Melbourne journalist Alana Mitchelson scored an international fellowship soon after graduating from Monash.
Since then, Alana has built her career in print and digital journalism, and now reports for news website, The New Daily, in Melbourne’s CBD.
Here is Alana’s profile …
Name: Alana Mitchelson
Course: Bachelor of Journalism
Year graduated: 2015
What was the best aspect of studying journalism at Monash?
The best aspect of the Monash journalism degree was its strong focus on practical work. Every assignment involved sourcing and writing a news story with original interviews. You’re thrown into the deep end from day one and I loved the challenge.
Why did you choose to study journalism at Monash?
Throughout high school, I’d always had a passion for writing but would never have considered myself a news junkie by any means. So without knowing what I wanted to pursue after school, I chose journalism and by chance discovered it was the perfect career path for me.
It’s a challenging degree. Journalism involves so much more than simply being a good writer. My time at university involved developing my ability to write succinct hard news ledes, eliminating any anxiety over approaching strangers for comment, improving my confidence in conducting interviews and expanding my multimedia skill set.
I used to be a reasonably shy person during my teenage years and I feel that journalism played a huge part in shaping me into who I am today.
Did you balance uni life with a job?
I had a part-time retail job for about a year before giving it up to pursue journalism internships at various publications to build my portfolio and grow my professional network.
I found these unpaid placements to be a crucial part of the university experience, even though they were mostly sought externally.
My first full-time journalism job was at a regional weekly newspaper in Geelong called the Geelong Independent.
How did you break into the industry?
I undertook a 10-week journalism fellowship at the Indianapolis Star in the United States straight after finishing my final uni assignments. I think it gave me a bit of an edge over other candidates throughout the interview process for my first job upon coming home to Melbourne.
I began cutting my teeth at a weekly regional newspaper, the Geelong Independent, before being transferred to the company’s flagship paper, the Pakenham Gazette.
A year later I was approached for a reporting role at Bruce Guthrie’s national news website The New Daily where I am currently working.
Could you share an embarrassing/funny anecdote you encountered in your earlier days in journalism?
In my early weeks at the Pakenham Gazette, I was covering a local event and tripped over our photographers backpack.
I landed flat on my back in front of a large crowd of federal politicians, local councillors, police, residents, and not to mention my new boss.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
I remember that in first year uni, one of our lecturers told us that realistically, there were only so many jobs in journalism and not all of us should expect to land a job with one of the metropolitan-based news organisations.
“But at the end of the day, someone has to get those jobs and why shouldn’t it be you?” he’d posed to the lecture theatre.
I took those words as a challenge throughout the early stages of my career and I think it was the best attitude to have.
What is your dream job?
I would love to one day be a part of an investigative team, either writing long-form pieces or working behind-the-scenes on research for a television program such as Four Corners.
What are some tips you could give students hoping to pursue a career in journalism?
Interning and gaining field experience was, for me, the most important part of university. It is not enough to complete just one internship towards your placement unit.
Turn up to your internships prepared with story ideas to pitch and make yourself memorable. Ask lots of questions! These contacts will be extremely valuable when it comes to seeking work in the future.
I would also highly recommend applying for an overseas placement as the experience is second to none.
Waleed wins Silver Logie from field of celebrities
The Project host and Monash lecturer Waleed Aly has won the coveted TV Week 2017 Silver Logie Award for Best Presenter.
Julia blossoming in multiple directions
A diverse range of interests has led to a diverse range of job opportunities for … Continue reading Julia blossoming in multiple directions
Patrick helps call the shots in state politics
As a Senior Media Adviser in Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ office, Patrick Lane is helping … Continue reading Patrick helps call the shots in state politics
Journalism/Business combo opens doors for Marc
In studying a double degree in Journalism and Business, Marc Sudholz is hoping the skills … Continue reading Journalism/Business combo opens doors for Marc
Jade thriving in the right environment
From breaking morning news to writing on the environment, Jade Gailberger is living her dream … Continue reading Jade thriving in the right environment
Fenella seizes her opportunities TODAY
Fenella Wagener’s journey to becoming a Senior Producer of Channel Nine’s flagship breakfast show TODAY, all … Continue reading Fenella seizes her opportunities TODAY
Ellie’s communications career blossoms
Ellie Cope dreams big of a career in investigative journalism. Graduating from Monash Journalism in … Continue reading Ellie’s communications career blossoms
Marc kicking goals in sports journalism
AFL Media reporter Marc McGowan is kicking goals in his journalism career. After juggling study … Continue reading Marc kicking goals in sports journalism
Nicole’s love of journalism takes her around the world
Having worked for organisations such as the BBC, Al Jazeera English, Fairfax and News Corp, … Continue reading Nicole’s love of journalism takes her around the world
Real-world experience invaluable for Jack
Jack Cannon counts himself lucky to be a producer for Fox Footy, and hopes to … Continue reading Real-world experience invaluable for Jack
Max lands dream job in sports journalism
From writing on all things AFL to travelling overseas to cover eSports competitions, Max Laughton … Continue reading Max lands dream job in sports journalism
Kate enjoys the pace of tracking AFL stories
Herald Sun footy expert Kate Salemme spends her days tracking the movements of AFL footballers … Continue reading Kate enjoys the pace of tracking AFL stories