From SPICE, Mumbai to DW News, Berlin, it’s been a four-year ride for this alumna

Written by Sanchari Banerjee (Journalism 2016-17)

After studying Journalism at St. Pauls Institute of Communication Education (SPICE), I did a broadcast internship with a national television channel, which is where I was exposed to production. But I also enjoyed facing the camera, so when I moved to market intelligence magazine Polymerupdate, my reporting skills were recognized and I was quickly made the Chief Reporter. I enjoyed my stint with them as it gave me exposure, confidence, and, most important, work experience.

In 2019, I decided to move to Germany to do an MBA. It’s a beautiful country and if you live in the capital city (Berlin) as I do, you will definitely fall in love with Deutschland. However, this country can be unkind to you in many ways if you do not speak the language! This also gives you the motivation to learn.

Berlin, on the other hand, is quite international, and it’s not that difficult to survive here without speaking Deutsch. I have been living in Berlin for the past two years and yes; I call it my second home. It has accommodated me really well despite the differences.Journalism postgraduate student Sancharee in Germany

It was in August 2020, that a friend of mine shared this link to apply for the post of Production Assistant at DW News (Deutsche Welle). DW is a German public state-owned international broadcaster funded by the German federal tax budget. The service is available in 30 languages including Hindi and Bangla. The vacant post was for Bangla production in Berlin. I applied to it without delay as it was my dream to work for DW. Unfortunately, 2020 was not kind to me and a day before the scheduled interview, I lost my beloved Dad to Covid-19. I returned home to Kolkata to perform his last rites and be a pillar of strength to my family.

There were several re-scheduling of my pending interview but we could not connect due to certain unavoidable circumstances. I almost lost hope. After five months in Kolkata, I returned to Berlin in the last week of January, 2021.

I was asked to write to the editor of the Eco India Show (part of the DW programming) after my arrival in Berlin. I did as I was told. However, due to the ongoing lockdown in Berlin, the Bangla production was closed and my dreams were shattered once again. I was almost on the verge of going into clinical depression because surviving in Germany without a job is nearly impossible. I had almost decided to move back to Kolkata and stay with my family.

And then, as often happens, I received an email from the editor of DW on Feb 17. It said, “Hi, Sanchari. There might be another opening. Would you be interested? Let’s have a video chat on Friday morning at 9 am?” To say I was elated would be putting it mildly.

Within a week of several rounds of interviews, I was offered the post of Production Assistant. Yes, I landed my dream job. In a land where it is nearly impossible to find a job in the communication field without the german language, I will be working for Hindi and Bangla (once it restarts) production. If you believe in your strength and yourself, nothing is impossible for you!

My learning days at SPICE helped me boost my career. Whatever I have achieved in my career, I owe largely to SPICE and, of course, my work experience.

Check back with me in six months and I might be ready with an update!

From SPICE, Mumbai to DW News, Berlin, it’s been a four-year ride for this alumna
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