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Visual & Design Arts

Student Feature: Maheru Jahania on creating videos and exploring TikTok

By Natsume Ono

Scythian Media

In March of 2020, when the global COVID-19 pandemic caused then-junior Maheru Jahania to be sent home from her study abroad program in Singapore, she found herself with a lot of free time. Her parents had recently moved to Tennessee and without having any local friends, Maheru turned to TikTok as an outlet for her social and creative energy.

University of Michigan Arts & Culture · Student Feature: Maheru Jahania

Jahania, now a senior studying business at the University of Michigan, was a recent guest on the U-M Arts & Culture student feature podcast. Her pursuit of marketing and brand strategy as a career has propelled her towards working in videography and photography, and she has found success on TikTok in doing so, with over 250,000 likes since last March. 

In the podcast, Jahania recalls how her interest in videography and photography began. “When I was around 14 or 15 and got my first camera, I loved watching the YouTubers who filmed travel videos and made those kinds of montages. Then, when I went on vacation anywhere, I would bring my camera to film that and create little videos. As I got older, the types of things I started watching changed and that evolved the style of videos that I started doing and being interested in,” she says.

Still from a promotional video that Jahania created  featuring The Ordinary skincare brand.

Now, whenever she has an idea to create a video, she often envisions it in her head and mentally prepares all of the footage she needs. Although this leads to some frustration when the reality doesn’t live up to the expectations, she often shoots several options to edit together afterwards, fitting together a puzzle that is eventually arranged into a product that Jahania likes.

Some of her inspiration comes from watching other video creatives. Her favorite work, an ad-style video of a skincare product by The Ordinary, was inspired by a YouTuber named Daniel Schiffer. She imitated his technique of using a string to lift up the product, and was able to create the illusion of the bottle spinning out on its own.

She finds that the support that she has gotten on her TikTok videos has inspired her to continue producing videos, even if it’s just for the sake of having fun or for practicing her skills. Having the platform to share her work has also allowed her to explore her sense of entrepreneurship as students have reached out to her for support on various projects in organizations or startups. 

Maheru Jahania

Especially in the realm of marketing and brand strategy, Jahania believes that understanding the process of creating promotional videos and being able to come up with concepts will help her in the future.

When asked how being a student at U-M has helped with her creative interests, Jahania noted that “it’s really inspiring to connect with other people. Any time I share something, and someone says like, ‘I’m also really interested in this’ or asks me for advice, it’s really cool and pushes me to do more.” 

Even on TikTok, students find her work through their For You pages, and the positive feedback from peers that she has never met has emboldened Jahania in the work that she is passionate about. 

This self-learned passion has allowed her to become connected with an online community and has opened her eyes to new ways of creating.


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