Thomas is a freelance journalist and film maker

What does your current job entail?

As a freelance journalist and filmmaker, I’m not directly employed by any company. It gives me more freedom than what most people are accustomed to. However, I perform most of my journalistic activities for Dutch news broadcaster BNR Nieuwsradio. While as a filmmaker, I try to work on stories that fascinate me and from which I can learn a lot. For me, filmmaking is more of a long-term ambition rather than a matter of aiming for short-term results or financial gains. For example, I just directed a feature film in India on a very low budget. Such a project allows you to grow as a filmmaker AND as a human being.

How would you describe the International Media and Entertainment (IMEM) programme

you did at NHTV? IMEM is a multidisciplinary management course preparing its students for the international media industry. The variety of disciplines it entails, varying from media ethics and psychology to practical workshops in audiovisual productions, is very well balanced.

When you look back, do you think studying at NHTV was the right thing to do for you? Why?

My ambitions and interests changed thanks to the many valuable experiences I’ve gained throughout the IMEM course: the summer course in Arizona, an exchange programme in a foreign country and the internships I did. I grew as a person and the IMEM course allowed me to pursue those new ambitions within a broad context. The ability to pursue your own path of development, combined with the fundamental basis in multidisciplinary media that the course content gives you, made IMEM the right programme for me. It provides all the necessary tools required for the professional field.

In what way are your NHTV studies linked to your current job?

The theoretical knowledge and practical skills that the IMEM course teaches you are directly or indirectly applicable to the majority of the activities that I perform during my current job.

Can you describe your average work day?

The fun of being a self-employed media freelancer is that an average workday does not exist! Sometimes I work 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. And sometimes a lot less. Regardless of the amount of work I have to do, I always make sure to be fully up to date with the news. That means, waking up in the morning with coffee and a newspaper. Reading online news blogs during lunchtime. And going to bed, watching television programs like ‘Nieuwsuur’ and talkshows like ‘Pauw & Witteman’ and ‘Buitenhof’.

What is your best or funniest memory of NHTV and/or your stay in Breda?

The introduction events (Camp Lost), most definitely. I attended three of them, and they certainly belong to one of the annual highlights at IMEM.

What would you advise prospective students who have to make the difficult decision about where/what to study?

Think thoroughly about where you want to be in 10 years’ time. Do you have any professional role models or do you look up to someone you know? Ask them how they ended up where they are right now. Think about your professional ambitions and talk this through with your friends, parents or external advisers. Then make your study decision and accomplish your goals on your terms. You never know what the future has in store for you; but make sure you give it your ABSOLUTE best and enjoy the journey.

Thomas Drissen
Graduate from International Media and Entertainment Management

Read more stories of students and alumni of the programme Creative Business / International Media and Entertainment Management