…and every journey begins with a step of faith.
St Pauls Institute of Communication Education (unlike what Microsoft Word or grammar nazis tell me, there is no apostrophe in ‘Pauls’) kickstarted the beginning of their Post Graduate Programs in Journalism, Advertising, and Public Relations for the academic year of 2022-23 on the 11th of July, and I was privileged to be a part of the students sitting in the audience and listening to the pearls of wisdom the program directors and SPICE family imparted to us.
The Director of St Pauls Institute, Dr. Father Plavendram, commenced the inauguration ceremony at 10:30 am after the lighting of the lamp. He took the students on a brief journey of time travel, back into the annals of St. Pauls’ rich origins and history—a history that the new batch will hopefully be a part of. Then the baton was handed over to the keynote speaker and chief guest of the day, acclaimed journalist, writer, and former editor of Femina magazine, Satya Saran. She began with one simple sentence: “Journalism is not about spinning a story; it’s about finding a story.” And with that simple sentence, my own story began.
Satya Saran highlighted several points in her keynote speech that resounded with me, as an aspiring journalist and writer. In the 21st-century world of media that peddles opinions and half-truths instead of true objective facts, she spoke about standing for the ideals one believes in and being rooted in integrity. It’s important to be empathetic as well, Satya Saran reminded everyone present, because today, media is all too quick to judge and point fingers in the quest of creating a story that sells. These were snippets of truth all the students needed to hear on their first day of their media courses, and I’m glad we all had the opportunity to listen to her wise words.
The keynote speech was followed by an introduction from the Program Director of Journalism and Dean of the college, Carol Andrade. She provided glimpses into the united family that is SPICE and stated what she expected from the PG students. The Program Director for Advertising and PR, Margaret Da Costa, enlightened the students further on what life at SPICE entailed and what they could look forward to in interacting with the illustrious personalities that are part of the SPICE network.
It was Father Renold Pascal who wonderfully illustrated the journey the PG students could expect to have with St. Pauls in his closing vote of thanks. He referred to the students as ‘entrepreneurs’, each one a ‘start-up’ of their own. These start-ups will not be guided by artificial intelligence but by coaches and will be constantly updating their skills to evolve into the best version of themselves before entering the world of media.
The inauguration day of the PG programs was a heartening experience to the students who’d chosen to take their first steps, in faith, to prepare themselves to navigate the world of media. I suspect that many of them present experienced a kind of ‘beginning’ to their stories, as well as a resolve to work hard and play hard during their time in SPICE. I know I did. I’m looking forward to all the learning experiences that I’ll be part of as I move forward in my journey as a writer, with St Pauls.