Publicity and interactive executive

The diversity of thought and out-of-the-box problem-solving in Joshua Ling’s Arts degree helped him deal with a multitude of challenges in his working life.

Joshua Ling dressed up in a nice suit sitting on the couch of Paramount Pictures

Key facts 

Career: Publicity and interactive executive
Programme: Master of Arts
Subjects: English, Psychology

“I am currently the publicity and interactive executive for Paramount Pictures. It’s a dynamic post that varies greatly in its demands from one week to the next. The bottom line is: if you’ve been made aware of any of our films — whether it’s through a trailer on YouTube, an interview on television or a celebrity on the front cover of a magazine, then I’ve done my job.

“My favourite part of my job is handling the company’s social media presence. I have a natural urge to be on the pulse of what’s trending and topical in the world, and with this job I’m literally paid to be on Facebook. I know. It’s awesome.

“A large and enjoyable component is the handling of relations between the company and our media partners, which allows me to meet and befriend many prominent faces in the media industry. Oh, and in truth – rubbing shoulders while on tour with Hollywood’s A-list never gets old.

“In my final years of my degree, I worked five different internships – putting to use any time at all that I had spare. I worked for two radio stations, a record label, a street press and I was music editor for Craccum. Eventually, you end up meeting influential people in certain circles, and they recognise passion and hard work. When you end up applying for a position in their place of employment, they’ll remember you and will already know what you’re capable of.

“The diversity of thought and out-of-the-box problem-solving necessary in an Arts degree helped assist me with a multitude of challenges that I’ve experienced throughout my working life. My English major honed my linguistic prowess and Psychology gave me some degree of insight into human behaviour. Additionally, the Statistics papers that were a mandatory element of Psychology gave me the skills to cry foul when I come across dodgy numbers.

“Like many bright-eyed hopefuls, I began university with a Law conjoint. I quickly learned that it was a lot less of Boston Legal and a lot more about banal legislations, and consequently jumped ship. I am thankful for the compulsory General Education papers, as I took one in Psychology and immediately fell in love with the subject, which led to me changing my degree altogether. Impressed by the diverse set of courses available and the flexibility of the Bachelor of Arts degree, I also took a handful of papers in film and music for personal enrichment.

“Be prepared for a very adventurous life if you’re willing to make it so. Sometimes what you study doesn’t directly relate to the job you end up having, but the skills you pick up will serve you for life and the people you meet are the future captains of industry. Remember to think outside of the box and take every opportunity that comes your way. You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.”