It was during his internship as a copywriter at FCB Africa in Johannesburg when Vega alumni student Junior Mokoma was offered the opportunity to study transmedia storytelling at Fontys Academy for Creative Industries (ACI) in Tilburg, the Netherlands.
Every year Vega School of Brand Leadership sends one of their students from each of their campuses to study abroad at a partner university. While Vega covers the tuition, the students are responsible for their own day-to-day living expenses, but in Mokoma’s case, FCB stepped in to sponsor him.
The course commenced in August and runs until the end of January 2018, so I followed up with Mokoma to find out more about this opportunity and how it’s shaping his global mindset...
Congratulations on being selected to study at Fontys Academy for Creative Industries. What does this recognition and opportunity mean to you?
I take it as a learning opportunity, a stepping stone to becoming a better creative. It’s breaking away from my everyday routine and refining my craft.
How is this opportunity shaping your global mindset?
I’ve learnt that people are genuinely interested in sharing their work and are open for collaborating. Also, we’re important. Our ideas matter. We matter.
How is studying in Holland different to studying in South Africa?
Studying here hasn’t been all that different from studying at Vega. There are a few similarities. The biggest difference would be the size of the campus, the facilities, as well as life on campus altogether. At Vega (Pretoria), almost everyone knows each other but here not so much. There are a lot of exchange students from different parts of the world, i.e. South Korea, Spain, Japan, Slovakia and more, and at Vega (Pretoria) we have none.
What was the deciding factor that motivated you to take up the offer?
I didn’t want this opportunity to become another ‘should have’. I grabbed it with everything I had.
What is your undergrad and why did you decide to specialise in transmedia storytelling?
Creative brand communication. Copywriting as my core discipline. Transmedia storytelling because it challenges the writer and his audience. The writer is constantly challenged to improve his story and the audience is constantly challenged to play along.
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Throughout your studies at Vega, what has been your most notable learning?
Being one thing is not enough. In a fast-paced industry like advertising, trends are always changing and clients aren’t the same.
Some briefs require the art director to think more like a copywriter, others require a strategist to think like a creative.
Whatever it is, one cannot solely depend on the knowledge of their own core discipline alone.
How’s it going?
It’s great, the course is far more complex than I had anticipated. Over and above all the classes and assignments, we have a production campaign to run as part of our major assignment. We have been divided into groups. Each group has been assigned a client and instead of presenting the client with a concept that’ll solve their business problem, we have to do the work ourselves using what we’ve learnt in class.
Do you have a job waiting for you at FCB when you get back?
Yes, I do.
What are you most looking forward to?
Working with a strong team that’ll influence the industry in a positive way.
What advice would you give to aspiring students in the creative industry?
Do the thing you’re happy to do when no one’s looking.
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