Back to school for Peggy

Seven years into an established career as a radio journalist for SBS, Peggy Giakoumelos went back to school with Monash.

Completing a unit in Multimedia Reporting, Peggy up-skilled to meet the demands of the changing journalism landscape. 

Here is her profile…

Peggy Giakoumelos.

Name: Peggy Giakoumelos

Course: Introduction to Multimedia Reporting (single unit)

Faculty/Division: Arts

Dept: School of Media, Film and Journalism

Campus: Caulfield

Year graduated: 2013

Current position: Cross-Platform Journalist at SBS.

How did you manage to land your current job?

I applied for a casual job as a radio producer advertised on the SBS website. It was a two month temp position. I got the job. Eleven years later I’m still at SBS now as a cross-platform journalist.  

How have your studies at Monash helped you in the industry?

After seven years working only in radio I knew I had to develop some new skills to keep up with changes in the industry. A year after finishing the course we were all retrained as cross-platform journalists. The course gave me a bit of confidence and some basic production skills to deal with this new environment.

If you weren’t working in the journalism industry, what else would you be doing?

Something with words. I’ve worked in all sorts of jobs, in nursing homes, admin, teaching, in social welfare, in a kebab shop as a cleaner and others. I love journalism and feel very lucky to have clocked up 11 years at SBS. Maybe I would run a little coffee shop in the suburbs where I’d also run a creative writing course and a book club. I grew up in a fruit shop so entrepreneurial thinking and lots of people contact is what I am good at! I’d also love to voice audio books.

Were you a planner or a crammer when it came to studying?

A bit of both. I’m a list maker and made sure I did and still do forward planning weeks in advance, gathering facts a little at a time. This saves a lot of time. I would then use instinct to put a project, essay, etc. together quickly. That’s also how I still work.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring journalist?

Give yourself a deadline for getting a job in the industry and then if it doesn’t happen maybe rethink your choice and go into a related career. Most journalists earn an average income, so look elsewhere if a high income and job security are important for you. It’s important to be prepared if an opportunity comes your way. Luck also plays a role –  like in many areas of life. Also, maintain hobbies and relationships not related to your job.

Who is someone that you admire in the industry?

All the hard working people behind the scenes, the editors, technicians, producers, managers, quiet achievers who keep things running. Obviously there are many big names that I also admire.

What do you hope to achieve in the next 10 years?

In a rapidly changing industry, ongoing employment is my main aim. Continuing to tell local stories about the human experience that touch people.

Dream holiday destination?

Greece and Japan are my favourites, New Zealand is pretty great.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Watching The Bold and the Beautiful.