A life update

What a day – actually scratch that, what a week it has been.

This week was my final week of university for the semester. It was a pretty busy and full on week for me and I started to feel overwhelmed with everything going on, but now that the week is over, I can sit back and write this blog post.

It started out with a very chilled Monday where I planned to finish off my 2500 word assignment due the following day and start the other assignment due on Friday. I managed to finish off the first assignment, sort out the rest of my week and start my second assignment. I also put the final touches to my presentation for my talk at my old high school on Tuesday.

I had a 9am start on Tuesday, so I was out of the house by eight o’clock making my way to my old high school, St Ursula’s College Kingsgrove where I would present two presentations for year 11 students during their ‘Empower’ classes. It was so great to catch up and see all of my teachers, thankfully they all remembered me and they seriously have not changed one bit! It was a bit strange going back to school and seeing everything had changed. Many of the buildings had been knocked down and rebuilt so I must admit I was a little lost. Both groups I spoke to were very nice and interactive, I felt really nervous coming back to talk to them – like there was some sort of pressure because I was an ex-student. As a thank you, the school gave me wine glasses, a bottle of wine and coasters with the school emblem on it, it was really nice of them to do so. I look forward to coming back at the end of the year to speak to year 10 students about their subject selections.

After the presentation I made my way to the city to listen to The Today Show and Huffington Post‘s Lisa Wilkinson talk about the art of storytelling, as an added bonus her husband, Peter FitzSimons was there to speak as well. In my spare time, or when I can I like to go to events like this to learn more about journalism – I’m always looking at ways to improve my skills as a journalist. Both speakers were so inspirational and great to listen to, I’m glad I went.

On Wednesday I had an interview with UTS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences to be the Journalism SPROUTS (Student Promotional Officers of UTS)…you are looking at the new journalism representative for UTS! Looking forward to inspiring and encouraging younger students to study at UTS. Part of my role will be running journalism workshops schools, so in two weeks I will have two workshops on all things journalism to run – I look forward to that. I went to my tutorial after that, it was really cute because our tutor bought in carrot cake, a student bought in tea with hot water and milk and I bought in chocolate. It was a small class, but very cute. The plan was to work on our assignments that was due Friday, but we ended up chatting away and bonding.

By Thursday most of my commitments were over, I had a few errands to run in the morning (I felt like an actual adult) and then headed to my journalism lecture where we listened to a journalist from the ABC, who was also a UTS alumni. I wasn’t planning on attending because I didn’t have anything left to do for that subject and I wanted to work on my final assignment, but I’m glad I did. During the two hour break between the lecture and tutorial I ended up working on my assignment for a bit and went for a chocolate fix with a friend. Our tutorial normally runs for two hours, but within 45 minutes we were dismissed.

Now, I know I should have used that extra time wisely and finish off my assignment that was due today (Friday) 5pm but I was not motivated enough and was very distracted by online shopping. So I ended up having 500+ words left of my 2000 word essay to do.

This morning I bought my laptop to my internship with Sunday Style and finished off my assignment in between transcribing and Pinterest posts and during my lunch break. This week was my third week with them, but to anyones surprise, it was also my final day with them. I was offered something that I couldn’t refuse, which meant I had to part ways with NewsCorp. When I applied for this internship, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.

I love hard news, politics and chasing people out of court, this internship was completely different. It was focused on fashion, celebrity and feature stories and thing I wasn’t used to – but boy was I wrong. I really enjoyed my time there, even though it was so sort. I was constantly kept busy, transcribing and doing bits and pieces to help the editorial team and everyone was so nice and friendly. I had this stigma that working in a magazine environment, everyone would be so bitchy and snobby, but interning with Sunday Style was nothing like that.

Thank you so much to the Sunday Style team for having me, you were all so nice to me and willing to show me things and share cake with me! It was a short but very sweet ride and I look forward to hopefully bumping into the team again soon.

What now for me you may ask? Well, I’m off on a new adventure starting next week. I’m very excited and nervous at the same time, but looking forward to a change.

You’ll have to tune back here to find out what I’m up to!

The not-so-glamorous life of Han Nguyen

A lot of people assume I have a very glamorous life because I’m (sorta) in the media industry, and sure they’re right but it’s only a small part of the crazy world which I love.

I’ve had some shocking moments and my career has only just started. So I thought I’d share a few of my embarrassing Han moments with you all!

  1. Once I had an interview with a well known online news organisation and I was running a little late for it (I made the interview on time…it was cause I was slightly disorganised in the morning). It was winter time so I was wearing layers of clothes and was speed walking to the building, when I got into the building it was heated. So during my interview I was sweating…like a lot. The interviewer was asking me questions, and while I was answering I was taking all the layers of clothes off, draining my bottle and wiping the sweat off my face. The interviewer offered me tissues to wipe my sweat and offered me a glass of water in-between asking me questions about the job. Sadly, I didn’t get the job but it was a wonderfully embarrassing lesson!
  2. Last year I interned in Canberra’s Press Gallery and it was one of the best experiences I’ve had. A moment – which I’ve tried to forget but can’t because it was that embarrassing –  I had was when I was walking/running to a press conference and tripped on the flat surface of Parliament House in front of 10-15 journalist and cameramen and a couple of politicians. This resulted in three security guards running to my aid asking if I was alright and helping me up while I was bright red and laughing. Note to self – don’t try to run in heels…you’re clumsy.
  3. I’m not a very emotional person so it takes a lot for me to cry. Earlier this year I was put on the late shift so I didn’t have to come in until 2pm. I wasn’t feeling 100% in the morning but went into work anyways. I went and sat at my desk and started to work on the things I needed to do, but I felt worse sitting there. Around 45 minutes later the editor comes looking for me, I can’t remember why, I think it was to talk about a story I had just written. I don’t know what happened, but when he came over and sat next to me I just started to cry..not just little tears. But what a legend he was! I was trying to explain to him how sick I felt and he wasn’t turned away by the fact a teenager girl was crying in front of him. He  sat there and talked to me, told me to go home but I refused cause I wanted to finish the story I was working on so he told me to take a walk and then make a decision on if I wanted to stay or not. He was really sympathetic and caring! So great. I went for a walk and ended up going home early. Lesson learnt: Don’t overwork yourself otherwise you’ll get sick
  4. Do you know what’s really bad? When you incorrectly name editors. I have incorrectly named two editors that I can remember, one was when I was talking to my editor who I just met and I called him Daniel (which in my defence is pretty close to his name, okay not really), I didn’t realise my mistake until he emailed me something. Boy was that awkward! The other time I emailed an editor I’ve never met and called him Chris instead of Craig…lets just say I never received a response. Lesson learnt, names are very important!

Those are just a few embarrassing moments in my life. It can be glamorous, but in my case, cause I’m the clummiset person ever…it’s a little more complicated! It’s am amazing life and I can’t wait to see what I get up to in the future. But here’s to more clumsy moments! Because I learn so much from my mistakes and mishaps.


It’s not really goodbye!

For the past six months I have been interning with Network TENs morning show, Studio 10 and on Friday it was time to say goodbye.

What an internship. The internship at Studio 10 isn’t really a journalism one. A lot of the work that interns do is more production type things, but I wasn’t going to knock back such a rewarding internship just because it wasn’t journalism related, cause in some ways it was as well.

I have learnt so much about myself during my time there. I’ve learnt I’m terrible with stress, but as time went on I learnt how to control and maintain my stress levels – which I’m very proud of. I was overwhelmed a lot of the time towards the end of my internship, I was given a lot more responsibilities and whenever the audience co-ordinator/my boss was away, I had to take over his role. It was very overwhelming the first time I had to do it. I didn’t realise how much work went into a 2 minute segment or how much money was spent in the show. The job stressed me out a lot, I was constantly tired, sleep deprived and as time went on, I lacked the motivation to get up at 4AM to head to the office. I used to be so excited about interning, but this job was really draining.

That week was a bit of a weird week for me, a lot had happened that made me make the decision to leave earlier than planned. Technically speaking there’s another two weeks till the last live show and I had planned to stay right till the end but things happened and on Thursday afternoon I approached my boss asking/telling him that Friday was going to be my last day.

I think the reason I stayed so long was because of the audience and the crew. I loved working with them so much, they made me feel so special and loved, always complimenting my outfits and encouraging me to achieve my best. The audience would give me life advice and treated me with so much respect.

I also felt like if I had left earlier I’d be letting my boss down. He has done so much for me over the last six months, given me so many opportunities to prove myself not just to him and my superiors but also prove to me that I can do things. But when I approached him on Thursday afternoon he was fine with my decision and was happy to hear about the next step in my life.

That afternoon was the first time I felt happy, like real happy in the last six months. The internship had really drained me and taken a lot of energy. I seriously felt a sense of relief when I left the building. Don’t get me wrong, the internship was amazing, I learnt so much, experienced amazing things, met amazing people and got so many opportunities from it, but I think six months anywhere as an intern is draining.

On Friday it was like my first day, I woke up at 4AM so excited to come in, I wasn’t tired, I was full of energy leading the audience for the last time and just had so much fun. It was a great way to end the internship.

I have met so many wonderful people who I plan to keep in contact with, because really…it’s not goodbye. From this internship I met someone who has given me an opportunity in the digital news department at as their intern, so technically speaking I’m just moving departments which means I can still see everyone and I think it’s made my decision to leave a lot easier.

Looking forward to the next step in my life!

I swear I was working…

What a hot day it was today!

I was asked to come back and extend my internship till tomorrow. If you’ve read my pervious post, you’ll know it’s a full on week for me. Two assignments due, two days at uni and threes days interning. This morning on my train ride and in the first hour of my shift I managed to finish on of my assignments, due tomorrow at 5PM and I finished a day of interning. It’s seriously a relief to have finished that assignment, just one more to do and the rest of the week should be good for me.

Today was a good day, I was told that I’d be out and about doing stuff for the weather package and train to be a weather girl –  I might add was the lead story in tonights bulletin. I was partnered off  and reunited with Rolfe, a cameraman I met the last time I was at Seven. It was so good to see him again and to be able to work with him was great fun. At 10AM I was briefed by a producer and Rolfe and I were told to go to Bondi and Coogee to film some overlay and do some voxpops. We started out at Bondi and then made our way to Coogee where we picked up our COS son to use the GoPro in the water. As Rolfe was filming the time laps of an ice-block melting, I supervised the COS son and told him to do things, jump in the wave, interact with people, run from the beach into the water and just have fun in the sun. We also went to this area of the beach where he cold jump off rocks. Oh my gosh was I worried, I mean, I had the care of the COS son in my hands. I mean, If he’d hurt himself or didn’t have fun or got lost I would have gotten in so much trouble, lost my internship and god knows what would happen to me. But thankfully everything went smoothly and when we got back to Rolfe we conducted some voxpops and then returned the COS son back home. I also managed to stick my feet in the water – boy was that nice.

We thought it would be best to give the disc of stuff we filmed back to the newsroom so they could package it together then Rolfe and I traveled to Aqua Park in Penrith. I’ve never been to Penrith before and to be honest, it’s not what I expected. Yes, It was boiling hot but to my surprise it was not as rural as I thought it would be. The action park was filled with families and children on their last day of school holidays. I gave the GoPro to one of the ‘customers’ is that what you call them? who had a son and told them to go have fun and slide down the slide for five to 10 minutes, as I was watching over, Rolfe filmed some more overlay and we met up where I was standing to do some voxpops near the water. Once everyone saw we were interviewing people a whole group of people swamped us, in particular children. It was great fun, but they pretty much just wanted their five minutes of fame, most of what they were saying wasn’t really much use for us. But I took advantage of the situation and asked them all “Are you guys excited to be going back to school tomorrow?” we got a massive reply of “NO”. We missed out on filming sausages being cooked on the barbie, so I called the producer up and told her and she said that it was okay.

From there we headed back to Sydney and the newsroom where I was told I could go home, by this time it was about 4:30PM. COS reminded me of my run down for tomorrow and I talked to the producer I’ll be working under for tomorrows package I’m working on. I asked him what he wanted/needed me to do and gave me tips and advice on how to approach it.

I just received an email from COS, she sent the whole team – camera crew, journalist and producers the run down for tomorrow. Besides my name it has (FP) which I believe means Field Producer…HOW COOL IS THAT? haha.

I’m really exhausted from today, i might be suffering from a slight case of heat stroke because I’ve been outside in the sun a lot of today. But I’m loving this internship, I mean I’m learning so much from producers, COS, cameramen and journalists, I’m discovering new places like Aqua Park and visiting places I’ve never been before. I seriously love this internship and wish it’ll never end. But, I can’t stay an intern forever! One more year of my degree and hopefully I’ll be a real journalist!

Not as crazy as you would think

What a crazy day it’s been.

As per usual my morning started at 7AM where I was asked to go out to George St with a cameraman to film some voxpops for a news package. We wanted to get commuters reactions and their thoughts. To my surprises, a lot of people wanted to say things, even though they were rushing to work.

I headed back to the newsroom and was briefed on my next story which was to be done at 2:30. But before I left and prepared for that I was tasked with finding some certain information which I can’t reveal. I had to make a number of cools and travel by foot up the road to go through this ‘file’ when I say file, it’s literally two blocks of lists. I had to go through them to get my information. It wasn’t much help as it was specific to what I was searching for. It was a long shot this task COS had given me so when I told her I had tried everything, from databases to traveling to go through files, to the old Google-ing, Yellow pages and social media stalking. She was okay with it and said she was waiting for a contact to get back to her.

So when I finished that task I started to prepare for my assigned story. Paul Kadak briefed me on what he wanted because he’s going to be the journalist that packages it. I had to conduct interviews and work with the cameraman to pick camera shoots. It was a really cool trip because I got to travel in the ‘Link Truck’ which I thought was super cool.

The area we were driving to was right next to home, so I made the driver drive past my house for my mum to see. She was so excited and loved it!

I found that my confidence in interviewing has improved, a lot in the past week. I don’t stumble as much and I feel better and less nervous. But a first for me was interviewing kids. You know that saying “never work with kids or animals” well I finally understand the kids part. I found it difficult to interview these two 10 year-old twins. They gave short answers, like literally one word. I don’t know, maybe it’s cause I didn’t word my question right or they were just nervous, but I found it difficult. It was definitely a learning curve for me.

We headed back to the newsroom and that was when the breaking news of the shooting outside Parramatta police station had just come through. What an experience that was to witness. Technically speaking I was meant to be finished at 4PM but I stayed back just in case COS needed me to do something, plus, really, I had nothing better to do on a Friday afternoon.

When news came through of the shooting, it was unconfirmed and the police media team didn’t say anything. We sent out our chopper and the live feed was coming through to our screens. There was a lot of blood.

Watching the newsroom operate was an experience. It was not what I thought it was going to be like, I thought once breaking news came through so close to deadlines, there would be papers flying everywhere and journos running up and down freaking out. But it was calm and everyone was busy. I guess you have to be in this sort of situation.

We had trouble sending out a camera crew and journalist because of traffic, but managed to be one of the first news organisation to arrive at the scene because one of the journalist caught the train. The phones in the newsroom were ringing off the hock. It was a calm crazy.

I’m honestly so glad I stayed back, it’s an amazing thing to witness. I felt really bad for leaving at 5:15PM, but there was no point of having me there. I couldn’t really do anything. If anything, I was probably in their way.

To witness such a thing progress is pretty special. I’m so thankful, like I know I’m always saying it. But wow, very grateful.

Seven News Internship Day Four

Hello again lovely people visiting my small corner of the world wide web. I hope you’re all well.

Today was a pretty slow day for me as an intern, but still a very educational one – I’m always learning, and I love to learn about stuff that’s industry related.

Once again I was in the office by 7AM, sat down at my desk and read the paper and scrolled through social media for a good 3hrs before I was assigned something to do. Most of the camera crew had already left to go to assigned jobs and couldn’t come back to take me anywhere. So I was in the office for majority of the day.

My first task assigned to me by COS was to gather statistics and rates on prison escapees between 2003-2012 in South Australia (because that was when NSW corrective service commissioner Peter Severin was Chief).

I called up the corrective services media team and they sent through PDFs for me to got through, boy that took a while. Once I finished that I was assigned another task for next weeks news which I will not reveal. But it involved me wandering round the city for 3hrs searching for talent. At first I couldn’t find any, but thankfully I came up with three.

Now, today wasn’t as exciting as other days, and I knew it was going to happen and I’m kinda okay with it. Like i’ve said before, you get good and not so good days.

But I’m still so ver grateful!


Feeling really lucky and thankful

What a wonderful day yesterday was. Firstly, I’d like to apologise for the late post. I was really tired and no bothered to write anything yesterday.

Yesterday was a good day. I started at 7AM but didn’t get sent out to the field till just before 9AM. Alex Hart was the journalist/mentor looking after me. He’s actually so great, I met his fiancé while interning in Canberra.

The day before police had arrested 13 people in relation to possession of cocaine, illegal importation of tobacco and more. We were sent to the AFP media press conference, but I had literally sat down for less than 5 minutes before we found out three of the arrested were appearing in court at the same time. Alex looked over to me and pretty much said “right Han, grab our cameraman and off to court you go.”

Alex stayed for the press conference while I travelled all the way to Sutherland court with our camera. We had agreed to ‘poll’ with Network 10. They gave us the copy of the press conference and I will attend court on behalf of Seven and 10, but of course, mainly Seven.

We honestly thought we would have missed the hearings, but thankfully we didn’t. I had no clue what to do, I was asking the cameraman what normally happens but he wasn’t sure and I didn’t want to bug Alex so I improvised.

The moment we stopped I jumped out of the car and went through security and headed to the reception like place and asked for details. They were really helpful, like so nice and understanding and gave all the information they had, which wasn’t much but was more than I originally had.

They told me to wait in court room two. While I was there, the cameraman filmed outside the court and stayed in the car waiting for me to give him the nod.

After a bit I noticed two people who walked in, they looked like journalist, not because of how well known they were or the way they were dressed, but because of the way they presented themselves and kept looking over at me. It turns out they were from ABC24 and one of them was an intern from UTS.

During court only one of the arrested applied for bail and was granted it with conditions. He was the only person we could get a shot of. So right after it was finished I bolted out of the court and called Alex to give him an update as well as for him to tell me what to do.

We managed to get footage of the lawyer and grab some quotes off him. So did ABC. But they weren’t bothered to stay and film our target. We waited for a good 2hrs before our target had left court and when he did there was a lot of swearing involved.

Han Nguyen - Tobacco story

In the image above, the target said to me “get the f&$# out of my face you f&%$ing idiot” it was really good for me, such a great learning curve and literally thrown in the deep end.

When I returned to the office we found out we had to share our footage with ABC as well. But I guess it’s good partnership in a way.

The footage was used in Ten Eyewitness News and was also the lead for our Seven News package. So many people messaged me saying they saw me on TV. It’s such a great feeling. And today when I went in to the office, Alex was so great and showing it off to everyone.

I’m so grateful and feel so lucky for all the amazing things i’ve been able to experience and do. I know someone’s watching over me, and now that grandma is there too, I few like i’ve been granted two angels to watch over me.

I want to thank who ever is watching over me, my friends and family for their support, all the places I’ve interned at (Seven News, Studio 10, Macarthur Chronicle, 2GB). And Like I say, I know it’s not always going to be like this, but still, how lucky am I to be able to say “Hi i’m Han from Seven News” or “Hi I’m an intern for ___”

So thankful!