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.


Enough with the boy problems

I like to think i’m a really approachable person and easy to talk and get along with. Like i’ve said many times before, I love meeting new people.

But what i’ve noticed recently is that a lot of people talk about their problems with me, don’t get me wrong, i’m really honoured you feel comfortable talking to me about personal problems, but the one thing I can not handle. Boys.

I am not an expert when it comes to boys. I’ve been in one relationship in 19 years and that was when I was in year nine. Yeah, sure I get along with guys really well. I’m really flirty and easy going, I prefer the company of a male friend than one of my girl friends.

When I meet a guy for the first time, we hit it off straight away, a little flirting here and there, but that’s it. I usually end up being good friends with them or never see them again, and i’m okay with that. To be honest, as much as i’d like to be in a relationship, I don’t think i’m ready.

So I really don’t understand why people come to me when they have problems with a guy. I really can’t handle it, when i’m honest they totally ignore what I say. I give them advice, they do the complete opposite. Like for example i’ll tell them to stop talking to a guy because he’s a massive d-head, but no, they continue to talk and get hurt and then come back to me and complain.

Hang on, writing this post has just made me realise why people might be coming to me with their boy problems. Maybe it’s because they think i’m always with guys and I know who the male species work. Well I don’t.

So please, when you’re talking to me, i’d love to give you advice and comfort you when I can. But I beg you, please do not bring up any guy problems.

Life’s a Challenge

Last Friday I received an email about the internship I applied for. If you read my earlier post, you would know how surprised I was when I read the email which invited me to go to an interview.

I was being honest when I thought I failed the test. The first current affairs test was brutal for me, which I really am disappointed in myself. I thought I’d know more about politics and government.

Anyways, I was invited to go to an interview with two others on Monday and I had to come prepared with a pitch(s). I was in no shape to come up with a pitch, to the end of that week I had my wisdom teeth removed. I was always drowsy, couldn’t think straight, in a lot of pain and I was pretty much a sleep for 3 out of the 4 days.

But, I’m always up for a challenge. I replied to the email letting them know to be expecting me at 9am Monday morning.

Thankfully by Sunday I was feeling a little bit better. So I had time to come up with a pitch, write some notes down and do some uni work. I only came up with one idea, and technically speaking I should have come up with a back up plan, just in case they didn’t like it. But I thought it was a good pitch, different to what the publication would normally do, and it would attract a wider audience group.

Monday came and what a morning it was. I always plan to get a  place least a 15minutes before the required time, because I face a lot, and I mean A LOT of complications throughout the day. I wouldn’t call it bad luck, I like to think of it as a challenge. But man, someone out there really likes to challenge me.

I got off the train at central and ran to get the light rial, no joke I missed it by half a second. The doors closed on me when I got there. But that’s okay because there was another one coming in 5 minutes. Five minutes came and nothing, the light rail came 10 minutes later and you’ll never believe it, it had technical problems, so everyone got off the train and waited at central. Two minutes later and another came, everyone was fighting for a place on it. I couldn’t even get a foot in the door, so I had to wait for another.

By this time, it was about 9:45am, I emailed the interviewers letting them know I may be running late. I finally got on the light rail and just made it to the interview with a minute to spare. Want to know what else? My face decided to start to show bruising, but thankfully some created things called make up.

I think the interview went well, it was a causal interview, I talked about selfies, shoes and my ability to run really fast in heels. I think they really liked my pitch, which is great. One of the panellist told me that I just scraped through with the current affairs test, but my writing sections and personally made up for it.

By the end of this week we will find out if we got a place. But like I said before, what an amazing opportunity that was. I’m happy I made it this far and If I don’t get it? there’s always next time and many other opportunities out there.

You’ve just got to stay positive xx

What’s happening?

When I was in high school at lot of people thought i’d be the first one to get married in the grade.  Like I know that sounds pretty ridiculous, but even I thought I would.

We used to play that game where we’d ask who we thought was going to get married first, who’d become the famous one or who’d be a serial killer, stuff like that – it might sound weird, but it was heaps fun at an all girls school to discuss who we’d think would turn psycho.

Anyways, everyone thought i’d get married and have kids first. I mean, I know i’m only 19 but marriage for me is pretty big. I can’t wait to get married and have start a family. If I had to choose between having a family and my career, family would come first. I’d definitely put my career on hold.

Last night my group and I were discussing the idea of moving out, and when we’d move out. For me I think 23 would be the perfect age for me o move out. I would move out by myself, i’d find someone to share a place that’s near a beach.

Why 23 you may ask? I’ll be 22 when I’ve graduated and hopefully have a stable first year out job, during that time I would have saved enough money for me to  move out. I think I need to move out, i’m too dependent on my parents and sister. Hell I don’t even know how to use the washing machine.

Majority of my friends are in long term relationships and they all talk about moving out with their significant other and planning a future together. It’s so great, and i’m so happy for them. Like i’m a hopeless romantic, so stuff like that makes me feel all warm inside.

But I’m questioning why I haven’t found my significant other. My cousins think i’m picky, personally I don’t think I am. I know what I want in a guy, and I think I deserve the best. And yes you might be right and say that I might not actually know what I want. But for now i’m pretty certain I know.

Don’t get me wrong, there has been a lot of potentials, but then they turn out to be jerks or we end up friend zoning each other.

I met this guy last year and I know this might sound silly, but I thought I was going to marry him. He was like perfect, so nice to me always complimented me and he literally made me smile every time I saw him. We flirted for almost a year when he finally got the balls to ask for my number. Turns out he wasn’t my Mr Right.

We stopped talking for a bit, a few months. He all of a suddens comes out of no where and starts talking to me and says all the sweet stuff again and tells me about his future plans. But this time, he was more straight forward with me with what he wanted. I have been so dry to him and yet he’s persistent in talking to me on a regular basis.

I really don’t like guys. They really do confuse me.

But looks like for now i’ll be single ready to mingle and most definitely ready for a Pringle x

Milking our way through Kiama

NOTE: you might not understand my heading, but if you keep reading you’ll get it

The things I do to get a story! Yesterday a friend and I travelled down to Kiama on a 2 and a half hour train ride not knowing what to expect.

We had been allocated a suburb to write a news story about for a university assessment. At first, I wasn’t too happy about getting Kiama. I had only been to Kiama once before in my life, and I knew nothing about the area and didn’t know anyone.

Before we left, I did as much research on the area as I could. From what I had gathered, I was expecting a lot of older people, as people come to Kiama to retire, a peaceful suburb with not much that happens. I had read the local paper The Kiama Independent and the first story that came up was about a new doctor in town. So my hopes on getting a story were pretty low.

I am so glad we took the time and travelled down. We met amazing locals and the environment was so peaceful and clean to work in, even on a foggy rainy day.

We kept our eyes out for anything interesting, something that kept on popping up were images and mascots of cows. There was even one painting where they made the cow out to be some form of god.

We had no idea what that meant, but when we were at the Kiama visitors centre we found out that Kiama has a huge dairy industry and that it wasn’t all about the blowhole and that Kiama had huge farm lands. We made a joke about ‘milking’ the story about the cows (what a pun).

The locals in the area were amazing, they helped us out a lot, and before we knew it we had about 15 stories between us. It was such a small and tight community that we’d be talking to one person, and then they’d refer us to someone who works in the council who could help us. Then the council person would recommend talking to the police and other places to find stories.

In my past experience working with the police, it wasn’t pleasant. My last story I was trying to gather statistics on crime in a particular suburb. I had called the local police station and asked if it was possible for me to book an appointment with someone who could help me, they said I didn’t need to book and that I could come in whenever I wanted, so I did. I went in and no joke, it took me longer to find a parking spot than staying in the police station. I was literally in the station for 2 minutes where they told me I had to book an appointment and talk to this one guy. When I got home I called the person, where I was told he was on leave. It took him two weeks to get back to me where he said he couldn’t talk to me. How pissed off would you have been?

Anyways, we went to the Kiama police station and they were amazing, so very helpful and really good looking. He pretty much told us that nothing really interesting happens in Kiama, it’s small and that there’s a lot of older people so not much trouble happens. He pretty much said we were the most exciting thing about his day.

I met this amazing woman named Barbra, and we pretty much clicked. I’m so hoping I can write about her story and movement. She has this amazing connection and such positivity.

I love Kiama, I plan to retire there. Love it!

Find a mentor and watch them: Joe Hildebrand

Each Wednesday at UTS we’re lucky to have people who work in the industry come in and talk to us. This is called the afternoon session.

Our guest speaker for the afternoon was Joe Hildebrand. So far I think he has been the most useful to listen to. He gave really good advice and tips and he spoke on our level, he didn’t make it seem like we were the students who had zero experience. He was so honest about what the industry is like. He practically told us that we were going to get into trouble one day in the future because if this job. Some key points I took out of that:

  • Protect your sources
  • Listen to your editor and COS
  • Never point your finger at Master Zen, you might not have one at the end of the day (Be there moment)
  • Ask stupid questions. Ask. Ask. Ask
  • Journalism is a way of conveying information to people who don’t know
  • Know your audience
  • Do not let your source contact you from a work email*
  • Don’t expose yourself to a paper trail
  • Be very careful with your research. Make sure it’s right
  • Don’t refer to gender when you are sourcing someone
  • Be careful of eco-chamber ( I don’t know what that is actually, I’m going to google it)
  • Make sure you get all sides of the story
  • Get as much experience as you can

*Joe gave us a hilarious example of what to do when someone with a story emails you via their work email. He said to email them back saying that you can’t help them out etc. Then straight after that, CALL THEM UP AND SAY YOU’LL DO IT.

He also told us to get as much experience as we can, I’m planning on asking him for experience actually (He followed me back on twitter. O.M.G) at Studio Ten.

Something that Joe said that really got my attention was when he said to find someone we look up to in the work force, a mentor and watch them, keep watching them. The funny thing is one of my biggest inspirations and mentors is actually Joe himself. Others include Chris Bath from 7 News, Sandra Sully from Channel 10, Damien Smith also from 7 News and the late Ian Ross. I want to be able to be a journalist who is taken seriously at the stories that I do, but at the same time I want to be able to show my self, my laid back and carefree self. Joe is able to be himself and be taken seriously. I admire that.

Funny thing about today’s talk, Joe stressed out the importance of knowing your audience. He was making so many jokes and like no one was laughing, it was hilarious. But it’s alright Joe, I get your jokes…ish.

Thanks for today Joe!