It has now been over a year since I passed my intermediate exam as part of my advanced further training to become a media specialist. This meant that I had the basic qualifications. But I still had to overcome the final hurdle that stood between me and completing my training.
Stage 1 – written exams
I sat the written exams in the rooms of the IHK Offenbach (Chamber of Commerce in Offenbach) on 14 and 15 May. Well, two exams to be precise. On each day, you are given a situation-based task, the information from which you use to answer 10 to 15 open questions.
On the first day of the exam, the focus was on the topic of "media production", i.e. the questions asked were much more technical and practical. This included, for example, the complete cost calculation of a printed product. I struggled a little with this task and took my time in finding the solution. I should maybe point out here that we were given five hours to answer all of the questions on the first day of the exam. This may seem like a lot of time, but I wasn’t the only one who would have liked to have had an extra 30 minutes.
On the second day of the exam, the focus was on the topic of “management and organisation”. Everyone sitting the exam was given questions of a more theoretical nature and which dealt with HR management and HR development, as well as media law in general and marketing. We only had four hours for this.
Stage 2 – concept work
Straight after the second exam, we were handed the papers for the practical part of the final exam. This consisted of a project report that we had to write within 30 calendar days. The topic (or challenge) was to devise a complete marketing concept for a fictitious customer. This involved tasks such as target group analysis, making the best possible use of the specified budget, development of ideas and creative implementation of the concept idea.
Final stage – presentation
Last but not least came the project report presentation, which took place in August. The presentation was held in front of the Chamber of Commerce board of examiners, who in this case assumed the role of the customer, and whom I had to impress with my concept. The challenge here was to squeeze the entire concept into a 15-minute presentation and to present only the most important key points in an appropriate manner. After the presentation, I had an expert discussion with the Chamber of Commerce board of examiners, in which we discussed the presentation in more detail, reflected on it and I was asked further questions to test my specialist knowledge.
What does coffee have to do with it?
Alas, the exact task involved in the concept work is too extensive to explain here. But this much I can reveal: it was a fictitious coffee brand, which I was supposed to launch onto the market. As a prospective media specialist, I was meant to develop ideas and strategies for marketing the products successfully. For me, as a non-coffee drinker, the topic alone was already a challenge. But it was a good opportunity for me to get to understand the topic better and to increase my knowledge of coffee. Whether or not I’ll have the opportunity to impress anyone with my new-found coffee knowledge remains to be seen!
Summary of my path to becoming a media specialist
If I was stopped on the street and asked whether I would do this advanced further training all over again, my answer would be a clear “yes”. Nevertheless, over the course of the training, I realised that I had underestimated it somewhat. Especially as I had decided upon the vocational version of the course. To a certain extent, I was really having to motivate myself to study after my regular work. These self-study phases should certainly not be neglected – that would be my personal advice.
But if you’re able to deal with the additional work load, then there is no reason not to do the training. The knowledge I have gained really helps me in my day-to-day work – especially the knowledge relating to marketing, business administration and law. Although I had to put in quite a bit of effort for these subjects at the start of my training, they have now turned out to have been the most useful.
At this point, I would like to say another huge thank you to the dtp-Akademie for all of their fantastic help in preparing me for the exams, and to my able lecturers. Thanks to all their useful advice and extensive expertise, they are what made my training course such a success for me. In the end, all of this support and lots of crossing of fingers paid off as I was able to graduate successfully as a media specialist.