Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | February 19, 2010

Career Day

Titantic star Leonardo DiCaprio has admitted he had no idea what he wanted to with his life until he went to his school’s Career Day, where he was told he could make a living being an actor.

My career path started much the same. I’d always been into writing and reading and probably would have ended up doing English or history at university, had I gone there.

But in the fifth form English communications module, Mrs K had a few people come and talk to our class from the media, including Graham Avery from 4ZG in Gore (now more famous as Hokonui Gold – or the birthplace for the broadcasting career of The Farming Show’s Jamie Mackay!)

A friend and I decided we quite liked the idea of radio, so we visited for a day’s work experience. Karen never went back to 4ZG (and left school to work in a bank) but I went back at every available opportunity. I wrote school reports that I read out over the phone every Monday afternoon, I went in for the holidays (all voluntary) until school finished.

Having missed out on the radio course at Christchurch Polytech, I was unsure what I was going to do. Suddenly the phone rang. It was Mr Avery. His reporter was leaving. Did I want the job?

Sure! It could have been his receptionist, an announcer, a sales rep, accounts person, ad writer, coffee maker – I had done a bit of everything during my time as a volunteer.

So useless as I was (and I was), I worked there for the better part of a year as a sole-charge reporter (biggest story was helping out fellow journos in Dunedin covering Aramoana). Then I made it into the broadcast journalism course at Christchurch Polytech (whose radio course I had missed out on the year before) and never looked back.

Canterbury Television (I have a face for radio), Radio Central in Alexandra then Bay City Radio/Newstalk ZB in Napier. A stint overseas then returning to the Hawke’s Bay Herald Tribune/HBToday and freelance since 2000. Self employed in the industry of my choosing for a decade.

You can’t beat the power of a school’s career day.

I have spoken to several classes in the past few years about being a journalist. Mostly I tell them whatever you’re into, you can make a job of it with journalism. So you’re into motorsport but will never be good enough to team up with Greg Murphy – write about it instead. Like rugby but you’re no Dan Carter? Become a sports reporter.

It’s not like the old days where you had a trade and stayed with it for life. People these days can have two or three different careers in their lives and good on them. Change is as good as a holiday!

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