Killian Plastow’s journalism career is a far-cry from his childhood dreams of becoming a compounding pharmacist, striving for the best mix of words, not chemicals.
But it’s worked out well for Killian, who’s currently working as a business journalist for Nest Egg, with an eye on an editor’s chair in the future.
Here is his profile…
Name: Killian Plastow
Course: Bachelor of Journalism
Dept: School of Media, Film and Journalism
Year graduated: 2014
Current position: Journalist, Nest Egg, Momentum Media
What was it like breaking into the industry? Was it more ‘who you know’ than ‘what you know’?
For me it was definitely a case of what rather than who; I’d only been in Sydney for a year and a half and working in an unrelated field – I had no contacts to help me find a position as a journalist, but had built up a pretty firm ability to research difficult and technical concepts, and wasn’t afraid to hit the phones to get the information I needed.
What is a ‘day in the life’ of your current role?
It really varies from day to day, though most mornings are spent putting together our email news bulletin. After that, it’s a matter of digging around for new stories, organising interviews and contributor content, and as one would expect, writing.
What was a key lesson you learnt at Monash that translated into your workplace?
Always think about your audience first – it seems obvious, but it can be surprisingly easy to forget who will be consuming your work and create something for people without your own personal knowledge base. Being aware of who’s consuming your work, and why they’re doing so, is critical.
If you could go back and do your degree again, is there anything you’d change? Subject choice? Time management? Internships?
I would have liked to do a wider range of electives and really sink my teeth in to things I hadn’t previously tried, rather than sticking with what I initially thought were ‘safe’ options.
What skill (or skills) would you recommend aspiring journos acquire before getting into the industry?
Learning to interview well is one of the most satisfying and useful skills you can have. It’s not just about asking questions, but understanding the context of the topic and interviewee beforehand, and being confident to push them for answers they might not want to give without becoming hostile or aggressive, and it’s the best way to get stories no one else has.
When you were a child, what was your dream job?
I wanted to be a compounding pharmacist for years; I always imagined it as an opportunity to help people like a doctor did but with the added bonus of playing with chemicals in a lab.
What is your dream job now?
The goal is to become the editor of a print magazine and really get stuck in to the curation of content.
Who do you look up to most in the industry?
While he’s not a journalist in the more traditional sense of the word, I’ve always had the utmost admiration for Nardwuar – He may refer to himself as a ‘human serviette’, but his interviewing ability is second to none.
Have you kept in touch with any of your fellow alumni?
I’ve tried to stay in touch with quite a few, though relocating to Sydney has made that somewhat more difficult.
Do you follow any sports teams?
I’d be lying if I said I did.
What’s your coffee order?
The cheapest bottle of iced coffee I can find at the local Coles. There’s no accounting for taste I suppose.
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