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What It’s Like Being a Media Production Student at Ryerson University

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What It’s Like Being a Media Production Student at Ryerson University

Applying for Ryerson’s RTA Media Production program is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I’ll admit it, although I told everyone else otherwise: Film Studies was my real first choice.


What it's like being a Media Production student at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario | my experience of Ryerson's Radio and Television Arts program | RTA Media Production grads | advice for prospective media students | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog

Getting accepted into the RTA Media Production program

Four years ago, my dream was to become a film editor and work in Vancouver or LA.

I thought I needed to get a film degree to make that dream happen.

I didn’t get accepted into Film Studies, but I did get accepted into RTA.

Ryerson’s Radio and Television Arts program is now divided into Media Production (this is the program I graduated from), New Media, and Sports Media.

However, I’ll be referring to Media Production as RTA just to make it easier.

I remember the day I got my RTA acceptance: I burst into my mom’s office sobbing uncontrollably and she thought something terrible had happened.

I’ve always been a bit dramatic, but I just couldn’t believe it.

To my knowledge, RTA is Canada’s top media program, and they only accept 10% of applicants, so it was a pretty big deal.

Ryerson University acceptance tweets

What exactly do you learn in RTA?

You get a taste of everything in RTA.

In first year we learned everything from single and multi-camera production, to writing for media, to audio production.

The curriculum changed the year after I was accepted (2013) and I’m not entirely sure what it’s like now, but it’s probably similar.

We basically got to dabble in a little bit of everything in media, and it allowed us to discover our passions and our talents which we could further pursue in courses in the years following.

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Many people I graduated with discovered new passions, fell out of love with what they thought was their passion, or grew their skills in their passion.

Multi-camera production course as part of Ryerson University's RTA Media Production program at the Rogers Communication Centre in Toronto
A studio in my first year multi-camera production course.

What kind of courses does RTA offer?

RTA offers an endless list of courses, but a lot of them don’t end up being taught, so you’re forced to pick whatever’s available.

I was interested in learning about animation and special effects so I could broaden my knowledge about post-production and editing.

However, I ended up taking courses like marketing for media professionals or writing for animation because they were the best options out of the courses being offered.

One of the requirements of RTA was to complete an English minor, which was nothing like high school English.

English had always been one of my favourite subjects growing up, and I’d even graduated with the English award at my high school graduation.

I really disliked taking English courses in university – they were pretty difficult and I didn’t get very good marks.

They’ve since removed the requirement of an English minor for RTA students, which I think is great.

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my program over the last four years, and I documented it in my post on losing interest in my university major.

What it's like being a Media Production student at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario | my experience of Ryerson's Radio and Television Arts program | RTA Media Production grads | advice for prospective media students | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog

Does RTA open up more internship and job opportunities?

Thanks to RTA, I had the opportunity to pursue a variety of internships and jobs related to media.

I’ve interned and worked at Narcity, Indie88, PureGrainAudio, Sony Music Canada, and more.

I’ve also volunteered at the Toronto International Film Festival and for Women in Film and Television.

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There were also many cool opportunities within the program and Ryerson.

I hosted an internet radio show at RTA’s radio station, SpiritLive, for 6 semesters with Shay.

I also volunteered as a freelance writer for RU Student Life, which set the stage for my online writing career (I now blog full-time!)

You can peep out some of the stuff I’ve done on my portfolio website.


What are people in RTA like?

I met so many talented people within RTA who have inspired me and continue to inspire me.

I know some of them are going to do great things, and I can’t wait to see.

Through RTA I met one of my good friends, Shay, and we’ve learned so much about media and the world together while in university.

We hosted our radio show together and volunteered or interned at some of the same places together!

During my time at Ryerson, I never felt like my gender or my race was a milestone.

I feel like it’s because of the open mindedness of the media industry here in Toronto.

Toronto is such a diverse city, and it’s an excellent place to learn and grow.

In second year, I interned with a guy who was in fourth year RTA, and we both had the exact same position.

At another one of my internships, the entire intern team in our department was female.

There are opportunities for everyone here!

TARA Awards at Ryerson University
My friends and I at the TARA Awards, RTA’s annual award show featuring student projects.
What it's like being a Media Production student at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario | my experience of Ryerson's Radio and Television Arts program | RTA Media Production grads | advice for prospective media students | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog
I met my boyfriend Adam while at Ryerson. He studied Professional Communications, also a program within FCAD (Faculty of Communication and Design)!

Do I still wish I’d gone into Ryerson’s Film Studies program instead of Media Production?

I’m really glad I didn’t get into the Film Studies program.

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If I had, I probably would’ve chosen that over RTA.

In addition to my English minor, I completed a Film Studies minor, and the courses weren’t very fun for me.

Meeting people in these classes also made me glad I was in RTA.

Apparently Film Studies isn’t as hands-on, which is what I was looking for.

Ryerson Image Arts building in Toronto
Ryerson’s Image Arts building, where the Film Studies classes are.

I love absolutely everything about media, and Ryerson has provided me with a foundation of knowledge and experience that I plan to build on for the rest of my life.

I’m so excited to have graduated with distinction, and I’m very proud to be an alumni of Ryerson RTA.

Thank you so much for being a part of my life, Ryerson.

Are you thinking about applying to the RTA Media Production program at Ryerson University? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram!

P.S. if you liked this post, you might like this post on things every Toronto student should know, or any of my other posts on career and finance tips.

If you’re currently a student, you can sign up for a free 6-month trial of Amazon Prime Student, which gives you 2-day delivery, Prime Video (stream free TV shows and movies), Prime Music, Twitch Prime, all for free!

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Jessica Lam | Toronto lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and travel blogger | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog

What it's like being a Media Production student at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario | my experience of Ryerson's Radio and Television Arts program | RTA Media Production grads | advice for prospective media students | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog

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Lauryn Mills

Tuesday 5th of September 2017

Wow! That really makes me wonder whether i should apply there too! I've looked at ryerson on multiple occasions but that actually seems like a pretty good program! Thanks for the insight! -Lauryn www.ElegantChances.com

Chloe Tzang

Sunday 30th of July 2017

Congratulations on graduating. Sounds like you had a really great program and got a tremendous amount from it. And I love your blog.

Julia

Wednesday 28th of June 2017

Congratulations! You will have a very fun and rewarding career in the media field! :)

Julia || Closet de Jules || Recent Post - Diamond Head Hawaii Travel Guide

Jessica Lam

Friday 30th of June 2017

Thanks so much Julia! :)

Natalie V.

Tuesday 27th of June 2017

That sounds like a great program! I hate to hear that you didn't enjoy your English classes--as a former English major and college English professor, I want everyone to love my favorite subject! :) I'm excited to see what you're able to accomplish post-graduation!

Jessica Lam

Friday 30th of June 2017

Haha thank you Natalie! :)

Oyinkan Ogunleye

Tuesday 27th of June 2017

So glad you went for it! Nothing to it but to do it. Congrats!!!!

Jessica Lam

Friday 30th of June 2017

Thanks so much Oyinkan! :)