From Johannesburg to Rome: Meet Communications Alumna Megan Dhlamini
Megan Dhlamini, who hails from Johannesburg, South Africa, graduated from JCU in 2021 with a B.A. in Communications. She currently works as Coordinator of Northeastern University’s Italy program at JCU.
Tell us about your background.
My mom has lived in Italy for more than half of my life, so I never really lived with her growing up as a young child. She eventually asked me to move to Italy and so I emailed every university in Rome. John Cabot was the first university to get back to me.
You’re currently working as Coordinator of N.U. in Italy Program at JCU. What does your role entail?
Northeastern University sends us a group of freshmen every year. I make sure that these students are acclimated throughout their first semester so they can take full advantage of being in Italy.
You have a B.A. in Communications. What classes and/or professors impacted you the most and why?
The three Communications professors who impacted me the most are Professors Peter Sarram, Kwame Phillips, and Antonio Lopez. In one of Professor Sarram’s classes, we discussed media theory and its application. We watched the documentary Enjoy Poverty (2008) by Dutch artist Renzo Martens, and it brought me to tears because it shows you a world that screams that we all are equal while we are really not. With Professor Phillips, we watched a short film by Arthur Jafa called Love is the Message (2014). Jafa showcased police brutality in the US and how pervasive it is. It made me investigate police brutality within South Africa and that paved the way for my thesis. Professor Lopez, who focuses on media and the environment, helped me see how big companies alter their message to the general audience to make it seem as if they care for the environment. So, customers buy products, and they think that everything that says recycled is in fact recycled, while in reality it’s just shipped to a developing country. These three professors really helped me see the world through a different lens.
You were the social media coordinator of the Africans in the World Cultural Club. What are your fondest memories from that time?
Firstly, launching the Africans in the world Instagram page was a great experience. Then going to different events, taking pictures, posting on social media, and making people see a new side of Africans, African Americans, and anyone who identifies with African and Caribbean culture. We were able to host many events that made our club grow. And I’m glad to see that it’s still active.
What are your plans for the future?
I am interested in studying human resources or anything business-related. Also, I’m currently working on a business that I want to start. I don’t want to disclose what it is yet, but it’s beauty related. I just need to add the finishing touches.
What advice would you give to students looking to move to a different country based on your experience?
Try! I was scared to leave my family and friends, but being away helps you grow into a new person and builds your confidence. It makes you stronger. It makes you see the world in a different light. You understand who you are, you become the person that you are meant to be. Italy is beautiful. Take time to immerse yourself in Italian culture. Enjoy Italian cuisine. Travel to different places. It is an amazing life opportunity.