Stony Brook Freya is completing ‘Journalism 371 Weekly Broadcast’.

“It’s a practical course that requires students to produce weekly newscasts by being exposed to the roles of a producer, assistant producer, reporter, writer, anchor, video photographer and editor,” she says.

“I found the most enjoyable role was being an anchor. The class required us to dual anchor for the semester and this helped my anchor bantering skills.”

Now she says she would love to wake up and be able to read the news every day.

“My co-host and I had a great friendship outside of class and this came across on screen as we were both confident and comfortable. We were commended by the School of Journalism for producing a visually appealing news show that was chosen to be aired on the screens.”

She also liked being a producer because it allowed her creativity to flow.

“I had to make decisions about the layout of the show, what stories my reporters would cover for that week and make sure everyone was on track. The best and most rewarding feeling was seeing the transformation from being on paper in a script format and it coming all together to life on show day.”

When she arrived in Long Island her first few days on Campus were spent meeting the other exchange students from all around the world, namely Australia, Brazil, China, England, France, Germany, South Korea and Wales, as well as Americans and local students.

“As soon as I made conversation or answered a question in class people were immediately interested because of the Kiwi accent and so that definitely made it a lot easier to make friends and have conversations,” Freya says.

“The best part so far has been experiencing the big events on campus such as Homecoming football games and Halloween as well as the festive celebrations of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.”

Now the course takes up the majority of her time.

“My whole week is dedicated to covering events such as the DogFest, Chinese Dragon Boat festival and Women's Health Day.

“Everything from the footage, to interviewing people, writing the script and essentially creating a whole segment to air on the news is a result of hard work and late Sunday nights in the editing suite to make sure the material is ready to go for the weekly Monday morning show that airs at 10am.

“I am very proud to have my weekly segment featured on the big screens on campus. It is called the ‘Stony Brook News.’ It selectively airs outside the library screen and can be found online under the Newscast section of Stony Brook University’s Journalism Drive.”

When she returns to Auckland in July, Freya will complete her last semester at the University and finish her BA alongside a conjoint Bachelor of Commerce majoring in marketing and management.

“I have acquired a vast range of knowledge by taking a conjoint degree. My roles outside of university study tend to combine my practical media skills and my marketing knowledge.”

She aims to work at a well known media company within its marketing department.

“Although the future is just a vision, I have all these and more opportunities to be grateful for that will help me get closer to a career that combines both my passion in media and marketing.”

Find out more about studying Media, Film and Television