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!

Week two and I already feel behind

Last week was my first week back at university and being a student again. It feels like ages since I last studied and had to do a reading for a class.

I’m going to be honest, it’s second week and I already feel behind. I think it’s a combination of the new ‘trimester’ system UTS has going, the five month break I had and the fact that during my break I was interning/working everyday.

My first class I felt clueless, I read all my readings and watched the film for the week and yet I felt like I knew nothing. Actually, it wasn’t just my first class, it was the whole week that felt like such a drag and pointless. My first day back I went through four cups of coffee, I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone. I got home and crashed straight away because of all the caffeine I had.

The transition from working everyday to having to go back to studying is a very difficult one, It makes me feel like uni is holding me back and I find myself thinking I already know what my lecturers and tutors are teaching me – but really I don’t know, It seems I’ve grown a big head because of the experience I did over my break.

I know I have a lot to learn, and I need to finish this degree – not just because my parents want me to, but as reassurance for the future, but I feel like if I was to go job hunting now I could possibly have a job and do what I love instead of falling asleep in a lecture hall or classroom.

But, I’m going to power through and hopefully survive the rest of my degree!

Since it’s my last full term as a university student (next semester I’ll be doing one subject) I thought I’d make the most of it and be a uni student. I’m going to make an effort to catch up with people, be more involved with the university, go to uni parties and have a social life on weekends.

Last year I just went to class and went straight home or to work. I spent my weekends at home with the family or catching up on work, interned as much as I could – on any free day I had and did not see anyone or have a social life.

So far it’s been good, I’ve seen and caught up with more people than I did all of last year, had more of a social life with family and friends, I’m a mentor to first year journalism students and I’ve been going to as many university events as I can fit in.

One thing still remains the same, I’m kept constantly busy and that’s the way I like it.

Persistence, Twitter, Passion and LOTS of E-Mails

People are constantly asking me “how have you had so much experience and yet are so young”.

These experiences everyone’s talking about are the internships and other things that I have completed. – I’d like to also add and this may make me sound a little up myself, but I’m very proud and impressed with everything I’ve achieved in the last two years since I’ve left high school.

Here’s a list of things I’ve completed/completing – so far: Internship with Seven News Sydney, Oceania Correspondent for The Global Panorama, Internship in Canberra’s Press Gallery for 2GB Radio, Published in the Daily Telegraph, Internship with News Corps’ Macarthur Chronicle, Network Ten’s Studio 10 Intern and Production Assistant for C91.3.

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve done a lot, don’t get me wrong, what amazing things I’ve done, but I would love to do more and put what I’ve learnt in my lectures and tutorials to the test.

Once I set my mind on something, I won’t stop until I get there. I plan to gain as much experience as I can before I enter the big world of the work force, that way, I’ll look more employable to my future/potential bosses, develop new skills, network and most importantly get my name out there.

Whenever people ask me about my so called “success”, I tell them comes down to four important things for me and they all relate to each other.

Persistence, Twitter, Passion and LOTS of E-Mails.

PERSISTENCE: A very wise man once told me that persistence is the key to getting what you want, and boy was he right. Ever since this wise man told me the importance of being persistent I haven’t stopped. I’m the type of person who will hassle you until you give me what I want. I’ll send a person an email weekly about an internship request until they reply. I mean, why not? The worse that could happen is they say no. What’s so bad about that? You’re still in the same position as you were in the first place. Be persistent, otherwise you’re not going to get anywhere.

TWITTER: Twitter was the place for where I got my first ever internship. My first internship was with Seven News. I like to keep my Twitter pretty professional, so I follow a lot of news organisations and journalists. Some of the times, these news organisations and journalist would follow me back. I used this to my advantage, I direct messaged a journalist from Seven News and from there I got my first internship. Twitter is also the best place to get your name out there, people can see you and what you’re up to. It’s great for me because I can share what I’ve written and experienced. Getting your name out there to me is so important.

PASSION: You need to be passionate, love and care about what you’re doing, otherwise there’s no point. Always pick something you’re passionate about, don’t let anyone [parents, friends] tell you what your career should be. I should know, I come from a stereotypical asian family whose parents expected my sister and I to become doctors. But thankfully we didn’t, otherwise I’d be really depressed and hate my parents. The reason I’m so motivated to find and gain experience is because I LOVE what I’m doing.

E-MAILS: Emails, the best thing ever. Emails have allowed me to send my resume and keep in contact with potential employers. Like I was saying about being persistence, just keep sending them, it just shows how much you want this job/internship. If you just sit on your butt and wonder after three weeks why you haven’t received an email back, I personally think you’re an idiot. These employers probably receive thousands of emails each day, of those thousands, about 50 might be from students looking to gain practical experience. You need to find a way to stand out, not by using bright colours but by being persistent. They’ll recognise your email address and realise you REALLY want this compared to the other 49. Man I love emails.

It’s funny, because as I’m writing this post I just received an email about a potential internship. The person who emailed back said “thanks for the follow up email”.

I really hope these four things help you as much as they have helped me. I’m having so much fun as a student journalist and as an intern for any organisation that will have me.


That’s a wrap!

And I’m back, back to plain old Sydney, no more Canberra adventures for Han…not for now at least.

So I haven’t been posting the last few days because I though it’ll be better to have one big post than two small ones, considering they weren’t very busy days, but still amazing things happened.

Thursday, the last day of sitting in Parliament house. It was going to be a slow-ish day, not many press conferences or much drama, beside the Northern Australian white paper that Tony Abbott was going to share with the rest of Australia. Unfortunately I didn’t attend that, which was a little disappointing.

I got to hang around with Bridget on Thursday, she’s the work experience kid from Nine News. I pretty much spent the day with Nine News and their cameraman. I met the COS and we discussed the prospects of me coming up again and interning for them. I asked if there was any chance of a paid internship, but he said unfortunately not, it was worth asking.

Friday was an extremely slow day, no politicians, it was like everyone else was busy, which they were but as an intern, there really wasn’t much for me to do. I did a lot of wandering around, I had lunch in the courtyard, but was stalked/attacked by crows so I ran inside and hid. Then I explored the rest of parliament house, I went to the meditation room, the cafes/lunch halls and stuff like that. It was great. As I was walking back, my pass expired on me, so the extremely hot security guard stopped me and said in a very nice way I needed to get my pass renewed or be escorted around, I would have chosen escorted if he was the one doing the escorting, but I ended up getting my pass renewed for another four hours.

The cameraman, all of them from every network were so nice to me. They helped me out, showed me around, told me who/which politician were important to get a grab from and nice places to eat or visit during my stay in canberra. On a side note, i’ve worked out why all the journos are always happy when they do a live cross or piece to the camera, holy crap, cameraman can be really good looking.

Security and the AFP, so nice and really easy to talk to, very happy and always smiling. Always coming to my rescue, I was running late to a press conference and I stacked it, legit, no joke 5 security guards came out of nowhere to see if I was okay haha.

What i’ve learnt over the last week?

I’ve learnt, I need to lower my voice and take on a more authoritative voice. My pace is apparently good, just needs to slow it a little bit. I’ve learnt how to use NewsBoss and NewsBoss audio, just made myself familiar with it, I could edit, and play around with the equipment.

I’ve learnt, radio is much harder than it looks/sounds. It’s not just reordering, you need to go to press conferences, put the story together, record your voice, edit and put packages together.

I met Penny Wong, Sarah Hanson-Young, Richard Di Natale, Scott Morrison- a number of times, and many others.

Learnt a lot about Parliament, Question time, House of reps is green (where Tony Abbott is), Senate is red, about how they have 4 and a half minutes to go to a voting, i’ve leaner Parliament House is HUGE and security and AFP are lovely people.

I’m definitely going to consider radio as a career option, I know this industry is hard, competitive and a lot of people want it. But I want it more.

I’ve only been back 24hrs and i’m already missing Canberra, the independence I got to experience, the fact I had to look after myself, cook, clean, go to work, catch taxis. I got to work and experience a whole new world. I can not wait for when I come back to Canberra, to be able to work in the press gallery again would be an amazing experience.

Thanks for an amazing time Canberra, I hope to see you again soon!

What are the chances?

NOTE: the title of this post is relevant, you’ll just need to read the whole post

Another wet and rainy day in Canberra. I was almost late to work this morning because my taxi didn’t come. No joke, three taxis came and went and none were mine. I had booked it the night before, but I might just do it the morning of when I need it next time.

Today was a pretty slow day for me, everyone else was busy and didn’t have much time to show me stuff or tell me what to do. Which I totally understand, I sometimes feel so annoying just being there, but i’m learning so I guess being annoying sometimes is a good thing.

The agenda from Canberra was: China trade deal, Asylum seekers,  pension changes and more, but they were our main news.

This morning I was on Senate doors again, it was pretty great, I asked my first question!!! I asked Sarah Hanson-Young about the asylum seekers issue and if the AFP had been in contact with her. She said no and she was going to do a follow up.

From there it went slow, no press conferences for me to attend, I only attend one today. Yesterday I had about 5, but this job is unpredictable and I understand that. I also met channel 9’s work experience girl, I didn’t get her name thug, but hopefully will run into her soon.

I staked it while walking in Parliament house and was rescued by security, it was pretty funny.

Anyways, today I decide to sit on the Senate question time, it was a last minute decision and when I went I saw a classmate from last year from Sydney. I mean what are the chances? How weird is that. We sat next to each other and caught up for a bit before I had to return.

Today I also did my first Press gallery door stop. We (Steph and I) stopped a senator in the gallery and I was pretty much in the background, it was so great though, word travelled so fast, when we got there it was only us then no joke a minute later we had journos and cameramen coming from all corners.

To end the day Steph let me practice recording my voice and playing around in the sound prof room. It was a bloody amazing experience! Had so much fun recording and editing my voice and just playing with the equipment.

Only two more days, and to be honest, i’m really going to miss it. Not only because of working in the press gallery with an amazing team and meeting new lovely people, but because of the independence. Don’t get me wrong, I do get a bit lonely here but I think everything else makes up for it.

I’m loving living by myself, having to iron, clean, make food and not depend on my parents so much.

Hi, i’m Han – the intern

This internship has allowed me to meet so many people. I’ve shaken so many hands (I think I have an excellent handshake now) and heard so many names, but I can’t remember most of them and it’s only the second day!

Today I started at 7:30, I was on the senate doors. It’s pretty much a lot of waiting to see if anyone want to stop and talk and give a press conference. We had three and it was pretty much still on the topic of asylum seekers and the allegations to the government about paying them to return to Indonesia.

I got back to the office and we had a staff debrief on what to do and what was going on. They said I could put together packages for the news, it was good practice for me to use the program, NewsBoss. It’s so complicated to use, but i’m getting my head around it!

At 11 I was sent to a press conference which turned to about four conferences. That lasted till about 12. When I got back to the office, I saw I had made it on TV, ABC 24 and I was so excited but didn’t manage to get a photo and have been searching all day for it. No luck yet.

I put together a package for Sydney and it was sent through. By 2pm it was pretty much my free time. My 2GB boss told me I could sit in the house of reps question time. It was amazing, so much better than watching it on the TV.

I met this really cute guy who lives in Canberra. He literally goes to question time when he has spare time. We bonded pretty well and sat together. I really thought there was like something there, but we went our separate ways. He didn’t even ask for my number, his loss!!! haha

I ran into so many people and thought it was about time to introduce myself to a few of them. Oh my golly gosh, Tom Connell from Sky News is so cute!! I also had a fan girl moment with Mark Riley from 7 news, there goes the professional intern look!

I was at work for 12 hours, a 12 hour day! But it was so cool, Scott Morrison came in and gave us a few grabs for the breaking news about Greens supporting the governments pension changes.

I know it’s not always going to be this fun and chilled when i’m working full time and have a real job. But for now, as a student i’m learning so much from the past two days, i’m so very grateful for this amazing experience and i’m having an incredible time here in Canberra.

I’m living by myself for the first time, having to cook, clean and organise things. I catch a taxi to work when it rains and go to work and come back. It’s amazing.

Hello Canberra!

When you think of Canberra you think, empty, cold and who the bloody hell goes to Canberra?.

Well I can let you know, it is very very cold here, but empty? nope you’re wrong about that. It’s as busy as any other city.

As you all know, this week i’m 2GB’s work experience kid in Canberra’s Press Gallery, but they call me the “intern”.

I had a late start this morning, 9 am. When I got there I had to get checked in and my pass…how cool is that? I have my very own pass! The actual press gallery is huge. I didn’t realise how big it was and it was not what I expected.

I went to a few press conferences today, and it was really exciting for me. Just watching how the journalist work and how they come up with questions on the spot is just amazing.

Steph who is looking after me taught me a few things with the program they use called NewsBoss, which I have never heard of. I’m really disappointed that uni doesn’t teach you things like this. I think it’s really important considering you’ll be using your whole career, and sure each company uses different things, but getting a gist of something similar would be so helpful.

I also got to write up a little piece from a media release, Steph also should me how 2GB works and what to type out and what not to do.

I’m still trying to get my head around everything, especially names. My goodness, i’ve met way too many people today, lots of hand shaking and meeting a lot of ministers.

I’ve also learnt today that I need to learn who the ministers, backbenchers and everyone. It’s been a little laid back but really full on day.

It’s been an educational day, nerve-racking but very fun and exciting for me.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow where I start at 7.30 and will be pretty much chasing for comments first thing! But looking forward to it.