Media and Convergence Management: Theory, practice and a multinational get-together

After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication, Innovation and Multimedia from the University of Pavia, one of the oldest universities in Europe, Asia Maria Mercurio came to study at a much younger institution – the University of Klagenfurt. The 23-year-old Italian has always had a passion for management and new media and, after searching all over Europe for an appealing Master’s programme, she found the right place to study here in Klagenfurt.

Why did you decide to study? How did you choose our university? 

When I had almost finished my Bachelor’s degree I was searching for a Master’s programme in English that was interdisciplinary but also gave me the opportunity to focus more on business and economics compared to my Bachelor’s degree. I looked at different universities and programmes all over Europe and this one really caught my attention, because it felt like it was tailor-made for me and offered exactly what I was looking for. Besides, my father’s friends also have children studying in Austria, so they recommended it to me. I was admitted to the University of Milan and here in Klagenfurt, but I chose Klagenfurt. Looking at pictures on the internet, I fell in love with the city and the lake, which reminds me of my hometown, Riva del Garda. And with the university, I was drawn by its innovative power and structure, and the programme itself. It is set up perfectly and not only gives you the opportunity to study in three different fields – technology, media and business, which is essential in today’s working world – but also to focus on a specific area between these fields of study.

When and how did you find out what you wanted to study?

I used to organise projects for concerts from the age of 15 and it was all done through social media platforms and, every time, it was successful. It was hard as I was simply doing it as a hobby, next to school, but it was incredible for me to be able to combine two of my passions in such a way that it never felt like work; instead, I was just “having fun”. As the years went by, in my last year of high school I was unsure whether to pursue a management and marketing career or focus on media and communication, which today still is a questions mark for me as I do love both fields and I am really passionate about both. Which is why, after doing an interdisciplinary Bachelor that focused more on media and communication, I wanted to move towards the other area. But then I found this programme that perfectly combines both areas as well as also giving me inputs on IT which is incredibly important to have in the digital world which is surely part of our life today.

To sum up, I think 15-year-old me always knew what she wanted and something would give her the opportunity to focus on the two areas she is passionate about and, at the same time, to pursue a career that is neither static nor always in one place.

What makes your studies special to you?

The diversity this programme offers studying in three different fields at the same time, with people from so many different countries and cultures. The ‚class‘ is relatively small and we are always surrounded by the same people which gives us the opportunity to really bond. Everything is more interactive even in lectures, which wasn’t like this in my Bachelor’s studies, as we were 200 people per lecture. Here, we have a 1:1 relationship with the teachers. As well as this, the projects and papers we need to do are something completely new for me as we do not have that in Italy, apart from a few projects, and this gives me the opportunity to take on a challenge.

What topics do you like most in your degree programme?

My favourite topics are most definitely those in business & management and media & communication as they are where my passions regarding my studies and future career lie. My favourite classes so far have been Business Management, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Consumer Behaviour and Media, Principles of Media Economics and Media and Convergence Management which are those classes that mostly focus on my two areas of interest. But Human Centered Computing and Media Law also surprised me, as I found them extremely interesting and they added new skills and knowledge to my future tool box.

How do you explain the contents of your studies to your family or friends?

I usually mention the name of my programme and then I give an overview on the three fields it comprises. My friends have no problem in understanding what I study, but elderly people in my family usually struggle to understand what Media and Convergence Management is. Then, I try to tell them that I study in the managerial field, but with an extra focus on media “such as…” and I try to provide examples.

Have you been abroad during your studies? 

Not yet, but I got admitted to spend one semester at the Business School of ISCTE-IUL in Lisbon for the next winter term, which will give me the opportunity to focus even more on that area of interest. I am very excited about this opportunity and I cannot wait to go abroad more and spend a semester there. I will also be going on an excursion that has been organised specifically for my Master’s programme and it will be the first time we will go and visit companies in person since the beginning of the pandemic. I am beyond excited to go to Vienna with my classmates, visiting the companies and spending a good time there all of us together.

Which activities do you pursue next to your studies? Is it easy to combine these with studying?

I love lifting weights, running, body painting, concerts and travelling – especially now that we can go back to it. I am also part of the International Referat of the University of Klagenfurt and sometimes I work as a freelancer for the Fraglia Vela Riva sailing club in my hometown at international events. It is definitely not easy to combine everything and it requires a lot of organisation and time scheduling but as long as you find a way to organise yourself and make sure to prioritise specific activities during specific times, it is not too complicated to do, even though sometimes I wish a day had more than 24 hours. Organisation and planning your days and weeks is key and it can really help you not to lose yourself in the process to focus too much on your studies, forgetting everything else and the other way around.

Where do you seek help at the university if you need something or „get stuck“?

The first person that comes to my mind is my programme director Isabell Koinig who is always ready to help if we ever need something, as well as all the professors who have always been open to talk and help in every situation. Another person worth mentioning is the porter in the entrance hall who has been so kind to me whenever I got lost inside the university at the very beginning. The last thing I would like to add is the support I am getting through another service offered by the university which is really helping my mental health. I am talking about the possibility of doing free consultation with a psychologist/therapist  (Psychologische Studierendenberatung). Coming from another country, our budget as students is usually not that high, so having this kind of support given by the university for free is something I am really thankful about as it is providing a huge change for my quality of life.

What moment will always remind you of your studies here? 

I have so many and it hasn’t even been a year since I moved here. I will always remember the first International Party at Molly Malone when I moved to Klagenfurt. Because when I went there with my old housemate, Iva, I didn’t expect to meet so many people and cultures in one place and it was definitely a night I won’t forget. With Iva I created such a great bond that goes way beyond just sharing an apartment and we are still in touch and talking and I am most definitely really thankful for our friendship – she will always be my first friend here. I remember us celebrating with a glass of wine after getting the apartment, us sticking words in German all over the house to learn how to say things, the long nights of studying in my room, the nights out at McMullens or trying different Austrian restaurants in the area, and our adventures in Villach, Graz and Salzburg.

Another memory that I will always carry with me is the joint plan among MCM students to go to Croatia together after our exams: whenever we get overwhelmed due to the amount of work we have to do, one of us shouts “Croatia” raising their hands and this kind of makes the atmosphere nicer and lighter.

As another lasting memory, I have to mention the first party at Nautilus. It is one of my favourite parties I have ever been to, because the atmosphere was incredible and even though I suffer with anxiety, I recognised many people there which made me feel incredibly safe and it is one of the best memories I have.

What would you have been glad about if someone had told you before you started studying? What is your advice for freshers?

My best advice is to get in contact with current students at the university so that you can get more information about how to organise yourself before starting. They are usually super available to help you to figure out your first moves, also based on their own experience. As a foreign student I would have liked to have more information about how the campus system works, about opportunities and grants I can get as a student. I would have loved to know about the housing, especially in terms of finding a place to stay and more information on the legal requirements in relation to staying and living in Austria. Get in contact with your programme director as they usually have some PDFs for freshers about getting started which, in my case, were extremely helpful. Make sure you go to the Welcome Days, it really helps to get to meet people for the first time as well as getting answers to all the questions you have about the programme and other university-related issues. Do not be afraid to ask, everyone is extremely welcoming and ready to help, you just need to ask for it.

Has your view of the world changed through your studies?

Most definitely yes, just by living in another country your view of the world changes, but also meeting so many people from so many different countries and cultures, also within the programme has an impact on the way we see the world. You realise how much more there is outside our little bubbles and realities we are used to. My studies in Media and Convergence Management are opening my horizons and opening my eyes by giving me a new perspective of what learning means as the teaching system is very different from Italy where the focus is exclusively on theoretical inputs. It is giving me the opportunity to see another reality, another way to gain knowledge which is, in turn, changing how I see the world around me.

What do you like about being a student?

I love everything about being a student. I love the long nights of studying as much as the the long nights out, I love going to class and spending time with my classmates. I love learning about new things, enriching my knowledge and my skill set, I love being able to never stop learning and growing. I feel like if you really want it, in life you can always be a student. Aside of your career you can always learn more, a new skill or deepening knowledge in a field you do not already have competence in. Being a student gives you the opportunity to live in an in-between area which is my favourite thing. You are a young adult building your future career, studying hard and enriching your knowledge but at the same time you are having the time of your life with parties, friends and adventures.

Why should one study at our university?

Because of the diversity this university offers in terms of programmes, but also in terms of people on campus. It is a very international university with a lot of people coming here from all over the world to study full time but also to study as Erasmus+ or Joint Study students. The University has a lot of partner universities all over the world which really gives you the possibility to get to know a lot of people from so many different countries and realities but also to go on an experience abroad by yourself which will enrich your curriculum and you as a person.

Another reason I want to add on top of that is the innovativeness of this university and the uniqueness of the Media and Convergence Management programme that is something I haven’t seen offered anywhere else and I strongly believe it is a top programme to study nowadays if you are passionate about media and management.

Last but not least, the environment we get to study in. Klagenfurt is a small city with a lot to offer in terms of things to do, places to go but also with a lot of nature and the Wörthersee. You get to have both, the comfort of a small city with the beauty of living in the middle of nature and so close to a beautiful lake.

What do you like about Klagenfurt?

I love its duality of being a city and at the same time having so much nature. It is a beautiful and safe place to live. Klagenfurt is well connected to big or bigger cities, it has everything a little city requires and, in my opinion, also having so much nature and the lake is an extra point as you have both things which is something incredible. I think Klagenfurt is a hidden gem with so much potential and beauty yet to be discovered by the world.


  • My favourite course was… Consumer Behaviour and Media
  • Mein student life is… chaotic but amazing
  • University does not work without… innovation
  • I am motivated by… my dreams
  • My dream job is… marketing manager